Call for Peace and Justice – Cardinal Cupich and Fr. Carl
Bulletin – July 12, 2020
Dear St. Giles Parishioners,
Many of you may be seeing our large Black Lives Matter banner for the first time. Either there is a show of support or an expression of concern that our parish is supporting such a slogan or movement. In a recent email, a man wrote: “That while I wholeheartedly support and agree with the concept of the BLM, I cannot support the BLM organization in which some founders say they are avowed Marxists. I think the assumption of/by many people is that a BLM sign not only signifies support of the concept of BLM but also support of the organization.”
To clarify once again, I do not and the parish does not support any actions taken by sub-groups of the organization to create harm against anyone, especially our dedicated men and women in Blue, our police officers, many who are outstanding and good at what they do often under very difficult circumstances. The banner, with all those names, is simply to give voice to those who have suffered and died, some by abuse of authority and power, others by gun violence and other acts of violence that plague our city and country today. For me, and those on our seasonal planning committee who stepped up to say we need to say/do something in the wake of all the violence, the banner is meant to show that as a community of faith we are wrapping our arms around the wounded spirit of our black sisters and brothers, recognizing their pain, and the need for us to work together for justice for all. That is simply it! I am sorry that for some this sign is uncomfortable.
A police officer called to speak to me. There is always the other side of the story. There are many officers taking abuse because of the “bad apples” in police departments around the country. That is sad and unjust as well. There are leaders within the movement calling for violence against the police. That is equally evil and just as wrong as the abuse of power by some officers. We must pray for our police who are also under great stress and in some instances abused but now too afraid to do their jobs well.
There are so many causes, so many wounded. I hope this banner can be a reminder that, as a people of faith, we stand in solidarity with those proclaiming into existence a new community shaped by justice rather than our oppressive status quo.
Food for thought: “In a racist society it’s not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” – Angela Y. Davis
With you a Christian. For you a priest.
Father Carl Morello – Pastor of St. Giles Parish
PARISH COUNCIL STATEMENT ON RACIAL JUSTICE
The Parish Council of St. Giles Parish believes that Black Lives Matter. Rooted in the Gospel imperative that all life is sacred, from natural conception to natural death, we acknowledge that systems in our country have enacted practices that do not reflect this core value – especially for those of color. Systemic racism is a social sin that requires action, remembering racial justice is not an issue of politics but of human rights. Catholic social teaching reminds us that God takes the side of the poor, marginalized, and underprivileged. We stand with Christ. We call on all members of the St. Giles community to join in such efforts.
As part of a Universal Church, we support all causes that respect the sanctity of life. However, at this time as our country is dealing with the demon of racism, our Black Lives Matter banner is a response to the current cry for justice to be heard.
As a Parish Council, to better position ourselves to become accomplices in the work of racial justice in dismantling systemic racism, we:
- Support the display of the St. Giles Black Lives Matter banner,
- Invite our parish community to learn about the individuals whose names are on the banner and why their lives mattered,
- Encourage the initiation of peace circles to promote deeper understanding, deeper listening, and healing,
- Seek greater working collaboration with our brothers and sisters in the Austin community.
We invite you to listen with an open heart, lean into your discomfort, share equity of voice, and lead with love.
We cannot close our eyes to any form of racism or exclusion, while pretending to defend the sacredness of every human life. – Pope Francis
May 31, 2020
Dear Saint Giles Community,
I had to stop watching the news the past two days, it became so disturbing. The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis left me speechless and feeling disgusted. We need to raise our voices in solidarity against the realities of injustice and racism, without violence or criminal conduct. As we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit with Power and might, please join me in prayer that the Spirit of wisdom and peace will prevail in the minds and hearts of all who are hurting and angry and are crying out for justice. May the Holy Spirit also bring courage to work towards unity and justice for all people that God has created. We are one in the human family of God and must strive to treat each other with the dignity and respect each person deserves as a child of God. It so clear these days, COVID – 19 is not the only disease causing death in our country. Let us join in prayer together for strong action against injustice, inequality and racism of all kinds, also the cause of so much destruction and death still today. May common sense, calm and peace prevail. I ask everyone to pray for these gifts desperately needed today. Come Holy Spirit! With you a Christian, for you a priest.
Fr. Carl Morello – Pastor of St. Giles Parish