Peace & Justice Commission Statement Regarding the Events in Charlottesville, VA

August 16, 2017
For more information contact: 
Gabe Jones
Media Relations Specialist
Phone: 314.792.7557

The Peace & Justice Commission of the Archdiocese of St Louis expresses horror and sadness at the events which took place this weekend at the shameful and hate-filled "Unite the Right Rally" in Charlottesville, Virginia. The violence instigated by the neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates, white nationalists and white-supremacists in their confrontations with counter protestors resulted in three deaths and many injuries. We pray for the victims and their families.

As Catholics, we embrace the seven principles of Catholic social teaching as a central and essential element of our faith. Many of these principles were violated this past weekend. The first of the principles focuses on "Life and Human Dignity". Life and human dignity were clearly attacked this weekend leaving three people dead and many more injured. The principle of "Call to Family, Community and Participation" was violently assaulted by those who would divide our community based on race and creed. The principal of solidarity was also fiercely assailed. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) states "At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace. Pope Paul taught that if you want peace, work for justice. The Gospel calls us to be peacemakers. Our love for our brothers and sisters demands that we promote peace in a world surrounded by violence and conflict."

We support the USCCB in its call for peace. We agree with Jesuit Father James Martin who reminds us that racism is a sin, and states that "All Christians, all people of faith, should not only reject it, not only oppose it, but fight against it." We ask you to join us in rejecting all forms of hatred and racism and work with us to actively support the true justice that leads to peace.