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Rome Reports

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Bishop of Scranton condemns racism, another pandemic that kills and wounds


Face masks, initially used for protection against the coronavirus, have become face shields against tear gas in recent days of protests in the United States. The nationwide confrontations erupted after George Floyd was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis.

JOSEPH C. BAMBERA
Bishop of Scranton (Pennsylvania)
“So many people have reminded us at this moment, following the death of George Floyd, that we're really faced with two pandemics that are so similar. They exist quietly. Sometimes we don't even recognize that they're present, and then suddenly, they burst into our lives and have the potential to destroy and kill and wound and cause us grief and pain and anger.”

This second pandemic is racism, not at all a novel virus, but a deep-rooted cancer whose destructive effects have been felt for centuries.

JOSEPH C. BAMBERA
Bishop of Scranton (Pennsylvania)
“And it goes underground, and very often, we can be lulled into a sense of complacency. I see this as a moment that calls us not only to reawaken but to stay awake.”

Catholics are called to respect the life of every individual, at all points between conception and death.

JOSEPH C. BAMBERA
Bishop of Scranton (Pennsylvania)
“We will confront this reality when we're honest enough to admit the fact that we have all failed in this regard, and when we're willing to strive to live our faith in an authentic way. That's the way in which we solve racism in our land—when we begin to think of others as equally valued and loved and worthwhile as ourselves.”

The bishop encourages communities, school systems, seminaries and parishes to develop new initiatives to “eradicate this terrible scourge” of racism.

CT