I wanted you to be aware of these messages.
Pope Francis, General Audience, June 3
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.
On May 29, Archbishop Vigneron wrote to the Black Catholic community to share his prayers for them and assure them of his solidarity in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Over the past two months, I have witnessed with sorrow the effect the current pandemic has had particularly on the black community here in the Archdiocese of Detroit. It has been painful to hear daily of how the virus is impacting pastors, parish staff, and friends and family of the faithful here, and of the ensuing fear and anxiety that has followed in its wake since. And now, compounding this suffering is – as one of the faithful put it to me – that “deep, familiar, and soul-crushing ache” which the death of George Floyd has reawakened. I know that while physically distant, the events in Minneapolis have cut deep into existing wounds held close to your own hearts.
With this in mind, I wanted to offer a brief but sincere re-assurance and expression of solidarity in our Catholic community. St. Paul preached: God has put this body together, so that “there may be no division in the body, but that the parts may have the same concern for one another. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy” (1 Cor. 12:25-26). Admittedly, this solidarity has not always been perfect – as I shared two summers ago in my pastoral note on racism, we are living the wounds of many years of injustice in our local communities. But like all things in the Christian life, when we turn to Him, all can be made perfect in Christ. So, I want to acknowledge your suffering, to bring it into the light, so that we all together as a Catholic Church community can bring these wounds we share in Christ, to Christ for healing.
I hope, too, that you will join me in praying for two additional petitions at this time. First and foremost is for a blessed repose for George Floyd, and for comfort for his grieving family and friends. Second is for peace, both in our communities and in our own hearts. Entrusting you to the intercession of Blessed Solanus Casey, I am
Sincerely yours in Christ
The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron