Pope speaks out against racism and self-destructive violence

VATICAN (SE): During his weekly General Audience on June 3, Pope Francis touched on the death of George Floyd from police brutality in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the United States (US) and the ensuing protests that have engulfed several cities and spread around the world, Vatican News reported.

“Dear brothers and sisters in the United States. I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd,” the pope said as he greeted the English-speaking faithful.

“We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life,” he said.

Citing a recent statement by Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which decried the violence that manifested at some protests, the pope noted, “At the same time, we have to recognise that ‘the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost’.”

Watch the pope’s message

Pope Francis added that joined the Church in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and throughout the entire US, “in praying for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism.”

The pope concluded his remarks with an invitation to prayer.

“Let us pray for the consolation of their grieving families and friends and let us implore the national reconciliation and peace for which we yearn,” he said. “May Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America, intercede for all those who work for peace and justice in your land and throughout the world.”

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