Philly archbishop condemns ‘mortal sin of racism’ after Buffalo shooting

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff

 

Mourners light candles at a makeshift memorial outside of Tops market on May 16, 2022 in Buffalo, New York. A gunman opened fire at the store yesterday killing ten people and wounding another three. The attack was believed to be motivated by racial hatred. / Scott Olson/Getty Images.

Denver Newsroom, May 17, 2022 / 15:39 pm (CNA).

Archbishop Nelson Perez of Philadelphia said on Tuesday that the recent mass shooting in Buffalo, New York is a reminder of the continuing “mortal sin of racism.”

A gunman killed 10 Black people on May 14 at a supermarket. Another three persons were injured in the shooting.

The archbishop called the incident “another painful reminder that the mortal sin of racism has not been eradicated in this country. We must continue our work to stamp it out. All lives are gifts from God designed to share their unique gifts with those around them. Tragically, these gifts were violently ripped away from families, friends, and a community that is now struggling with deep grief.”

“I pray that God will comfort those whose hearts have been broken and that He will embolden and strengthen all of us to build and defend a culture of love and respect for all of our brothers and sisters,” he said.

He juxtaposed the shooting with a Concert for Unity sponsored by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s racial healing commission: “It featured a unified choir of over 100 gifted individuals from diverse racial and ethnic communities praising God with one voice along with shared reflections and bold statements condemning the sin of racism.”

The Knights of Peter Claver, the largest historically African-American Catholic lay organization in the U.S., has also responded to the shooting.

“We pray for all victims and survivors impacted by the sin of racism. We must even pray that those entrapped by this sinful nature, be released from its oppressing hand,” the fraternity said in a May 16 statement.

“While the vast majority easily see and understand how horrific this act of evilness is, too few acknowledge and accept the everyday contributing factors that keep leading to these tragic outcomes.”

The Knights of Peter Claver said racism is neither pro-life nor Christian, and “is not of God. Racism and hatred are tools used by the Devil in an attempt to separate the People of God from His Love. God did not create us to be superior or inferior; nor master or slave to one another. He created us in his image and likeness to love and be loved by one another.”

 

“We condemn the evil and racist attacks that occurred in last week’s shooting of innocent Black Americans simply buying groceries. We pray for unity, love, peace, and understanding.  We condemn the thoughts and ideologies that encourage horrific and sinful actions against God’s children. We pray that God’s unconditional, unquestionable, and unending love fill our hearts – replacing any and all dehumanizing thoughts and actions that disrespects the sanctity of life and the love we should have for one another. We condemn all harmful and hateful racist thoughts and actions.”

Authorities called the shooting a racially motivated hate crime and said that the gunman specifically targeted the store because it is located in a predominantly Black neighborhood. Eleven of those shot were Black, while the other two victims were white.

The gunman in Buffalo surrendered to police at the scene. The suspect, 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron of Conklin, New York, more than 200 miles from Buffalo, was taken into custody and charged with first-degree murder.

The gunman is believed to have posted a manifesto online in which he expressed racist, anti-immigrant views and claimed that white Americans were at risk of being replaced by people of color.


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2 Comments

  1. What Bible has Perez been reading? Where has he learned his understanding of mortal sin? How does Perez’s determination of mortal sin compare to God’s and the Church’s Traditional determination of the mortal sin associated with the Sixth Commandment?

    The revelation of disoriented thought increases by the day. One is tempted to wonder what mortal sins may be harbored in the souls of persons who, without apparent shame or prudence, spout such uniquely creative thought.

  2. Racism has so many variations, as well as degrees of interpretation and misinterpretation that condemning a vague concept as mortal sin doesn’t make good sense. Fearfully, White Supremacism seems next on the list. But Pres Biden has already condemned all Republicans, Trump supporters as dangerous White Supremacists. And most threatening to the faith is Govt accusing Catholics of unlawful discrimination for its sanction against homosexual practice, and its repudiation of teaching kids homosexuality in school.
    What should be condemned by the Church is the invention of new standards of morality that reflect the Zeitgeist rather than Christ. Obviously, we need a strong voice in Rome. Although in Rome there is growing support for homosexual relations by strategically positioning high ranking prelates Hollerich, Czerny among several who fully support reevaluation of deviate behavior. Why! My calling it deviate behavior is now abusive language. Where? In Rome. What then? As this trend in world and Church continues to smother purity and truth, then God make haste to help us [we must also do our part and not remain complicit and silent].

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