June 2, 2020
Janine Walsh, firstname.lastname@example.org, 203-685-1856
PRESS RELEASE: Franciscans Say: Black Lives Matter
As Christians, we must stand up for racial justice by working for reform in our institutions and in our communities
Washington, DC – Black lives matter. The Franciscan Action Network (FAN) stands in solidarity with the peaceful protests taking place across the country over the murder of George Floyd.
This spring has revealed, time and again, a racist violence still coiled in the recesses of America’s institutions of law enforcement and criminal justice. Ahmaud Arbery, gunned down by white vigilantes in Georgia while jogging, a murder whitewashed by local police. Breonna Taylor, killed in a hail of gunfire in Louisville, as police stormed the wrong apartment. George Floyd died with a white police knee on his throat, while handcuffed and unresisting, as both he and a crowd of onlookers pleaded for the police to let him breathe.
Franciscans believe all human beings, regardless of race, creed, or color, are created in the very image and likeness of God. Therefore, FAN condemns all forms of bigotry and racism and has previously called on our elected leaders to courageously speak and stand against systemic racism and bigotry directly.
Silence is complicity. Christians cannot stand on the sidelines at this moment. We cannot be neutral. Nor can Christians cower behind pious claims of personal virtue which are not enough for the cultural, social, and political change so desperately needed. Christians must confront and call to account institutions of power that brutalize our sisters and brothers. Christians must pursue comprehensive, institutional reforms to unmask the legacy and present evil of systemic racism.
Franciscan Action Network condemns the actions which killed Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. We ask all Franciscan communities and the Franciscan-hearted everywhere to join us in calling for justice for these black victims of American law enforcement. We ask Franciscan communities and the Franciscan-hearted to join us in solidarity with those speaking out for justice.