Presiding Bishop Michael Curry: Prayers for Orlando

Posted Jun 12, 2016


[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs] “Pray for the repose of the souls who have died,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry said in his video message, Prayers for Orlando, concerning the June 12 shooting in Orlando, FL in which 50 people died and 53 were injured.

The video is available here.


Comments (22)

  1. Lawrence Philip Johnson says:

    There is no doubt that the writings in the Koran inspired the Orlando Jihadhist to plan and execute his killing frenzy. The Jihadhist was indeed a most devout Muslim.
    As Christians, we need to stop the condescending and ultimately useless “Interfaith Dialogue'” with Islam as it is ultimately a one-way street. We must understand that a majority of American mosques receive funding from Saudi Wahhabiist sources, replete with rabidly anti-Western literature.
    The better plan is to gently lead Muslims out of their mental entrapment and ultimately to Christ.
    To do less than that is to turn your back on the Gospel.

    1. The Rev. Canon Dr. Clark Sherman says:

      I choose not to turn my back on Jesus.

      1. Judith Wood says:

        I agree

        1. Karen DeHart says:

          A true Christian has unwavering love.

    2. Doug Desper says:

      Lawrence: My Muslim friends and associates are appalled when violence is done in the name of their faith by people who claim to be of their religion. That has recently (and will again) lead us to talk about what it means to be a Muslim, and who gets to decide that. Their sticking point is always this: “they don’t represent us”, a statement said by both peaceful moderates and violent extremists — and they are both right. Islam doesn’t have a magesterium who decides what “IS” Islam, despite our media’s sin or wishful thinking by peaceful people. There is no central Islam that defines that nuances of that faith for everyone. Their traditions of Koranic interpretation are found in schools of thought — all claiming to be “the way”. Many look towards Saudi Arabia as the most central and authoritative school of thought with Mecca as its uniting shrine. What do they think in that school? Start with the signage as you approach Mecca. It orders any non-Muslim to no approach, to not enter Mecca. With certainty, non-Muslims are not welcomed to Mecca, and have been met with violence. That shows a dominant world-view that is at odds with our hopes of a welcoming faith. Saudi Arabia practices oppressive Sharia Law which condones the killing of gay men and women. That school of Islamic thought is not isolated in Saudi Arabia but is practiced around the world. It isn’t an aberration — but instead a long-held tradition for centuries. With urgency, the household of Islamic faith needs to gain the ability to self-critique. Yes, there are moderates, but yes there are violent extremists, both called faithful and both found in abundance in the mosques around the world. A true self-critique will begin when that household of faith comes to grips with its violent past and stops denying it. It is undeniable that the founder used violence and bloodshed to impress his views of obedience to God. History will forever remain a truthful and hostile witness to that proven era with its witnessed facts. Too many of that faith’s adherents continue to be taught such violence in their schools and mosques, so let’s stop pretending that violence exists in isolation by mentally unstable people. Notwithstanding, there are many millions of the faithful who distance themselves from those realities. Those are the people who need to lead Islam to comprehensive critique and reform. On this point it must be remembered that Islam did not experience a Reformation/Counter Reformation of self-examination as Christianity did. It did not experience a Renaissance or Enlightenment as occurred in the main of Europe. (Winston Churchill observed these realities and spoke at length on nation-stabilization during his time). The Islam of today would look very recognizable to someone from the 7th century in that it hasn’t changed much since then.
      It is now Islam’s turn to self-critique, to not deny its own realities, to have its Reformation, and that means that loud reformers need to stand in its worldwide schools and mosques to condemn violence and intolerance and challenge interpretations of the Koran that are literally frozen in the 7th century — and to say that its history of violence is a sin. Where are the reformers? This is their time.

    3. George M Jones says:

      Islam is not the problem, the Koran is not the problem, nor is the Muslim the problem. Both the Jew and the Muslim can make your same complaint against the Christianity. History records the many times Christians waged war in the Name of God and used the words of our Holy Bible to support the cause – against other Christians as well as non-Christians.

      My point in addressing your post is that we are all in the same boat together – the USS Planet Earth – and we better learn to live with one another and tend to the needs of this boat less we all perish together. It is the “Radical” of anything that is the problem, for radicalism leaves no place for love for the other, no place for sharing human dignity, no place for respecting our differences. What we need are people that DO justice, LOVE mercy, and WALK humble with God.

      1. Doug Desper says:

        George: The First Crusade was a “their time/their world” response during a violent era when Christians were being slaughtered by Muslims. Yes, the Church had too much blood — but note that it has ended for the most part. We had our Renaissance, Enlightenment, and Reformation. Christians – in the main – are not the ones blowing people up, strapping bombs to their children, and waging jihad on every continent on the globe. There is no single monolithic thing called “Islam”. As much as moderate (and sometimes well-meaning people) want it Islam has always had many faces and expressions ranging from moderation to extreme violence. The violent followers have been praised and followed since the first days when their founder conquered, subjugated, and used violence to spread his philosophy. That is an inconvenient truth that has to be dealt with. Holding hands in the National Cathedral and using that space for Muslim worship, or ignoring reality is easy—and wrong. Islam needs its Reformation; its self-critique, and it needs its loud prophets to urge the “moderates” to become intolerant to violence. They need to condemn their original subjugation and dominance orientation which has continued unabated for over 1,000 years. Until that happens, yes, “Islam” is the problem.

    In the midst of things we cannot understand …
    The Orlando Massacre is an irreparable wound to humankind. Such a heinous act of destruction of human lives should never be a religiously inspired act of any sort. Why does such venomous cruelty happen again and again? What are the motives behind such uncivilized killings? These are the questions that the politicians and bureaucrats strenuously wrestle with, trying to come up with certain conclusions. But, we, the larger community, helplessly shed tears and share the pain, grief, and agony of those who mourn this tragic loss of innocent lives. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims. As such, all humanity is one body and the thread in one tapestry:
    “In a real sense, all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly….”
    –Martin Luther King Jr.

