Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley released the following statement May 24, after a gunman killed 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

“Today’s tragedy in Uvalde, Texas leaves us all stunned by the unthinkable loss of so many innocent young lives and the teacher who devoted her life to educating and nurturing the children.

Our nation has too often become a place of unspeakable crimes of gun violence that have taken far too many lives, though none more heartbreaking than innocent children. We must take action to stop this senseless carnage.

We pray for the grieving families and the Uvalde community, whose lives are forever changed. In this moment we embrace them with prayers for peace and healing as we commend to the Lord those lost, consoled by the promise of eternal life.”

Cardinal O’Malley releases statement on Texas shooting