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Archbishop Schnurr urges prayer for “end to hatred and division”

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A protester prays near Dallas police officers July 7 after police officers were shot during a protest in Dallas. Snipers shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven more at the demonstration to protest the police killing of black men in Baton Rouge, La., and St. Paul, Minn. Two civilians also were injured in Dallas. (CNS photo/Ralph Lauer, EPA)
A protester prays near Dallas police officers July 7 after police officers were shot during a protest in Dallas. Snipers shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven more at the demonstration to protest the police killing of black men in Baton Rouge, La., and St. Paul, Minn. Two civilians also were injured in Dallas. (CNS photo/Ralph Lauer, EPA)

An email from Archbishop of Cincinnati Dennis M. Schnurr sent to priests on Friday urged prayer for an end to hatred and division in the wake of several high-profile acts of violence around the U.S.

Referencing the “questionable” police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana, as well as the attack on police Thursday in Dallas, Texas, Archbishop Schnurr wrote, “Our faith, however, is not shaken. In times like these, we look to God for answers.”

After adding his thoughts on this weekend’s readings for Mass, which include Christ’s command to love one’s neighbor, the archbishop asked priests to use a particular intention during the prayers of the faithful.

“For an end to hatred and division; for those killed by violence in recent events in our country; for the wisdom and desire to seek ways of love and respect for one another; for law enforcement officers who seek to maintain safety on our streets; and for a true commitment to overcome division in America. We pray to the Lord,” he wrote.

The Catholic Social Action Office of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati published the letter to its email subscribers, asking all people to pray the intercession. The Catholic Social Action Office also included links to various resources on racial discussions.

The full text of Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr’s message to priests follows:

Dear Brothers in Holy Orders,

We are all shocked by the tragic violence which exploded in our country once again this week – the sniper attack on police officers in Dallas following questionable police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana. Our faith, however, is not shaken. In times like these, we look to God for answers.

And Sunday’s readings do give us answers. In the first reading, Moses reminds us that God’s law is not mysterious or remote but already written in our hearts for us to carry out. In the Gospel, Jesus puts that law into words when he says “love your neighbor as yourself.”

The week’s events underscore the urgency of every parish working to heal divisions that keep people from being truly neighbors. More immediately, I urge that you use the following intercession, or something similarly comprehensive, at Mass this weekend:

For an end to hatred and division; for those killed by violence in recent events in our country; for the wisdom and desire to seek ways of love and respect for one another; for law enforcement officers who seek to maintain safety on our streets; and for a true commitment to overcome division in America. We pray to the Lord.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Fraternally yours in Christ,
+Dennis M. Schnurr
Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr
Archbishop of Cincinnati

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