The recent tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of four police officers has again made us aware of the racism which exists in law enforcement agencies and our justice system. In February of 2017, the Conference of Benedictine prioresses crafted a statement against racism, calling it a social sin. In the statement they said, “To speak of social sin means … to recognize that, by virtue of a human solidarity. . . , each individual’s (and corporate) sin in some way affects others. . . Every sin has repercussions on the entire ecclesial body and the whole human family.” We as Benedictines take a stand against any and all expressions of racism and white supremacy, beginning with the racial, cultural, and class disparities in our nation. We challenge government and church leaders to do all they can to speak out against such injustices in our society. We also challenge ourselves to look at our own attitudes and actions that condone any kind of racism. We urge you to join us in praying for the Floyd family as well as the many families whose lives were tragically altered or whose fears have been increased as a result of this tragedy.
At this time in our history, we again commit ourselves to “Examine the root causes of injustice, particularly of racism, as a consequence of unacknowledged white privilege, and our own complicity over the years in this societal reality . . . (and to) work to effect systemic change that will promote a society that respects all people and that recognizes the equality, human dignity and human rights of all.”