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A statement from the Reverend Donald P. Oleksiak, diocesan administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, on the shooting Thursday that claimed two lives, one victim a Cleveland police detective.

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September 4, 2020

We are all stunned by the news of gun violence which lead to the deaths of two people on Cleveland’s west side Thursday evening. One of those slain was James Skernivitz, a Cleveland police detective who died in the line of duty. As a people of faith, we mourn this heartbreaking loss of life and pray for the repose of the souls of the deceased. In a special way, we recognize the sacrifice of the fallen officer who died protecting the citizens of the city of Cleveland. Scripture reminds us that there is no greater love than that shown by the one who lays down his life for others.

May the Lord of all goodness comfort the families that lost their loved ones as together we continue to pray for the safety of all the women and men in law enforcement who work to serve and protect. And may He grant all of us the wisdom and fortitude to find ways to end the scourge of violent crime plaguing our neighborhoods.

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