'We cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism': Pope prays for George Floyd, criticizes violence (Vatican News) “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,” Pope Francis said on June 3. “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.”
Church suffering violence in Ethiopia, Eritrea (Crux) “Over the past two years, over 30 churches have been attacked in Ethiopia —half burned to the ground —leaving over 100 people dead,” the report notes. “In Eritrea, where Catholics make up just about 4% of the population, Church-run schools and hospitals have been forcefully shut down by the government.”
USCCB issues action alert on further CO19 relief actions (USCCB) The alert calls on the Senate “to automatically extend work authorization and visa renewal deadlines for refugees and immigrants … provide no-cost COVID-19 testing and treatment for all, regardless of immigration status … [and] ensure that many hardworking struggling immigrant and refugee populations are eligible for stimulus payments.”
Bishops express sorrow over Floyd killing, racism (CNS) This article summarizes comments made by Archbishop Samuel Aquila (Denver), Cardinal Blase Cupich (Chicago), Bishop Michael Burbidge (Arlington), Cardinal Joseph Tobin (Newark), Archbishop Wilton Gregory (Washington), and Bishop Mark Seitz (El Paso).
'Systemic racism must end,' US Franciscan provincials say (Order of Friars Minor) “Even though, following in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, we decry violence and desire peace, we stand in solidarity with our outraged African American brothers and sisters who demand an end to the deadly violence of racism,” the six US Franciscan provincials said in a joint statement. “We cannot be indifferent when their God-given dignity is violated.”
Cardinal Turkson links Laudato Si', protests over George Floyd's death (Our Sunday Visitor) Pope Francis devoted his second encyclical, Laudato si’, to care for our common home. The prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development sees protests following the death of George Floyd as “a cry for people to recognize that every human being requires a certain minimum of social conditions to enable him to live and live successfully. That’s what social ecology is all about.”
Archbishop Gregory decries Trump's visit to Catholic shrine (Washington archdiocese) “I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree,” said Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, DC. He was responding to a visit by President Trump to the St. John Paul II National Shrine, where he signed an executive order promoting international religious freedom.
Leading Orthodox Patriarch: state cannot make rules of Eucharist (Fides) The Orthodox churches cannot submit “to the authorities of this world when the Divine Eucharist is called into question,” Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople said in a letter to other Orthodox leaders. The Ecumenical Patriarch—recognized as “first among equals” of Orthodox prelates, said that churches had accepted the leadership of civil officials during the CO19 epidemic, but could not accept control by politicians over the administration of the sacraments.
Milwaukee archdiocese reopens churches despite city order (AP) The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has opened churches. Although a city order limits all gatherings to 10 people, the archdiocese has announced that churches may admit up to 25% of their capacity. The archdiocese contends that the city order does not apply to religious gatherings.