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Archbishop's Statement Concerning Pulse Club, Orlando, FL:

To the Clergy, Brothers and Sisters of the Ohio Orthodox Catholic Church and members of the LGBTQ Community:

Today, America, as well as people of the world were stunned at the tragic events of terroristic actions this morning in Orlando Florida. This terroristic act carried out by a single person, who must have been consumed with so much hatred, does not reflect the ideals or religious belief of this church nor that of any Christian, Jewish or Muslim people that I know and love.

Laws that mandate equality and justice cannot change the stone cold hearts of those who are consumed with hatred and bigotry. At the same time, we must not allow acts such as this cause us to reach out in hatred or anger towards others, but empower us as children of God, to stand together united against bigotry, hatred and terrorism. Let us as religious or non-religious, gay or straight, male or female, stand united that hatred and bigotry will not be tolerated towards any of God's children.

Our prayers, thoughts and blessings go out the families, friends, first responders, doctors and nurses that came to the aid of those who were injured. For those who paid the ultimate sacrifice with the loss of their life, we pray that Our Loving Creator will embrace them with love and compassion. For the parents and family members of today's victim's, our prayers and thoughts are with you. We weep with you and mourn your loss.

Today, I call on all the Clergy of the Ohio Orthodox Catholic Church to offer prayer services and vigils for the victims, families, friends and first responders for today's tragic events.

Let us also pray for those whose hearts are so filled with hatred and bigotry, that God will open their hearts, minds and souls to God's compassion, love, acceptance and forgiveness.

Today, our sacred bell at the Cathedral rang out a toll for each of the 50 children of God who lost their lives. May they now rest in eternal peace with our Loving Creator. May they also know that we will never let them be forgotten.

Blessings in the name of Jesus the Christ,
+Charles E Smith, O.S.F.
Archbishop
Ohio Orthodox Catholic Church