On Saturday, August 12th, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement in response to the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left three dead and at least 19 injured:
“On behalf of the bishops of the United States, I join leaders from around the nation in condemning the violence and hatred … in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“The abhorrent acts of hatred on display in Charlottesville are an attack on the unity of our nation and therefore summon us all to fervent prayer and peaceful action. The bishops stand with all who are oppressed by evil ideology and entrust all who suffer to the prayers of St. Peter Claver as we approach his feast day. We also stand ready to work with all people of goodwill for an end to racial violence and for the building of peace in our communities.
“Last year a Task Force of our Bishops’ Conference under Archbishop Wilton Gregory proposed prayers and resources to work for unity and harmony in our country and in our Church. I am encouraging the bishops to continue that work especially as the Feast of St. Peter Claver approaches.”
On Sunday, Cardinal DiNardo joined Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, in calling on all people of goodwill to join in prayer and unity in response to the events of last Saturday; part of their statement follows:
“We stand against the evil of racism, white supremacy and neo-nazism. We stand with our sisters and brothers united in the sacrifice of Jesus, by which love’s victory over every form of evil is assured. At Mass, let us offer a special prayer of gratitude for the brave souls who sought to protect us from the violent ideology displayed yesterday. Let us especially remember those who lost their lives. Let us join their witness and stand against every form of oppression.”
Pastor’s note: The task force mentioned above called for a National Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities on September 9th, 2016. September 9th is the Feast of St. Peter Claver, the 17th-century Jesuit missionary who ministered untiringly to African slaves in Cartagena, Colombia, for 40 years, assuring them of their equal dignity in God’s sight and calling for them to be treated with justice.
The following prayer was composed for the National Day of Prayer; perhaps we can make it our own:
O Lord our God,
in your mercy and kindness,
no thought of ours is left unnoticed,
no desire or concern ignored.
You have proven that blessings abound
when we fall on our knees in prayer,
and so we turn to you in our hour of need.
Surrounded by violence and cries for justice,
we hear your voice telling us what is required:
Only to do justice and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
Fill us with your mercy
so that we, in turn, may be merciful to others.
Strip away pride, suspicion, and racism
so that we may seek peace and justice
in our communities.
Strengthen our hearts so that they beat only
to the rhythm of your holy will.
Flood our path with your light as we walk humbly
toward a future filled with encounter and unity.
Be with us, O Lord, in our efforts,
for only by the prompting of your grace
can we progress toward virtue.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What is the relationship between Tradition and Sacred Scripture?
“Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit. And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching.” (Paragraph 81; cf. Vatican II, Dei Verbum §9)