Bishop Michael Olson responds to mob’s breach of U.S. Capitol

by Rhina Guidos

Catholic News Service

1/6/2021

Supporters of President Donald Trump climb on walls at the U.S. Capitol in Washington Jan. 6, 2021, during a protest against Congress certifying the 2020 presidential election. (CNS photo/Stephanie Keith, Reuters)Supporters of President Donald Trump climb on walls at the U.S. Capitol in Washington Jan. 6, 2021, during a protest against Congress certifying the 2020 presidential election. (CNS photo/Stephanie Keith, Reuters)
Supporters of President Donald Trump climb on walls at the U.S. Capitol in Washington Jan. 6, 2021, during a protest against Congress certifying the 2020 presidential election. (CNS photo/Stephanie Keith, Reuters)


EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has updates from the North Texas Catholic.

 

FORT WORTH — Bishop Michael Olson of the Diocese of Fort Worth released a statement in response to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

He said, “The disruptive and illegal actions of those who trespassed into the U.S. Capitol today during the certification process of the presidential election were outrageous and painful to witness as a bishop and as a citizen of the United States of America.

“A peaceful republic requires safety and security in accord with the legitimate rule of law to foster the confidence of citizens in the electoral system and process.  These outrageous actions undermined that safety and security.

“I hope and pray that with order restored, sufficient time and resources will be afforded by Congress to address the legitimate concerns of so many Americans regarding the integrity of our nation’s electoral system within the rule of law required for right order, the common good, and peace,” he continued.

Supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, putting the building on lockdown and interrupting the count of electoral votes to certify the 2020 election, capping the last days of a tumultuous presidency with chaos.

Much of the country, and the world, watched aghast at scenes coming out of the nation's capital after Vice President Mike Pence said he had no authority to change the results of the election, affirming President-elect Joe Biden as the next commander-in-chief.

Lawmakers, including the vice president, were rushed to safety after the angry mob broke into the building. Images on Twitter showed them breaking down doors and some asking the whereabouts of the vice president, who was said to have defied Trump by refusing to block Congress from certifying the results. With "Trump 2020" flags, they freely roamed the halls of the capitol as scared lawmakers crowded together to pray, some reported.

Supporters of President Donald Trump gather in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington Jan. 6, 2021. (CNS photo/Stephanie Keith, Reuters)Supporters of President Donald Trump gather in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington Jan. 6, 2021. (CNS photo/Stephanie Keith, Reuters)
Supporters of President Donald Trump gather in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington Jan. 6, 2021. (CNS photo/Stephanie Keith, Reuters)

 

News reports also said explosive devices were found at the national offices for the Republican and Democratic parties and at least one person was killed.

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement the evening of Jan. 6 saying he joined "people of good will in condemning the violence today at the United States Capitol."

"This is not who we are as Americans," he said, adding that he is praying for members of Congress, Capitol Hill staff members, police officers "and all those working to restore order and public safety."

The archbishop called the peaceful transition of power "one of the hallmarks of this great nation" and stressed that in this "troubling moment, we must recommit ourselves to the values and principles of our democracy and come together as one nation under God."

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Contributing to this report was Carol Zimmermann.

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6, putting the building on lockdown and interrupting the count of electoral votes to certify the 2020 election, capping the last days of a tumultuous presidency with chaos.

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