Pope Francis Prays for ‘National Reconciliation’ in United States

Pope Francis prays during a mass on Christmas eve marking the birth of Jesus Christ on December 24, 2016 at St Peter's basilica in the Vatican. / AFP / ANDREAS SOLARO (Photo credit should read ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)
ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty

ROME — Pope Francis decried the sin of racism Wednesday while also insisting that responding with violence and rioting is “self-destructive and self-defeating.”

Following his weekly general audience in the Vatican, the pope addressed English speakers and his “dear brothers and sisters in the United States.”

“I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd,” Francis said.

“My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life,” the pontiff continued. “At the same time, we have to recognize that the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost.”

“Today I join the Church in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and in the entire United States, in praying for the repose of the soul of George Floyd and of all those others who have lost their lives as a result of the sin of racism,” he said. “Let us pray for the consolation of their grieving families and friends and let us implore the national reconciliation and peace for which we yearn.”

“May Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America, intercede for all those who work for peace and justice in your land and throughout the world,” he concluded, while also asking that “God bless all of you and your families.”

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