Vatican City, Jun 5, 2020 / 06:00 am America/Denver (CNA).
A U.S. Vatican cardinal will lead prayers for George Floyd in Rome Friday.
Cardinal Kevin Farrell will preside at a prayer service at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere June 5 at 7 p.m. local time. Farrell, the prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, is the Vatican’s highest-ranking U.S. official.
The service is being organized by the Community of Sant’Egidio, a lay Catholic association founded in 1968 by Andrea Riccardi. In a June 4 press release, the community said participants would pray for “peaceful coexistence” in the U.S., which has been rocked by protests since Floyd was killed in police custody May 25.
Footage of the arrest, which caused widespread outrage, showed a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds while other officers looked on. Floyd could be heard saying “I can’t breathe,” “Mama,” and “Please” before he died.
The prayer service will coincide with a demonstration in solidarity with protesters in the U.S. to be held Friday evening in Rome’s Piazza Barberini.