“This particular case is so egregious,” Rutten told CNA Wednesday, “that it’s just maddening.”
“Our faith calls us way beyond racism, into a radical unity, in the Kingdom of God. A Kingdom we're all brother and sisters. I mean truly: Really brothers and sisters,” Rutten added.
“There's a great African-American hymn: 'We've come this far by faith, leaning on his holy Word, he hasn't failed us yet.' It's just enduring faith that God will always be with us through it.”
St. Peter Claver is located in a St. Paul neighborhood where buildings were damaged by looters on Thursday evening.
“It was a crazy night, with lots going on around here,” Rutten said in a video released Friday morning.
“Just feeling very badly for our community, for so much pain, and hoping we can find ways for healing, reconciliation and peace. I know that won’t be easy.”
The parish will livestream a prayer service Friday evening.
St. Peter Claver parishioners have also called for justice.
Estelle Jones, 75, leads the social justice committee at St. Peter Claver, and facilitates a parish support group for families of incarcerated men and women.
On Tuesday, she told CNA that “I am feeling...it’s very difficult to even want to talk about it.”
“Something has to stop, I hope. It’s sad, but I hope, and it’s too sad, that George Floyd’s death would wake up the community, and the United States of America, that we stop this violence and police brutality, and this racism.”
God made all of us. It’s hard to understand why black people and brown people are hated so much. I’m devastated.”
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Jones said she watched in 2015 as police assaulted her own grandson, then in his mid-thirties, while at a traffic stop. She said her grandson “got out of his car, and, um, they— he didn’t resist them at all. In fact, he was standing with his hands in the air. The next thing we knew, they had thrown him on the ground and were tasing him.”
“We were there. My daughter, his mother, and me. This was one of the most horrible, horrific things to ever see happen to a loved one, and we were standing there.”
Jones said her grandson was hospitalized for his injuries.
“Watching what happened to George Floyd just brought back this whole situation to me. To just know what this family must be going through, what the community is going through….Something has to stop this.”
Jones said her social justice and social support work at her parish is part of her effort to help young people in the parish understand the struggle for civil rights, and an ongoing struggle for racial justice. But she says she can’t do that alone.
In his YouTube video, Rutten said the parishioners of St. Peter Claver are called to “agitate both in our Church and in our world for racial justice and peace and healing, and the reality that we truly are brothers and sisters.”