In light of the tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri, first with the shooting of Michael Brown and the violence that has followed, the Franciscan Action Network urges all parties involved to work for justice and to act nonviolently. We believe that all Americans, especially those from black communities, have a right to be angry and to protest. However, that anger needs to be channeled into a demand for justice, condemnation of police militarized actions, and major changes within the police force, but not give way to retaliatory violence. Healing cannot begin immediately. First, justice must be promised and enacted; then a process of reconciliation and healing can begin. Michael Brown’s mother stated: “Justice will bring peace, I believe.” Franciscans also believe this.
We also pray for all involved in this tragic shooting, from Michael Brown’s family and friends and all victims of racial profiling and police violence, to Officer Collins and members of the police force. FAN urges an end to racism not only in Ferguson but in all the United States, as we work together for racial justice and an end to violence of all kinds.
Inspired by the Gospel of Jesus, and the example of Saints Francis and Clare, the Franciscan Action Network (FAN) is a collective Franciscan voice seeking to transform United States public policy related to peace making, care for creation, poverty, and human rights.