Archbishop Bernard Longley:

During the last week I have been thinking about the impact and implications of the Black Lives Matter protests within England and Wales and especially what the issues they have highlighted might mean for our Archdiocese.  I am therefore happy to share with you the following statement made on behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales which I fully endorse. 

Within our own spheres of influence, with family, friends and colleagues, we can find ways of living and expressing the Church’s rejection of racism as completely contrary to the values of the Gospel.  I would urge you to share the following statement from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales as widely as possible:

Bishops stand in solidarity with US sisters and brothers as they challenge the evil of racism and the brutal killing of George Floyd

“We stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the USA as they challenge the evil of racism and the brutal killing of George Floyd.  As the US Bishops made clear: ‘we cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities and yet still try to profess to respect every human life. We serve a God of love, mercy, and justice.’

“Systemic racism is embedded in our own society.  The disproportionate harm suffered by BAME people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted profound inequalities, marginalisation and injustice here in the UK.  The peaceful Black Lives Matter protests taking place in our towns and cities this week reflect the understandable anger that so many people feel about this.

“As Catholics we recognise that racism is an evil which must be opposed; we all have a responsibility for actively promoting racial justice.  Whenever we ignore racism or dismiss BAME people’s experience of it, we are complicit in violations of human dignity.  We pray for God’s help to overcome racism in all its forms and that we might protect everyone who suffers its consequences.  We are all made in God’s image.”

Bishop Declan Lang
Lead Bishop for International Affairs

Bishop Paul McAleenan
Lead Bishop for Racial Justice