DENVER (Catholic News Service - CNS) -- Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver and his auxiliary, Bishop James D. Conley, offered prayers and support to the victims, survivors and the community after a gunman killed at least a dozen people and wounded dozens more during a July 20 midnight screening of the movie "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora.
"For those who were killed, our hope is the tender mercy of our God," the bishops said in a joint statement.
"'Neither death nor life,' reflected St. Paul, 'can separate us from the love of God.'
“For those who were wounded -- physically, emotionally and spiritually -- our hope is in their recovery and renewal.
To them we offer our prayers, our ears to listen, and our hearts to love.
The road to recovery may be long, but in hope we are granted the gift of new life."
Archbishop Aquila and Bishop Conley also prayed for the shooter.
"We hope also for the perpetrator of this terrible crime, and we pray for his conversion.
Evil ruled his heart last night," they said July 20.
"Only Jesus Christ can overcome the darkness of such evil."
Pope Benedict XVI used the occasion of his weekly Angelus address at Castel Gandolfo July 22 to express his sadness over the latest tragedy saying he was "deeply shocked by the senseless violence."