Bishop Kemme’s Statement on George Floyd and protests

Dear Members of the Diocese of Wichita and All People of Good Will,

Like many in our country, I too have looked upon the events of Monday, May 25, 2020, concerning the arrest and death of Mr. George Floyd, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, with horror and disgust. While I was raised to give respect and extraordinary consideration to all in public office, especially the police, who are charged to protect, the actions of the police officers in this situation are to be condemned. No one, regardless of circumstances, deserves to be treated in such an inhumane manner.

I join the many in expressing to Mr. Floyd’s family our heartfelt and prayerful sympathy and the promise of our commitment, both private and public, to work to alleviate the sin of racism that may lie deep within us and in the society and culture we are committed to improve.

I wish to join my brother bishops in their joint statement as members of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism of our Episcopal Conference in not only condemning such acts of violence and brutality, but also encouraging and insisting that we as a country work together to address this lingering cancer of our society known as racism in all its many forms and degrees. It is also incumbent upon us as Roman Catholics to do everything possible to combat this moral plague – especially if present in the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church.

To the members of the Black Community and all of minority in our society, I wish to express my closeness in prayer and my fraternal support of you in the just and righteous anger and frustration you doubtless feel due to this event, which has happened all too often in the history of our country. I join with you in demanding justice and real change.

The timeless teaching of the Church which proclaims that everyone is created in the image and likeness of God and therefore inherently deserving of dignity and respect is the very foundation upon which we must work to eliminate all forms of racial, gender, and social inequality. I invite each of you, reading these simple words, to recommit yourself to living out this principle of biblical truth in every relationship and in every aspect of your personal life. Only then, with a true conversion of the heart, can we eradicate, one person at a time, the destructive forces of the evil one that divide us and alienate the vulnerable and the powerless. May God give us the strength of character and the resolve we need to work toward a more just and humane society, not just for some, but for all!

Bishop Carl A. Kemme