Racial injustice, hate, white supremacy and violence have no place in our nation or world. The Society of the Sacred Heart stands in solidarity with the families and communities who grieve the lives lost on Saturday, May 14 in Buffalo, New York.
We say the names of those whom we mourn:
Roberta A. Drury (32), Margus D. Morrison (52), Andre Mackneil (53), Aaron Salter (55), Geraldine Talley (62), Celestine Chaney (65), Heyward Patterson (67), Katherine Massey (72), Pearl Young (77), and Ruth Whitfield (86)
We condemn yet another act of racially motivated violence. Equally, we recognize that such radicalized hatred and violence happens because of the unchecked cultivation of attitudes, behaviors and beliefs that continue to reinforce a culture tolerant of racism and violence. While there was a singular individual who perpetrated this violence, we are each responsible, anytime we remain silent in the presence of social, institutional or personal racism. May we have the courage and confidence to speak the truth!
As Religious of the Sacred Heart, we recognize our own complicity in institutional racism and encourage all to reflect on their practices and attitudes that perpetrate the sin of racism by acts of omission or commission. As members of the Society of the Sacred Heart, we claim our responsibility and proclaim our belief in our God who heals, restores and resurrects. We believe that it is possible for us to dismantle systemic racism when we act in solidarity grounded in the Gospel.
We stand against violence in all forms, especially gun violence. We implore all to call for a total ban on assault weapons, measures that control the sale and use of firearms, and limitations on civilian access to high-capacity weapons. We implore all members of the Sacred Heart international community to take action to dismantle systems that reinforce and perpetrate acts of violence and racism, and to be agents of healing in our local and global communities. We pledge to be instruments of peace in a divided world, building bridges of relationship and standing against all forms of violence.
We equally commit ourselves to support community mental health organizations and institutions so that individuals who have been radicalized or who are susceptible to such misuse of power may be restored, thus preventing such acts of violent incoherence. Together with others, let us work together to find the courage and confidence in the heart of Jesus required to be people who fight for justice and peace, and honor the dignity of each human life. We pledge ourselves to prayer, education and action that seeks an end to racism and violence and works toward a world that reflects the love and openness of the Heart of Christ.