Wright was pulled over by police in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center. As the reason for the traffic stop, police claimed he was driving a car with expired tags; officers subsequently tried to arrest him upon discovering he had an outstanding arrest warrant.
After Wright resisted arrest and entered his car, former officer Kim Potter shot him – claiming that she had intended to fire her taser instead. Wright drove several blocks, attempting to evade police, before crashing and dying at the scene of the crash.
The officer, Kim Potter, resigned this week and has been charged with second-degree manslaughter. Four days of protests ensued after the killing of Wright, with local authorities imposing a curfew and the state deploying the National Guard. Meanwhile, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is currently on trial for the killing of George Floyd in May 2020.
Addressing Thursday’s gathering, Archbishop Gomez offered his prayers for peace and justice, for the families of those involved in the shooting, and for “the whole Church in Minnesota.” The Church is committed to fighting racism, he said.
“Racism, as we all know, is a grave sin, a spiritual disease, and a social injustice. We need to stand together as one Church to eradicate this evil from our own hearts, from the hearts of our neighbors, and from the structures of our society,” Archbishop Gomez said.
Citing Pope Francis’ recent encyclical Fratelli Tutti, Gomez said that the Gospel must be the “wellspring” for Catholics in public life.
“If we believe that God is our Father, then we must believe and act as if all men and women are our brothers and sisters,” he said. “If we believe that Jesus died for the love of every person, then we know that ‘no one is beyond the scope of his universal love,’ as the Pope writes.”
However, today’s “aggressively secular” culture seeks to drive this vision out of the public square, he said, noting the “growing censorship of Christian viewpoints on the internet and social media.”
He exhorted Catholics to pray and frequent the sacraments.
“I want to urge you to keep praying and to keep going deeper into the sources of our faith — the Gospels, the writings and lives of the saints, the Eucharist and the sacraments,” he said.
“These are for us, as the Pope says, the ‘wellspring of human dignity and fraternity.’”
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