Jules Gomes reports for ChurchMilitant.com – English bishops have joined the chorus of U.S. prelates condemning “systemic racism” as “an evil which must be opposed” following the brutal killing of George Floyd.
Bishop Declan Lang, lead bishop for international affairs and Bp. Paul McAleenan, lead bishop for racial justice, issued a statement Wednesday “in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the U.S.,” declaring “racism is an evil which must be opposed; we all have a responsibility for actively promoting racial justice.”
On behalf of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, the bishops praised the “peaceful Black Lives Matter protests taking place in our towns and cities this week,” which “reflect the understandable anger that so many people feel about this.”
English Catholics slammed the bishops’ statement as “a half-truth” as violence erupted in London after Black Lives Matter protesters attacked police near the Prime Minister’s residence in Downing Street, hurling bottles and barricades and forcing law enforcement officers to “take a knee.”
Police arrested 13 rioters as a police van was attacked and a cameraman covering the protests was left bloodied by protestors flinging missiles. Agitators defied social distancing rules — government guidelines that have forced bishops to delay the reopening of churches, despite persistent pleas from faithful Catholics.
“By only calling out the murder of George Floyd and ignoring the murder of black ex-police captain David Dorn by looters, the bishops appear to suggest that some black lives matter more than other black lives if they happen to be former law enforcement trying to protect property from looters,” outspoken cleric Nick Donnelly told Church Militant.
The respected commentator explained that the episcopal press release “reads like a leftwing statement that only talks about peaceful protests and avoids mentioning the violent riots that have claimed 12 lives in the United States as well as completely turning a blind eye to the industrial-scale looting, vast destruction of property and the brutal violence against shop owners and law enforcement.”
“When bishops of a foreign country comment on the social and political matters of another country, they’d better be scrupulously careful to avoid being seen as partisan and biased, particularly during an election year,” the Catholic deacon from the diocese of Lancaster warned. “This partisanship is what is tearing the U.S. and the U.K. apart.”
“The English bishops’ statement on the events around George Floyd’s murder isn’t careful enough. The problem with it is not what it says, its what it misses out. It’s a half-truth and half-truths can become lies,” Donnelly added.
“Systemic racism is embedded in our own society. The disproportionate harm suffered by BAME [Black and Minority Ethnic] people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted profound inequalities, marginalization and injustice here in the U.K.” the bishops maintained.
But British politician David Kurten told Church Militant that “today’s bishops are far more like cultural Marxists than teachers of Christianity. Like the followers of Saul Alinsky, they feign selective outrage to foment revolution.”
Kurten, a long-time campaigner against the government’s pro-LGBT primary school sex education — a syllabus supported by many Catholics schools and some bishops — insisted that “the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis was a terrible crime. It is right to condemn it and to see [that] the individual who did it faces justice.”
But “these politically-motivated bishops of Marxism have joined the far-left mainstream media and Antifa in attempting to whip up the resentment of the nation among the black community,” the member of the London Assembly lamented.
Kurten, a committed Christian, added:
This is grossly irresponsible and the bishops’ hypocrisy is evident. They blame systemic injustice rather than upholding principles of individual responsibility and common law. They will say nothing about the tens of thousands of victims of grooming and rape gangs in the U.K. and the 9 million unborn British children who have been killed in abortion mills over the last 50 years.
Church Militant wrote to Bp. Lang and Bp. McAleenan asking why the bishops are speaking out now when they were “astonishingly silent on the industrial scale rape of white, working-class English girls by mainly Pakistani Muslim men” in England.
Church Militant also asked “why the bishops speak out only on matters deemed to be politically correct” and whether the bishops recognized “the black community in the United States, according to distinguished African American economists like Thomas Sowell, is devastated not by racism but by endemic fatherlessness and by the culture of dependence created by the Democrat party.”
Church Militant’s letters to both bishops further queried the missing condemnation of “the violence, much of it against black people, that has so far claimed the lives of over 12 innocent people and resulted in anarchy and destruction,” and asked if the bishops were prepared to denounce Planned Parenthood for its targeting of black unborn babies resulting in a genocide of black people.
No response was received as of press time.
On Wednesday, Professor Thomas Sowell tweeted: “Racism is not dead. But it is on life-support, kept alive mainly by the people who use it for an excuse or to keep minority communities fearful or resentful enough to turn out as a voting bloc on election day.”
American talk show host and political analyst Mark Levin also tweeted: “Several law-abiding African Americans have been murdered by rioters, including David Dorn and David Patrick Underwood.”
But “the death of these and other African Americans, as well as those beaten by rioters, and black-owned shops looted and burned, are all but ignored by the Black Lives Matter movement and their celebrity advocates.”
The Wall Street Journal reported the brunt of the violence unleashed by Black Lives Matter and Antifa has been borne by ethnic minority businesses like “small variety stores, takeout restaurants, beauty salons and other mom-and-pop operations, most owned and operated by African Americans and immigrants.”
Violent protests engulfed the United States after George Floyd, an unarmed black man, died on May 25 in Minneapolis when a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for nine minutes while Floyd repeatedly complained that he could not breathe.