Courtesy of the Castile family

The Rt. Rev. Brian N. Prior, Bishop of Minnesota, writes on Philando Castile’s death after he was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop:

It is with great sadness that we heard the news this morning of the death of Philando Castile. Yet another in a string of tragic deaths. The violence that plagues our communities continues, the violence that permeates our culture continues to grow.

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In this moment, with this tragedy, we are asked to live into our Baptismal Covenant, the words of which hang heavy in my heart today:

Celebrant: Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

People: I will, with God’s help.

(Book of Common Prayer, pp. 304-305)

Our call is clear, our voices must be strong and resonant. We all must examine our own hearts, we must root out any violence that resides there. We must stand together to dismantle the systems and structures in our society that perpetuate violence. We must seek to live fully into God’s call to reconciliation and to justice.

Our hearts are burdened, for Philando Castile’s loved ones, for the police officers involved and their families. Our hearts are burdened with the hope for peace in our cities, in our state, in our nation and in our world.

Lord, have mercy on us.

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