Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson today expressed “profound sadness” at the shooting deaths of U.S. District Court Judge John M. Roll and five others in Tucson on Saturday. He asked the 1.8 million members of the Knights of Columbus and their families to pray for the recovery of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 other people who were seriously injured in the attack, and for the repose of the souls of those who died.
Judge Roll, who was the chief judge for the District of Arizona, was a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus, and was a charter member of Deacon Raphael Longpre Council 10441, and a member of Msgr. Hughes Assembly 2392, both in Tucson. He had been a member of the Knights of Columbus for 24 years. Members of the Fourth Degree will provide an honor guard at his funeral next week.
“The senseless carnage in Tucson is a terrible tragedy for the victims, their families, the people of Arizona and people of good will everywhere,” Anderson said. “We feel a tremendous sense of loss at Judge Roll’s death, and for all, young and old, who lost their lives in this attack. We pray for God’s mercy on all who have been touched by this tragedy.”
“At a time like this, it is tempting to respond with anger, and for some, to attempt to use the tragedy to stoke the fires of division. That would only compound the tragedy,” Anderson continued. “As the late Senator Robert Kennedy said following the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘What we need in the United States is not division . . . not violence or lawlessness, but love and wisdom and compassion toward one another.’ Judge Roll, a faithful Catholic who had just attended daily Mass before stopping to greet Rep. Giffords at her community meeting, was a dedicated public servant who understood this very well. Let us honor his life and service by embracing those qualities of ‘love and wisdom and compassion’.”