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Archbishop Gustavo condemns violent protests, prays for safety of U.S. Capitol at cathedral prayer

January 12, 2021 | posted by Today's Catholic newspaper

Topics: Archbishop, In the Press, Breaking News

Archbishop Gustavo condemns violent protests, prays for safety of U.S. Capitol at cathedral prayer service

In response to the January 6 violence in the United States Capitol, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, condemned the violent protests and prayed for a restoration of order and safety at a prayer service in a time of civil unrest the following day at San Fernando Cathedral.

The reading at the January 7 service was from the apostle Paul to the Ephesians. “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. And to kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.”

Intercessions included prayers for world leaders, for the nation, for an end to all acts of violence and hatred, and for peace for those in the faith community who feel anxious or afraid.

Archbishop Gustavo also led a candle lighting ceremony in which he began by lighting one candle, and then candles were lighted by all those present.

The San Antonio prelate concluded with a prayer of blessing in which he prayed, “O God, merciful and strong, who crush wars and cast down the proud, in this time of civil unrest be pleased to banish violence swiftly from our midst and to wipe away all tears, so that we may all truly deserve to be called your children.”

The archbishop’s statement follows:

I want to express my great concern following the political protests which have turned violent in the nation’s capital. America is a country of law and order, and I want to emphasize the word “order” at this time. Any protests must be lawful and orderly, and respectful of law enforcement personnel. I am saddened by the shocking events this afternoon, which are a wound on the soul of our country. Many people are suffering due to this troubling attack on the Capitol.

We have seen too much violence in the United States recently – political violence, racial violence -- and even the violence caused by the COVID-19 virus, which attacks the body. What we need at this point is peace; to think and have concern for the other. These are dire times.

Providentially, Pope Francis has called for a “culture of care” in his 2021 World Day of Peace message. “The culture of care … calls for a common, supportive and inclusive commitment to protecting and promoting the dignity and good of all, a willingness to show care and compassion, to work for reconciliation and healing, and to advance mutual respect and acceptance,” wrote the Holy Father.

I echo Pope Francis’ call for peace. I pray that we find peace and reconciliation in our nation in the coming days, weeks, and months ahead. May Mary, our mother and the mother of God, unite our country and bring all her children together.