The Archbishop of Baltimore joined faith leaders from across the city on 3rd June to pray for peace and healing after more than a week of nationwide protests and unrest in response to the 25th May death of George Floyd while in police custody.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic keeping most Marylanders inside their homes, about 250 masked people filled the park outside St Vincent de Paul Church in the heart of downtown near the Baltimore Police Headquarters and City Hall. The event was also livestreamed on Facebook, where it was viewed more than 7,900 times.
A group of Lutheran parishioners held banners reading ‘Racism Is a Sin’ and ‘Thoughts and Prayers and Action’. Catholic priests such as Fr Joshua Laws, parish priest of the Catholic Community of South Baltimore, held homemade protest signs. His read, ‘Black Lives Matter’.
“The spectacle of the killing of George Floyd that outraged the country once again has shaken us from the mount behind the walls where we so readily hide,” Archbishop William E. Lori said as he opened the service. “But we are confronted with the ongoing suffering of people of colour who suffer from the sin of racism.
“We felt compelled to come together in this moment, compelled to come together with our elected officials, our civic leaders and members of our congregation simply to pray.”
Picture: Members of Maryland Lutheran churches hold up banners calling for action against racism during an interfaith prayer vigil in Baltimore on 3rd June 2020, to pray for justice and peace following the 25th May death of George Floyd – an unarmed black man said to have spent several minutes under a Minnesota police officer’s knee before becoming unconscious. (CNS photo/Tim Swift, Catholic Review).