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Rome Reports

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U.S. Bishops speak out against racism and violent protests

As protests have spread throughout the United States after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Catholic bishops are speaking out.

The USCCB's chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, Bishop Shelton Fabre, spoke on behalf of U.S. bishops. He said racism "is a real and present danger that must be met head-on."

Chairman, Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism
We are broken-hearted, sickened, and outraged to watch another video of an African American man being killed before our very eyes. As members of the Church, we must stand for the more difficult right and just actions instead of the easy wrongs of indifference. We cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities and yet still try to profess to respect every human life.

He explained the bishops “plead for peaceful non-violent protests, [and] stand in passionate support of communities that are understandably outraged. Too many communities around this country feel their voices are not being heard, their complaints about racist treatment are unheeded...”

President of the USCCB, Archbishop José Gomez, also condemned what he called the “senseless and brutal” killing of George Floyd.

In a written statement, he expressed his closeness to Mr. Floyd's loved ones, assuring them of his prayers.

The archbishop also said “the cruelty and violence” George Floyd suffered “does not reflect on the majority of good men and women in law enforcement.”

He called for lasting change, made not with the self-destructive violence seen in many parts of the country in recent days, but “by removing racism and hatred from our hearts.”

Melissa Butz and Claudia Torres