Until June 1, no Catholic bishop had publicly participated in the gesture but that day, Bishop Mark J. Seitz of El Paso, Texas, became the first, surrounded by priests from his diocese who also kneeled with him and holding a “Black Lives Matter” sign.
Justice is what George Floyd and his family and friends deserve, and justice “through equal and fair treatment under the law is what every person in this country deserves,” said the U.S. bishop who is president of the National Black Catholic Congress.
Even as the United States still finds itself grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, outrage, grief, and anger over the latest killing of an unarmed black man outweighed caution as hundreds of thousands turned out nationwide to protest and many of the country’s Catholic bishops joined the calls for justice.
Pope Francis used his June 3 audience and a phone call with the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to express his solidarity and support following days of demonstrations protesting the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
With anger and frustration still high in the United States over the death of George Floyd, religious leaders should organize ecumenical and interreligious prayer initiatives to bring people together and promote healing, said top Vatican official Cardinal Peter Turkson.