“May the Prince of Peace put an end to this strife, and bring healing and constructive criticism in the place of mob rule. And may God bless America,” the archbishop said.
Gomez entrusted the country to the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, asking, “May she guide us in the ways of peace, and obtain for us wisdom and the grace of a true patriotism and love of country.”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Twitter account said, “Lord God of peace, hear our prayer.”
It also broadcast a prayer from the National Shrine: “Let us pray for peace in our nation. Mary Immaculate, pray for us!”
Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore called the protests “shocking and unlawful.”
“We fervently pray for peace and for God’s protection over our country, our lawmakers, and all those in harm’s way this terrible day. May peace-loving Americans of good will throughout the United States come together to engender peace, reconciliation and healing in our wounded and broken nation, which remains and must always be one, under God.”
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn called for prayer for the nation “on this unprecedented day of national chaos, so that we can return to the rule of law.”
“We are better than this. We as a people have always respected our differences. The peaceful transfer of power is the hallmark of our democracy,” he said.
The protests seeking to overturn the presidential election results followed various claims that the presidential ballot results in some states were fraudulent. Some protesters appeared to think there was still a path for President Donald Trump to win the presidency, despite presumptive President-Elect Joe Biden’s decisive electoral college victory.
More than 150 Republican lawmakers sought to question the legitimacy of election results in some states, but Vice President Mike Pence, who can vote to break ties in the U.S. Senate, refused any suggestion that he act to block certification of the election.
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Trump himself has stoked claims that the election was stolen and has not conceded, even in the same statements in which he has told protesters to go home. Twitter has started to remove some of his posts, and Facebook has removed some of his videos.
In a Wednesday morning appearance at a rally outside the White House, Trump encouraged supporters to march to the capitol. Some protesters clashed with police, while others intimidated capitol guards into retreating without significant contact.
Some wore “Make America Great” hats or other regalia associated with Trump’s campaign. Many carried U.S. flags or Donald Trump flags and some carried Confederate flags.
Some protesters attacked news media, while dozens of others pressed forward into the Capitol Building in defiance of capitol police, breaking windows and forcing open doors.
Lawmakers took shelter, sometimes in their offices, and put on gas masks after security used gas masks in their defense, the Associated Press said. Protesters occupied the office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the chambers of Congress.
Critics of the president, including some Republicans, blamed him for inciting the protesters.
At least one bomb was found at the headquarters of the Republican National Committee in D.C., at least one other device was discovered on the U.S. Capitol grounds, and a suspicious package at the Democratic National Committee headquarters was under investigation, the New York Times reported.