(Washington, D.C.) After former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty Tuesday on all counts of murder and manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd, Catholic Mobilizing Network joins the nation and the U.S. Church in imagining a better path forward.
“Yesterday’s guilty verdicts provided a measure of accountability, and for that, we can let out a collective exhale,” said Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, Executive Director of CMN. “But accountability is only one component of justice, and it does not bring George Floyd back from the dead. It does not repair the trauma experienced — especially by brothers and sisters of color — in witnessing a tragic public killing reminiscent of lynchings. True justice seeks to center the needs of victims, make amends, and transform broken systems. From this perspective, there is still much work to be done.”
Over the last decade, CMN’s work to end the death penalty and promote restorative justice has continually shed light on the institutionalized racism endemic to the U.S. criminal legal system.
In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the latest national reckoning on racial injustice which followed, CMN has joined a chorus of Catholic voices urging the U.S. faithful to uphold the Church’s teachings against racism, work to dismantle broken systems, and build up approaches to justice that are equitable, healing, and life-giving.
CMN affirms that wherever human dignity and relationships are violated by harm, violence, or injustice, there exists a pathway to justice that upholds human dignity, builds relationships, seeks healing, and enables transformation within individuals, communities, and social systems. Restorative justice principles and practices offer healing ways of addressing the deep harms of racial oppression and transforming the broken systems which give them rise.
“Racism is a sin, a life issue, and an unhealed wound. This is the teaching of our Church.” said Vaillancourt Murphy. “As an Easter people who ourselves have been transformed in the resurrection, we must commit to engaging in the hard and ongoing work of dismantling racism in all its ugly forms so that transformation within our communities, systems, and even ourselves may be possible.”
Catholic Mobilizing Network is a national organization that mobilizes Catholics and all people of goodwill to value life over death, to end the death penalty, to transform the U.S. criminal justice system from punitive to restorative, and to build capacity in U.S. society to engage in restorative practices.
CMN works in close collaboration with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and lives the Spirit of Unity of its sponsor, the Congregation of St. Joseph.