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USCCB president: ‘the police are not a faceless enemy’

July 11, 2016

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops decried the mass shooting of police officers in Dallas.

“The assassination of Dallas police officers last night was an act of unjustifiable evil,” Archbishop Joseph Kurtz said on July 8. “To all people of good will, let us beg for the strength to resist the hatred that blinds us to our common humanity.”

He continued:

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, let us gather at the Cross of Jesus. Our Savior suffered at the hands of humanity's worst impulses, but He did not lose hope in us or in His heavenly Father. Love overcomes evil.

The police are not a faceless enemy. They are sons and daughters offering their lives to protect their brothers and sisters. Jesus reminds us, "no one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends" (JN 15:13). So too, the suspects in crimes or routine traffic stops are not just a faceless threat. They are members of our family in need of assistance, protection and fairness. When compassion does not drive our response to the suffering of either, we have failed one another.

“The need to place ever greater value on the life and dignity of all persons, regardless of their station in life, calls us to a moment of national reflection,” Archbishop Kurtz continued. “In the days ahead, we will look toward additional ways of nurturing an open, honest and civil dialogue on issues of race relations, restorative justice, mental health, economic opportunity, and addressing the question of pervasive gun violence.”

“Let us pray for the comfort of everyone affected and that our national conversation will bear the good fruit of healing and peace,” he concluded.

 
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  • Posted by: unum - Jul. 12, 2016 11:44 AM ET USA

    Archbishop Kurtz, good luck with your search for "ways of nurturing an open, honest and civil dialogue on issues of race relations, restorative justice, mental health, economic opportunity, and addressing the question of pervasive gun violence." As long as U.S. civil authorities are using serious civic issues as political wedges, and the Church leadership lacks the courage to call them out on their behavior as Jesus did, the hierarchy will be ineffective in its efforts to reform our society!