The streets in front of the White House of late have been filled with thousands of youthful faces carrying signs or wearing t-shirts calling for racial justice, with fists raised in the air, or posing for selfies with a large ‘Black Lives Matters’ sign.
That sign now hangs on a tall piece of fencing meant to keep the protesters out of Lafayette Park, the place tourists would usually flock to and have their pictures taken with the iconic building in the background.
But on 8th June, the space was filled with women and men religious donning their habits and priests with Roman collars; some carried rosaries and signs with Our Lady of Guadalupe and the image of St Oscar Romero. And hundreds of laity and at least two bishops from the Archdiocese of Washington joined in the Catholic-centred protest.
“The Catholic voice as a group, as a family needs to be heard,” said Fr Cornelius Ejiogu, a member of the Society of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, best known as the Josephites. He, along with others, helped organise the event. “I know a lot of priests and sisters have come out here individually to pray for peace and justice, but we feel that our Church, as one, can come together.”
Picture: Washington Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, right, takes part in a prayerful protest outside the White House in Washington on 8th June 2020, following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed African American man whose neck was pinned to the ground by police for more than eight minutes before he was taken to the hospital. (CNS photo/Bob Roller).