Cincinnati archbishop: Death of George Floyd ‘senseless, brutal,’ announces holy hour

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati announced a holy hour for conversion and peace following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis last week.

In a letter released by the archdiocese, discussed the “senseless and brutal killing of George Floyd at the hands of a law enforcement officer in Minneapolis.”

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“I join Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis and my brother bishops across the U.S. in praying for the repose of the soul of Mr. Floyd and all others who have lost their lives in a similar manner,” he wrote. “This deeply disturbing incident reminds us once again of the divisions that continue to plague our human family which is called to be one body in Christ.”

Because every human was created in God’s image and likeness, the “dignity and sanctity of each person, without exception, is inherent and permanent, and is to be respected from conception to natural death,” the archbishop said.

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“Because of this, the Catholic Church opposes as profoundly sinful racism and anything that is antithetical to God’s will and the Gospel of Life,” the letter read. “We cannot turn a blind eye to the humiliation, indignity and unequal opportunity experienced by millions of our brothers and sisters simply because of their race or the color of their skin and yet still profess to respect every human life. Opposing racism must therefore be an integral part of our pro-life witness as Catholics.”

Schnurr called for a “genuine conversion of heart” that will “compel change and ultimately reform our institutions and society.”

“We need to look deep within ourselves, in prayerful humility, and ask our Lord to remove any vestige of prejudice or hatred from our hearts, any sinful inclination that keeps us from loving as He does,” he wrote.

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Schnurr invited others to join him online or in person to a holy hour for conversion and peace at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains in downtown Cincinnati.

He noted that many other parishes across the archdiocese also are praying for conversion and peace.

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