Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement:
“Following the August 9 election in Belarus, large numbers of peaceful demonstrators took to the streets contesting the election results as fraudulent. Violence, mass arrests, and intimidation followed. Almost four weeks later, the situation continues to be tense. The local Catholic Church has condemned the violence perpetrated and repeatedly called for prayer, repentance, and constructive dialogue.
“My prayers are for peace and justice for Belarus. I urge that the human rights of all citizens be respected. In his Angelus devotion on August 16, Pope Francis called for ‘dialogue, the rejection of violence and the respect for justice and peace,’ entrusting all Belarussians to the protection of Our Lady. I invite all Catholics and people of goodwill to join with the Holy Father in his prayers for peace and justice to prevail in Belarus.”