Members of the Catholic community showed their support Saturday for the Black Lives Matter movement as protesters continue to demand justice for Breonna Taylor.
Organized by the group Black Catholics for Justice, the event had roughly 80 participants from several congregations who gathered in front of the Cathedral of the Assumption on Saturday morning.
After an opening prayer led by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, the group walked to the Gene Snyder Federal Building. Chants during the march included “Breonna Taylor child of God” and “We walk in justice, we walk in peace.”
Once the group reached the federal building, several members of the Catholic community spoke on the issues of racial inequity in the American judicial system, police brutality, racial profiling and racism within the Catholic Church.
One of the several speakers and a member of the Black Catholics, Tianna Barnes Palmer, called for reform both in and out of the church and acknowledged that uncomfortable conversations must be had to create change. “We are in a crucial time in America. In politics and in our church. This is a moment where people will have to decide which side you are on? Are you on the side of righteousness? Are you on the side of justice or are you on the side of white supremacy ideals? Are you on the side of systemic racism that upholds gerrymandering, voter suppression, red lining, gentrification, racial profiling, police brutality, over-sentencing and mass incarceration or are you on the side of reforming policies that were designed to exploit and oppress people of color?”
Palmer also called for the Catholic community to recognize its own issues with racism. “For years, Black Catholics have struggled with being ignored and dismissed and discriminated in our own parishes, schools, and within the arch diocese. Change the hearts, Lord, of the victimizers and reconcile their spirits for complicit silence towards injustices of Blacks in America and in the church.”