Cardinal Urges Peace, Unity at Cathedral Mass

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Cardinal Dolan called on the need for peace and unity in the wake of killings in Texas, Minnesota and Louisiana during his Sunday Mass homily at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on July 10.

“This Sunday morning, our fears and worries for the country we so love, the country whose birthday we celebrated just last Monday, seem to dominate,” Cardinal Dolan told the congregation.

Cardinal Dolan was referring to the shooting deaths of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana by police officers, and the five police officers who were killed and seven others injured at a protest in Dallas.

“From Minnesota to Louisiana, to Texas, this ‘one nation under God’ examines its soul and asks God for healing, peace and reconciliation. Sadness and heaviness are especially present in our African-American and law enforcement communities, and this Sabbath, we pray with and for them,” Cardinal Dolan said.

On July 5, Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was shot and killed by two white police officers in Baton Rouge, La. The next day, a police officer in Falcon Heights, Minn., shot and killed Philandro Castile, a 32-year-old black man, during a traffic stop.

Protests resulted across the country on July 7, including the one in Dallas where Micah Johnson, 25, killed five Dallas police officers and injured seven officers and two civilians before being killed by a police robot.

“Everyone seems to be talking about these somber episodes of violence, and…we get fatigued listening to a whole array of experts,” Cardinal Dolan said.

“This Sunday morning, you came here to listen to the only Expert who really counts. When something is broken, we usually consult the manufacturer, the builder, the one who made it, to find out what’s wrong and how we can fix it.

“God is our Creator; when His creatures are broken, we best listen to His instructions for repair! Jesus, His Son, is our Savior. When we admit we need saving, we best listen to Him!”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also spoke at the Mass, saying the city has inherited a national problem of racism and division. The mayor said he believes a better relationship between police and the people will happen in New York with a mutual respect and each party coming to the aid of the other.

Two days earlier, the mayor addressed the issue in a press conference by saying no police officers will be patrolling solo and to expect a “very substantial police presence at all protests.”

Cardinal Dolan closed his homily by referring to words from God echoed in hearts of his followers, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you!” and “Love one another!”

“God made us in His own image and likeness; He loves us, treats us with dignity and respect, and asks us to do the same,” he said.

“Human life is sacred, never to be treated callously or carelessly, always to be revered and protected! God is our Father, we are his children, we are all one family; with special tenderness for the weak, sick, vulnerable and poor.”

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