Bishop Barry C. Knestout issued the following statement on Saturday, May 30:
“Like you, I have been distressed, angered and heartbroken by what has transpired with the images we have seen coming from Minneapolis and across our country. The loss of George Floyd’s life is unacceptable and heartbreaking. We pray for the repose of his soul and for his loved ones who are suffering.
“And while we are hundreds of miles from Minneapolis, the anguish and pain are deeply affecting our community here, too. The sorrow and the anger were clear last night in our city.
“I know many in our community are outraged and have experienced racism in their own lives. I know because I have listened and heard from them directly. Their pain is real, and it cannot be ignored.
“I also know that violence is not an acceptable response to violence. Such actions only perpetuate the destructive cycle. It is only through a peaceful response can we create positive change for the future.
“We know that the vast majority of those within the law enforcement community are good, honest and respected officers who are doing good, seeking to protect common good in sometimes stressful and difficult environments. Please pray for them as well.
“As we are immersed in the Solemnity of Pentecost this weekend, I call upon all Catholics to pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance of our country and of our own diocese during these challenging times.
“As St. Augustine wrote, ‘Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.’”