Pray for humility, humanity, and hope says Bishop Olson at Mass for repose of soul of George Floyd

by Susan Moses

North Texas Catholic

June 4, 2020

EDITOR'S NOTE: Bishop Michael Olson issued a pastoral letter on racism on June 13, 2020, which may be found here.

 

FORT WORTH — Bishop Michael Olson of the Diocese of Fort Worth celebrated Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral on June 4 for the repose of the soul of George Floyd, for the consolation of his family, and for peace and an end to civil discord.

Floyd, an unarmed African American, was killed when a white police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for eight minutes during an arrest in Minneapolis on May 25. The officer has been charged with second-degree murder, and three other officers present are charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

In Fort Worth and hundreds of other cities across the U.S. and other countries, citizens have marched each day against racial inequality in the police and judicial system. While the protests have been predominantly peaceful, looting and violence have erupted.

Against this backdrop of racial injustice and civic unrest, Bishop Olson began his homily with an explanation of the Gospel reading from Mark 12, where Jesus united the love of God with the love of neighbor. “As a person, I cannot truly love God without loving my neighbor. My neighbor includes every human being who is created in the image and likeness of God,” he said.

Loving God and neighbor begins with the “humble recognition that none of us are God,” said the prelate. “As children of the one true God, the God of all people, it is required of us to live by rightful authority for the sake of justice and love; we also have the obligation to hold those entrusted with this rightful authority to be accountable in accord with justice and love.”

The bishop acknowledged the fear and anger that result when those in positions of authority betray the trust that has been placed in them. Justice and peace are the need and responsibility of everyone, he stated.

The homily concluded with the bishop asking those in attendance and those watching via livestream to pray for three things: humility, humanity, and hope.

Humility recognizes our dependence on God and His wisdom, and “as certain as we are that we have much to say, let us be equally secure that we have much to learn from our neighbor,” Bishop Olson stated.

Humanity allows us to “remember and insist that my neighbor is as human as I am or as human as anyone else, as much made in God’s image and likeness — no more and no less.

With hope, we can “work together with God and neighbor to build a world worthy of God’s children who were made for heaven.”

By the conclusion of the Mass, a group of about 75 protesters had gathered at Fort Worth City Hall, across the street from St. Patrick Cathedral, in advance of the 3 p.m. City Council meeting. They stood silently, holding signs promoting racial justice.

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Bishop Olson’s entire homily for the June 4 Mass may be found here.

A letter from Superintendent of Catholic Schools Jennifer Pelletier on what George Floyd's death can teach us may be found here.

Bishop Olson

FORT WORTH — Bishop Michael Olson of the Diocese of Fort Worth celebrated Mass at St. Patrick Cathedral on June 4 for the repose of the soul of George Floyd, for the consolation of his family, and for peace and an end to civil discord.

Published (until 6/4/2032)
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