Bishop Walkowiak joins his brother U.S. bishops in speaking out in the wake of the death of Mr. George Floyd and the violent protests which have broken out in Minneapolis and in other cities in the United States. Read the statement from the USCCB below:

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism; Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church; Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, chairman of the Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs; Bishop David G. O’Connell, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, chairman of the Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development; and Bishop Joseph N. Perry, auxiliary bishop of Chicago, chairman of the Subcommittee on African American Affairs have issued the following statement:

We are broken-hearted, sickened, and outraged to watch another video of an African American man being killed before our very eyes. What’s more astounding is that this is happening within mere weeks of several other such occurrences. This is the latest wake-up call that needs to be answered by each of us in a spirit of determined conversion.

Racism is not a thing of the past or simply a throwaway political issue to be bandied about when convenient. It is a real and present danger that must be met head on. As members of the Church, we must stand for the more difficult right and just actions instead of the easy wrongs of indifference. We cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities and yet still try to profess to respect every human life. We serve a God of love, mercy, and justice.

While it is expected that we will plead for peaceful non-violent protests, and we certainly do, we also stand in passionate support of communities that are understandably outraged. Too many communities around this country feel their voices are not being heard, their complaints about racist treatment are unheeded, and we are not doing enough to point out that this deadly treatment is antithetical to the Gospel of Life.

Read full statement here.

Watch Bishop Walkowiak’s Pentecost homily:

“We cannot remain silent and indifferent to injustice, hatred and violence directed at any member of our human family.”
Homily transcript (English | Español)

Additional resources

The Catholic Information Center invites your participation in:
“Open Wide Our Hearts” discussion and study groups (Zoom meetings, register below):
Tuesday evenings, June 23 & 30 at 7-8:30 p.m., Register here.
Or Thursday mornings, June 25 & July 2 at 10-11:30 a.m., Register here.
Registration deadline: June 19
Below are links to the “Open Wide Our Hearts” document and study guide. Please take time to read it and to delve into the study guide. Use the registration links above if you wish to join the CIC for discussion groups. 
Open Wide Our Hearts Pastoral Letter | Study Guide

Prayer for racial healing (Catholic Charities USA)
Combatting racism begins within (Bishop Walkowiak, January/February 2020 FAITH GR magazine)

From Michigan Catholic Conference:

Read: Catholic teaching affirms dignity of Black lives, promotes peace (The Detroit News, July 19, 2020 by Paul Long)

From the USCCB:

Read: USCCB President: Brutal killing of George Floyd “a sin that cries out to heaven for justice”

Combatting racism

Read the U.S. Bishops’ latest pastoral letter against racism: Open Wide our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love (bilingual)

Five ways you can cultivate peace and work for racial justice (USCCB Blog: To Go Forth)

The Everyone Belongs (Loyola Press) children’s book empowers young readers to reflect on the reality of racism and to see it through the lens of faith | For parents and catechists: Free Downloadable Activities to accompany reading of the book Read more about Everyone Belongs (USCCB news release)