Catholic Bishop Disputes Law Enforcement Actions At Douglas Church
The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne disputed the actions of the U.S. Marshals Service and other law enforcement agencies that disrespected a church's property to arrest a fugitive who then was shot to death.
Bishop Paul D. Etienne issued a press release Friday about the death of Scott Ramirez, who was leaving the funeral Mass of his father at St. James Catholic Church in Douglas on Thursday.
In this time, we ask for people of good will to pray for the Ramirez family and for a greater respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life within our culture and society today.
The U.S. Marshals Service had a warrant for Ramirez's arrest on drug and weapons charges. Details remain unclear about what happened after Ramirez left the church and the subsequent shooting, despite a news release from the Marshals Service on Friday.
Etienne apparently is not clear on what happened, either, other than to write Ramirez "appeared outside of the church, a confrontation ensued, shots were fired and a life was ended."
The actions of the law enforcement agencies violated the purpose of a church and the dignity it offers to people during a painful time, Etienne wrote.
"We are saddened by the untimely loss of life in any circumstance. But the fact that this happened following a funeral liturgy when friends and family members were already grieving and outside of a house of worship, where people seek solace, makes this situation all the more troubling.
"Even in the face of growing violence in our culture, we expect as a civil society and encourage as a community of faith, that we make a stronger commitment to peaceful resolutions and enforcement of laws and a demonstration of greater respect for human life and the common good.
"It is our hope and prayer as a community for a speedy explanation of the events which led the agency to devise and carry out a strategy.
"In this time, we ask for people of good will to pray for the Ramirez family and for a greater respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life within our culture and society today."
Efforts to reach Etienne at the diocesan office in Cheyenne were unsuccessful Friday afternoon.