The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been at the center of a year of political, social and racial tension in the U.S., which began with the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd, and continues with the murder trial of Derek Chauvin and the shooting death of Daunte Wright.
As Americans wait for a verdict in the Chauvin trial, St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop Bernard Hebda offered April 19 a Mass for peace and justice.
The archbishop also shared his thoughts with The Pillar on healing, the role of the Church, and overcoming racial polarization.
Archbishop Hebda shared his thoughts with The Pillar by email April 19. They have been edited for length and clarity.
The prompting of the Holy Spirit
I strongly feel that the Holy Spirit is prompting our local Church to lead an effort to turn to the Lord as the One who unites us as sisters and brothers. At a time when the most common narrative has been one of division that inevitably leads to conflict, despair and even greater polarization, our Catholic worldview, as recently reflected in Pope Francis’ Fratelli Tutti, can speak a word of hope into even the most difficult of situations.
While there is clearly raw pain in the community, I find a great receptivity to the message of Psalm 32 that the Lord is close to those who are “broken-hearted,” a description that fits most of us as we consider the events of the past year.
At a time when emotions are high, and with members of the Catholic community initially on different sides of some of the issues, it seems like the most fruitful path will be one in which we focus on some of our Catholic fundamentals: the dignity of each human life, created in the image and likeness of God; God’s unfailing love for all his children and closeness to those who mourn; God’s love for justice; and the call to work for the common good.
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