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Pope’s Appeal for George Floyd: Condemns ‘Sin’ of Racism, Says ‘Nothing Gained by Violence’

Addresses ‘Friends’ in United States of America

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“Today, I join the Church in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and in the entire United States, 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.”

Pope Francis expressed this addressing American faithful during his General Audience, this Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in his papal library, in the midst of the pandemic of coronavirus worldwide, as he focused on prayer.

“Dear brothers and sisters in the United States,” he began, “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.”

“My friends,” the Pope said, “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. At the same time, we have to recognize that “the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost”.

Today, the Pope said he joins the Church in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and in the entire United States, 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.”

“Let us pray,” the Pontiff exhorted, “for the consolation of their grieving families and friends and let us implore the national reconciliation and peace for which we yearn.

The Argentinian Pontiff then prayed that Our Lady of Guadalupe, “Mother of America intercede for all those who work for peace and justice in your land and throughout the world.”

“May God bless all of you and your families,” he said.

The Pope also sent this tweet: “We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form. At the same time, we have to recognize that violence is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost. Let us pray for reconciliation and peace.”

Recently, Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, head of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, a top papal advisor, sent a May 30 tweet.
‘In areas of violence in the USA, I plead with, indeed, pray all pastors & religious leaders of communities to call their faithful to calm this Sunday. The death of Floyd is disgracefully inhuman & sad  enough. Let us not add to it, making it & memory of Floyd ugly with  violence,’ he said.

Pope Francis recently began a new series of catecheses on prayer, this week specifically on the prayer of Abraham.

“May we learn from Abraham’s example,” he said, “how to pray with faith: to listen, to journey, to converse and even argue with God, but always prepared to welcome the word and put it into practice.”

Here is the Vatican-provided English summary of today’s General Audience:

***

Speaker:

Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on prayer, we now consider the prayer of Abraham. In the life of our “father in faith”, we see a new way of relating to God. Abraham hears the voice of God and trusts in his word and promises. In obedience to the divine word, he leaves his former life behind to journey wherever God leads him, even to the ultimate test of being asked to sacrifice his own son, Isaac. Through such fidelity, he becomes a member of God’s family, capable even of arguing with him, but always faithful. Abraham’s obedience to the word marks a radically new step in the religious development of man. From now on, the life of believers is seen in terms of vocation, a personal call to live one’s life in fulfilment of God’s promises. The God of Abraham, then, becomes “my God”, the Lord of my own history who guides my steps and never abandons me. May we learn from Abraham’s example how to pray with faith: to listen, to journey, to converse and even argue with God, but always prepared to welcome the word and put it into practice.

Speaker:

I greet the English-speaking faithful joining us through the media.

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.

My friends, 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. At the same time, we have to recognize that “the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost”.

Today I join the Church in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and in the entire United States, 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. 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. 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.

May God bless all of you and your families.

[Original text: English] [Vatican-provided text]
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio, Sky, and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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