Fr. Mark Francis, CSV, serves as president of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. He issued this response
to the deadly unrest which took place Aug. 12 in Charlottesville, VA, and in doing so, he reflected the thoughts of many of the members of the Viatorian Community across the Chicago Province.
“We cannot look at the violence in Charlottesville without a sense of grief and sadness, not just about the injuries people have suffered and the loss of life, but also about what is happening in the United States.
Charlottesville has offered us discouraging evidence of how much our national commitment to sharing our country and its values with one another is in jeopardy during these times. The increasing violence we have seen against our sisters and brothers of the Jewish and Muslim communities, the gun violence that plagues our streets, and a growing unwillingness to welcome immigrants who come to live in our country testify to the danger we face as we attempt to build a society that advances the common good.
Catholic Theological Union joins the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, religious leaders everywhere, and all Americans who deplore what has happened in Charlottesville and what is happening in the United States.
In the light of our faith that emphasizes that all human beings are made in God’s likeness and our common commitment to equality enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we will continue to advance dialogue among peoples.
Especially through programs promoted by CTU’s Bernardin Center, we will search for common ground as we remember the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “reform will not happen, nor the cure for racism and other oppressive injustices be found, unless we make the reform happen, unless we find the cure.”
Our work together goes on.
Rev. Mark R. Francis, CSV