By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ
Pope Francis on Wednesday made a phone call to Archbishop José H. Gomez, the president of the US Bishops’ Conference, expressing his prayers and closeness to the Church and people of the United States. His call came amid widespread protests following the death of George Floyd.
Archbishop Gomez shared the news with the Bishops of the United States in a communique on the USCCB website.
He said Pope Francis had called him to express his gratitude to the Bishops for their pastoral tone in the Church’s response to the demonstrations across the country.
The Holy Father also said he was praying for Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda and the Church of St. Paul and Minneapolis, where Mr. Floyd was killed.
Archbishop Gomez, on behalf of the US Bishops, thanked the Pope “for his prayers and strong words of support” and assured him of the prayers of the US Bishops.
Pope Francis’s appeal
During the weekly General Audience on Wednesday, Pope Francis condemned all forms of racism and exclusion.
He prayed for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and all those who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism.
The Pope also expressed his concern for the disturbing instances of violence that have sprung up during protests in cities across the United States.
Quoting Archbishop Gomez, the Holy Father stressed that “nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost.”
Pope Francis prayed for the consolation of the grieving families, and enjoined everyone to work towards national reconciliation and peace.