April 20, 2021 - 12:08 PM

Statement from the Cathedral on the Trial of Derek Chauvin

From the Dean, Chapter and Clergy of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine:

With the rest of the world, we at the Cathedral await the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd. The image of Mr. Floyd slowly dying under Mr. Chauvin’s knee haunts us.

We do not presume to pass legal judgment on Mr. Chauvin. Yet we do not hesitate to pass judgment on a system that has oppressed people of color from the first days of European colonization. The Theology Committee of the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops wrote just a few months ago, “All Episcopalians but especially white Episcopalians must acknowledge the active and substantial role played by the institutional church, including the Anglican Communion, and The Episcopal Church, in constructing, maintaining, defending, and profiting from this monstrous sin and scandal.”

We accept our part in the racism embedded in our American culture, and we admit that many of us profit from it: psychologically, socially, and financially. As one of our liturgies says, “We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf.” Racism is a learned attitude and a chosen behavior. As Christians, we commit to repenting of both; and to pray that God will give us the grace to change.

We invite all the people of New York to join us on the steps of the Cathedral at noon the day after the verdict. Come to the Cathedral to pray, comfort one another, and to strengthen our resolve to end the sin of racism.

April 20, 2021

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