The Archdiocese of Philadelphia released the following statement Friday morning, July 8.
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.
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Thank you Archbishop Chaput. Words of wisdom and sanity. Truly all lives matter and violent protest is never an answer. It is unfortunate that today we are no longer living in a society based on a firm moral code of right and wrong in which we can identify the good from the bad.
This is where the Church should be playing a larger role in my opinion.
For example the Church needs to be more morally complete in its actions and pronouncements, and to get down to the people level, so everyone can fully understand and internalize what it means for them personally, as well as to other individuals such as the politicians, news reporters, policemen, or community organizers. The Church also needs to be more directly focused on the actual sins that are at the root cause of today’s problems, not just the after effects of the sins such as race superiority, mob riots, and violence.
Imagine for example if in the current situation the Church expanded its moral outreach to include the underlying sins and root causes of the most recent problems – e.g. lying and deceit. Imagine then the Church actually invoking the Eighth Commandment, explaining it fully, and then publically admonishing and rebuking as grave sinners all who lie, deceive, or slant the truth for personal gain. Imagine the Church clearly directing their admonishment towards the groups most influentially involved in the current problems – politicians, professional agitators, race hustlers, police officers, and rigid ideologues (left and right). If nothing else, actions like these would get people thinking again, learning again, and dialoguing again. Isn’t that exactly the kind of mix that we need today? That and our fervent prayers to God for His intercession.
It is time for the Catholic Church to more fully go back to what it was created for. Fighting evil and saving souls. As the One True Faith, and the only certain pathway to everlasting life. There is nothing more important than this.
I agree with Archbishop. We should stop so much separatism and ethnic centrism and work for the common good.
Thank You Bishop. This was a very important statement to tell the black people that the Catholic Church is on their side.
The Black Lives Matters crowd are quite selective with their protesting. If they really cared they would be protesting in front of abortion mills where so many more black lives are murdered than by cops on the streets. They would also protest against the opening of abortion mills in their neighborhoods. They would also stop supporting all elected officials who support abortion. When this happens I will believe that the Black Lives Matters crowd is serious in their protesting.