PHILADELPHIA PA (June 5, 2020)--Today at a news conference, Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez addressed the resumption of the public celebration of the Holy Mass throughout the five-county Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He did so within the context of the need for healing in the wake of societal tensions following the tragic and unnecessary death of George Floyd.
During the news conference, Archbishop Pérez strongly encouraged all clergy, religious, and lay faithful throughout the region to respond to the recent events of unrest in our City and throughout the United States with intentional prayer for healing and peace.
Archbishop Pérez said, “There is no doubt that our country and our region has been shaken to the core in the last week. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and the unjust, unwarranted death of a noble man, George Floyd, and the events that have unfolded over the last week, we can honestly say that we will never be the same. Frankly, we should never be the same when it comes to acts of violent racism and assault on human beings who possess a dignity and rights given by God that must be respected, protected, and cared for. This can never happen again. Yes, we say it every time it does happen, but we must say it again and again. This can never happen again. Racism is a sin and an evil which needs to be eradicated from our midst.”
Reverend G. Dennis Gill, Director of the Office for Divine Worship and Rector of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, joined the Archbishop at the news conference. Father Gill will presented logistical matters involved with the public celebration of Mass in light of the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, Father Gill announced that the Archdiocesan Office for Divine Worship has provided all priests and deacons resources to address this urgent need for prayer for healing and peace in their homilies over the next several weeks.
All parishes, religious communities, and religious institutions were also asked to make the resources on combatting racism, in English and Spanish, from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as widely available as possible. These resources include parish bulletin inserts, pastoral aids and prayer resources. Please see the link: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/parish-resources-on-racism.cfm.
Clergy and faithful are also encouraged to read the Bishops’ 2018 document, Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love - A Pastoral Letter Against Racism. Please see the link: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/upload/open-wide-our-hearts.pdf.
To watch the press conference in its entirety, please click here.