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Vatican supports Obama gun proposals

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, 9:04 p.m.

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican on Saturday praised President Obama's proposals for curbing gun violence, saying they are a “step in a right direction.”

The Vatican's chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said 47 religious leaders have appealed to members of the Congress “to limit firearms that are making society pay an unacceptable price in terms of massacres and senseless deaths.”

“I am with them,” Lombardi said in an editorial carried on Vatican Radio, lining up the Vatican's moral support in favor of firearm limits.

‘‘The initiatives announced by the American administration for limiting and controlling the spread and use of weapons are certainly a step in the right direction,” Lombardi said.

Obama is trying to rally support for reinstating a ban on assault rifles and requiring background checks on all gun sales. He faces stiff opposition in the Congress and from powerful gun lobbies.

Considering that Americans possess ‘‘about 300 million firearms,” Lombardi said, ‘‘people cannot fool themselves that it is enough to limit the number and use (of guns) to impede in the future horrendous massacres like that of Newtown that shook the conscience of America and world, as well as that of children and adults.”

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