The Archdiocese of Philadelphia released the following statement Friday morning, July 8.


Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Archbishop Charles Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

The death of two black men at the hands of police in Baton Rouge and Minnesota this week is a grave source of concern and a tragedy compounding a long and bitter pattern of similar racially-related tragedies. These incomprehensible incidents aggravate racial resentments and make a tense national situation worse.

To the credit of the Philadelphia community, protests here have been peaceful and marked by cooperation between police and crowds expressing their frustration. We should all pray that this kind of mature common sense continues.

At the same time, attacks on police under any circumstances are an outrage and an act of violence against the entire multiracial community. The police officers killed in Dallas had no connection to the situations in Baton Rouge and Minnesota. They were on duty to secure the safety of the innocent public — the whole public — and their murder can only discredit the legitimate anger of many of the protesters.

Violence is not an answer, and the killings in Baton Rouge, Minnesota and Dallas have proven that by deepening the divides in our national life. Black lives matter because all lives matter — beginning with the poor and marginalized, but including the men and women of all races who put their lives on the line to protect the whole community.