February 16, 2018

NEW YORK – The horrible mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, on Feb. 14, has caused the tragic loss of life for 17 students and teachers, has caused direct pain and grief to the families and friends of the victims and has brought sadness, sorrow and anger to the whole country and the world.

As the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, we share the deep pain and mourning for the horrific death of 17 innocent human beings, and we stand by the countless others who are suffering as a result of this abominable act. Our fervent prayers and thoughts are with the victims, with their families and with their friends.

This absolutely unacceptable and totally unthinkable school massacre is yet another sad chapter in a long series of violent crimes perpetrated across our country against innocent victims, many times against children, many times against young students in our schools and college campuses. It seems that in no other country this is allowed. 

As we find ourselves, once again, in need of offering words of comfort and solace, words of solidarity and hope to those who were directly affected, we seriously question whether we have done all we can to stop this epidemic disease. How many more victims, how many more school children, how many more teenagers and teachers should die before we act? Let us then work to restore the schools to be the sanctuaries that they, by nature, should be. Let us all work to restore trust and confidence within our children by establishing the appropriate security conditions and legal measures prohibiting any kind of any repetition of the massacre in Parkland, Florida.

We offer our wholehearted plea to our elected officials for immediate and effective action.  Our plea is accompanied by the certainty that by the assistance of the God of mercy and wisdom positive results will be achieved in order to restore hope to our society and the world.

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