Father Donald P. Oleksiak, administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, responded to the civil unrest throughout the city with the following statement Sunday:
On this day during which Catholics celebrate the solemnity of Pentecost, recalling God’s outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the world, I ask all people of goodwill to join me in prayer for a restoration of peace in our community and a return to civil order.
The horrible death of George Floyd in Minneapolis — video recorded for the world to see — has outraged our nation. His death and other recent incidents around the country have brought a piercing light on deep-seated problems in our country that need to be answered by each of us in a spirit of love and conversion of heart, as we embrace a culture of life and respect for all, remembering that every one of us is made in the image and likeness of God.
Several chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have called upon all Catholics to, “Pray and work toward a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth to touch the hearts of all in the United States and to come down upon our criminal justice and law enforcement systems.”
May the spirit of God unite us in love and respect, and heal our broken society.
Residents rallied in Cleveland Saturday following in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
Floyd’s death was captured on cell phone video. On Tuesday, four police officers involved in his arrest were fired. Later, the one who used his knee to pin Floyd down by his neck was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
In Cleveland, protesters held signs, and shouted “No justice, no peace,” and “I can’t breathe.” The protest began as a peaceful one, then turned violent. People threw rocks at police and sheriff’s deputies, burned police cars and other vehicles, and looted downtown stores.
As of late Sunday morning, more than 20 were being held facing potential charges tied to aggravating rioting and violating the city curfew. Some also were under investigation for vandalism.
Cuyahoga County Sheriff David Schilling says a total of 66 people got arrested during the unrest