Our statement on the killing of George Floyd

The Gospel has been denied, again.

Catholic Volunteer Network is heartbroken by the killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and the countless Black and brown men and women who have died at the hands of those who are sworn to protect. We stand with thousands of people around this country who are actively and peacefully pursuing solidarity with one another.

As Christians trying to follow Jesus’ example of mercy, healing and unity, we are saddened and angered by events of the past week. They have been a clear reminder of hatred, racism, and abuse of power that has plagued People of Color in this country for 400 years. So much about this situation violates core CVN values of working from Gospel-based principles; promoting social justice for all; and seeking inclusivity and collaboration.

We are brought low because recent actions disregard the Greatest Commandment: love your neighbor as yourself. We have made diversity a major focus of our mission and have worked hard to help our members become better allies to those suffering discrimination and living in fear. Our goal remains transformation within our hearts, alongside others, that can lead to healing.

Although justice has long been denied, we will continue the journey to attain it. We will listen better to all people. We will reflect more deeply on our own struggles with racial justice. We will empower our members to inspire volunteers and communities to thirst for justice. As a faith-based organization, we will strive to stand out as leaders and not blend into the background.

CVN affirms our commitment to justice, inclusivity, and diversity. We are proud of hundreds of member programs who humbly pursue these values, while recognizing that the ideals cannot be realized without more action to dismantle racism. We will help members speak and act to bring about change. With God’s help, our witness and collaboration with others will make a difference.

“At the core of the virtue of solidarity is the pursuit of justice and peace”
(US Conference of Catholic Bishops)

CVN Board of Directors
June 4, 2020

Our Prayer for Transformation

We strive to focus more clearly on challenging systems that foster injustice. And so we pray for transformation:

We grieve for our own shortcomings along the journey.

We pray that in listening to the voices of people of color, speaking out against racism, and strengthening our commitment to racial justice, that God and others help us witness better to what is possible.

We are angry. We are sad. We are confused.

We mourn the loss of George Floyd and other Black and brown victims of racism.

We mourn being complicit in systems that allow this to happen time and time again.

We will do what we can to offer hope through service grounded in values of justice that transform.

(CVN Racial Justice and Diversity Committee)

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