After the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd late Tuesday, April 20, Catholic Church leaders said America needs to continue to work on the issue of racial justice.
After a night of protests and vandalism April 11 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, following the police shooting of Daunte Wright, Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis urged prayers for justice and peace.
Just before 8 a.m. March 22, nine people gathered outside St. Olaf Parish in downtown Minneapolis in a garden dedicated to St. Francis to pray that saint’s famous prayer: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”
As the nation was gripped by widespread unrest over the weekend in response to the killing of yet another unarmed black man by a police officer last week, U.S. Catholic leaders said recent events served as a “wake-up call” to the racism that continues to plague the country, while encouraging non-violent protests as a means of effective resistance.
Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul-Minneapolis called for prayers for George Floyd and his family in the wake of the man’s death while in police custody.
Catholics are calling the murder of George Floyd yet another example of a continuing blind spot toward the racism that has plagued the United States since its founding, evidenced by the continuous use of police brutality against African Americans and silence of many Catholic leaders in the face of it.