ROME (AP) – Pope Francis urges the Catholic media in the US to work to overcome the “diseases of racism and injustice” in his latest comments on George Floyd’s death in the US and protests against racism that followed.
In a message to a virtual conference of Catholic journalists from North America on Tuesday, Francis said Catholic media should build bridges and dialogue and defend life.
He prayed that journalists would be enlightened by wisdom and understanding and guided by the Holy Spirit to “work effectively to overcome the diseases of racism, injustice, and indifference that disfigure the faces of our ordinary family.”
Francis previously spoke out about Floyd’s death on May 25 in Minneapolis and the “sin of racism.” He denounced the violent protests that erupted as self-destructive, but also claimed, “We cannot close our eyes to any form of racism or exclusion, pretending to defend the sanctity of every human life.”
Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on May 25 after a white police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes while he was handcuffed on the sidewalk and panting that he couldn’t breathe. The officer has been charged with murder and he and other involved agents may face up to 40 years in prison if convicted.
Floyd’s death sparked renewed Black Lives Matter protests across the United States, some of which were attended by Catholic priests, bishops, and peace activists. The issue has received much attention from the Vatican media.
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