    “…[There] should be no division in the body, but that its members should have mutual concern for one another. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it.”
    –Paul of Tarsus

    “Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart”
    –Jose N. Harris

    Almighty God,
    Give courage and faith to those who are bereaved, that they may have strength to meet the days ahead in the comfort of a reasonable and holy hope, in the joyful expectation of eternal life with those they love. Amen (BCP 481)

    Father Aaron Paul Collins

    1. Nancy Harrison says:

      We cannot understand on those who do these killings to others.we have to beware on our surrounding area to be safe & of danger.Not only to protect ourselves,but those of our families & friends

      1. Nancy Harrison says:

        Also to my last comment,we must have faith in ourselves,to have the strength to carry on.will keep the victims in my prayers.

  3. Talmage G Bandy says:

    Thank you Bp. Michael for those blessings on all who are grieving. We in Southern Pines and Pinehurst are holding memorial services as many all over the country are doing. I will miss you at our deacon’s forthcoming retreat. May God bless you. Deacon Tally Bandy

  4. Peter Carey says:

    This statement of the Presiding Bishop is entirely inadequate. What occurred in Orlando was homophobic terrorism and yet Bishop Curry does not see fit even to mention the word gay. He has utterly failed to rise to the occasion.

  5. Thomas Hofer says:

    Dear Bishop Curry, I recited the Lord’s Prayer with you.
    Who were the other two Bishops who appeared with you as you preached this most inspiring sermon?
    In Christ,
    Thomas Hofer

  6. Stuart Lauters says:

    People may act in the name of their faith, whatever faith they choose to believe. Let us not confuse those actions, whatever they might be, with that faith. Let us not stereotype the actions of the misguided, nor give them power by that confusion.

  7. Gregory G Woodbury says:

    I appreciate Bishop Curry’s words and prayers; they speak healing to those who are suffering. However, I note with despair that his comments, like those of the politicians, fail to mention that the Pulse nightclub was selected because of the sexuality of the patrons.

    It may be less controversial to not “provoke” the ire of the ones who might tend to agree that the “homosexuals brought this on themselves” but it is fully within the Episcopal Churches tradition to not speak to the homophobia and hatred that still lurks within the Church.

    So far, very few of the nation’s religious and political leaders have directly spoken to this aspect of the massacre, just as they also fail to note that there is a worse mass murder in American histry: to wit, the massacre ate Wounded Knee in 1890. Hate and genocide need to be challenged directly, not mumbled over with a hope the truth will be ignored.

  8. Eric Simpson says:

    We grieve for the victims in Orlando and indeed for our world. As a Christian I feel the need to take a stand, to DO something particularly about the need to ban assault rifles. NO civilian needs to own one – it is sheer idiocy!

  9. Nancy Ariz says:

    It saddens me that there is such violence in our country.That the the shootings in Orlando has to happen,or any where in our country.
    We have the freedoms in our great country,freedom of speech,religious beliefs,etc.
    Makes me wonder on why people do these kind of shootings.why do they do such things on hurting others? What do they accomplish by doing it? It must Isis or these other terror groups.
    If these terror groups are trying to get attention on what they’re doing.

  10. Dr. Erna Lund says:

    As we know as Americans and of the Christian faith, what one sows one will reap–thus the U.S. war mentality as its focus in the Middle East is now “reaping its benefits” morosely ( in its force for power, oil and occupation) and w/Israel the war base w/sophisticated drones/iron domes/etc.,etc. the potent base is set … yet our government blames the victim identified primarily as Islam/muslim, conveniently ignoring the Christian origin(Jesus) throughout this Middle East region. And this Hypocrisy continues, perpetuated through our administrations(Clinton,Bush,Obama) and none has the moral fortitude to stand up for Truth–much easier to blame the victim…

  11. Mary Koenig says:

    Mary E. Koenig says:
    Tragically, acts of violence can happen randomly, eroding the safety people feel in public places. If no authorized group seems to handle or control the violence, fear grows into hysteria then panic. It is possible to change this scenario, but it will take silent peace loving people to find their voice.I have wondered why the American Muslim population who are outraged at the violence haven’t banded together and demonstrated their desire for peace for all.

  12. Kitt GASSMAN says:

    I was to lead & March with our church, St. John the Baptist, in W. Seattle under the Integrity group , representing LGBTQ members & supporters in Olympia diocese. Because of this violence, my partner & I don’t feel safe. Yes we need an interfaith dialogue (on way to service/March as I type this ). This was a hate crime directed at my community. Just today, passages from Romans & Revelation were read on floor of Congress by a Georgia Represenative condemning homosexuals to death for their “sins”. This is not Tehran! What is the difference between that & “radical Islam”? Look at the tweets from the Texas Lt. Gov on Sunday saying you reap what you sow. Look at the vile comments on Twitter & FB if you don’t believe it. Example: “There’s 49 less ppl spreading HIV.” I’m sorry there are hundreds of daily examples of homophobia. Let’s remember , if this were done in a synagogue or church it would be called anti-Semitic/Christian. First we must acknowledge our fears before dialogue. I’m numb & angry at our direction. Peace & 💗

  13. Richard Henderson says:

    It is very disappointing that the Episcopal church in the US apparently has no statement in writing about Orlando, and that the only general statement is an ad hoc video that fails to address the issues. At least the English archbishops made a clear statement in writing:

    1. Mavis Meadowes says:

      Really? The PB was first in the church with any official response. The English archbishops who do not allow LGBTQI marriage and full inclusion in the COE? Those English archbishops?

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