In wake of Castile verdict, Archbishop Hebda calls for unity

| June 18, 2017 | 6 Comments

Two days after a jury’s acquittal of former St. Anthony Police Officer Jeronimo Yanez of second-degree manslaughter charges in the shooting death of Philando Castile sparked public protests, Archbishop Bernard Hebda called for unity.

In a June 18 statement on the Church’s feast of Corpus Christi, or the Body and Blood of Christ, Archbishop Hebda said the solemnity “draws our focus … to the Eucharist and its role as the sacrament of unity.”

“Let us be sure to pray that we, having been nourished by the Lord’s body and blood, might be instruments of unity in our families, our parishes and our communities,” said the archbishop, who leads the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. “I ask all Catholics and all who will worship with us this weekend to pray in particular for a mending of divisions along lines of race, religion and national origin, that all too often find expression in violence, hatred, prejudice and mistrust.”

He continued: “Let us look for opportunities as individuals and parish families to be promoters of authentic dialogue and encounter in our neighborhoods and communities. Knowing that Christ himself prayed that we might all be one, we can be confident that the Lord will bless our efforts to be peacemakers.”

Archbishop Hebda’s statement was issued following multiple public demonstrations protesting the June 16 verdict.

Yanez shot Castile, who was black, multiple times during a traffic stop July 6, 2016, in Falcon Heights, which contracts with the St. Anthony Police. The aftermath was livestreamed by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was in the vehicle along with her 4-year-old daughter. Yanez testified that he did not want to shoot Castile, but feared for his life after Castile told him he was carrying a gun and appeared to reach for it.

Although Castile was not Catholic, his funeral was held at the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul.

According to the city of St. Anthony, Yanez will not return to its police force.


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Category: Local News

  • Blue

    Yes, pray!
    “The New North shared Mista Maeham’s post.
    They got a lot of Klans men with badges patrolling our streets! Be careful!!!! Video coming EXTRA soon!! “WHITE SHEETS” press play ????

  • Charles C.

    There are many who can be reached, and some who can’t. By all means, evangelize, bring peace and friendship to those in need. Prayer is vital when our minds are under attack by worldly and spiritual pressures attempting to push us to evil.

    Remember, however, that there are some who live on hate. There are those who depend on erroneous and ugly beliefs for a sense of self worth. Some, also, who gain money, influence and political power from being hateful. They have no wish for dialogue, dialogue is a threat to them.

    We must excuse Mrs. Castile, I’m sure she is temporarily out of her mind due to grief, as any parent would be. But there is no excuse for Black Lives Matter (BLM), or any other individual or group who hears of a Black man being shot by a policeman and begins to protest, sometimes violently, knowing nothing else about the case. These are people who hear a jury declaring “Not guilty” and decide the jury is racist, regardless of the number of Blacks on it.

    The groups that hold themselves out to be representatives of the Black community should, more often than not, be given the very lowest priority in any attempt at dialogue.

    If you ask BLM, for example, what they want, they will tell you:

    Full access to any public school, college, and university in the country with free tuition plus payments to cover all food, housing, transportation, healthcare, and childcare. Oh, and the elimination of all student debt.

    An end to police drones and body cameras.

    Elimination of all jails, prisons and youth facilities as they currently exist.

    A check for everyone in the country, employed or not, which would provide a guaranteed livable income, with extra money for Blacks.

    Government control over the use and distribution of resources.

    And on, and on.

    There is no dialogue possible here, it is sheer insanity. BLM knows that it is impossible, they maintain these demands to insure they can continue to exist and protest the failure of society to meet their demands.

    So feel free to meet and talk with neighbors and others, it’s a good idea and Christ encouraged it. But please, (and I’m addressing some Catholic priests, bishops, and theologians who support BLM) walk away from the people who won’t give up their hate because they need it as they need oxygen.

    • Suzanne

      Oh my goodness, Charles, really. Your post is so full of hate and misinformation that it stuns one to read it. Can you see no irony in your statement near the end about walking away from the people who won’t give up their hate when your heart is so full of hate that you feel the need to post as you did? Please think about where the Christian care and concern is in what you wrote and why on earth a simple statement made by the Archbishop would lead you to respond in such a way.

      • Charles C.

        Thank you, Suzanne, for responding. Perhaps you can help me further. Shall we start with the idea of misinformation? The demands I listed were taken from their website, so I assume those to be accurate.

        The idea that some people are wedded to hate, they hug it and hold on to it for various reasons, is not unreasonable. Surely that is not misinformation, so what misinformation have I provided? I will be happy to correct my thinking if the information I base my conclusions on is wrong. And, I’ll apologize profusely.

        Why did I write it? Because I don’t believe that dialogue alone is helpful when it consists primarily of one side lecturing the other and making demands. That has happened too often, and nothing has occurred to make me think there will be a different result this time. Of course, prayer is good, that’s a given. But more consideration needs to be given to dealing with the people pushing hatred.

        Now, if you are really concerned about hate (And I don’t hate people. Some scare me, but that’s different.), look at Blue’s post and follow her links. THAT is real hatred. Compared to what’s posted there, I’m not even mildly annoyed.

        By the way, where do you see hatred in my post? Show me the sentences that are hateful. Tell me to whom my hate is directed. My post is full of hate? Identify it so I can correct what is wrong.

        • Nancy

          Unfortunately, Charles makes an accurate point. There are indeed people who cry out for “a conversation” when in reality they desire only to have a command audience, instruct them on how their views are wrong and then demand they be enlightened on how they should rightly think. And when these ideas are not immediately accepted and applauded, those who attempt to offer a differing view are subjected to being catagorized as being the problem for pointing out a problem. Sometimes there is no dialogue or conversation that can happen. We need to be taught again how to talk to and listen to one another.

          Regarding the point about immediate protest before any investigation commences, I also agree with Charles. I also think law enforcement, city and state officials need to be very public and begin teaching our community what police may lawfully request of those they stop and when use of deadly force is appropriate without the idealistic idea that the officer must first exhaust all various avenues and hours in a day to desculate a situation. For example, if a person is within 20′ and is approaching an officer with a knife and threatening to harm the officer, as just happened on the west coast, the officer is legally authorized to use deadly force. They do not need to first be impaled before they can act. Comments regarding that incident included the perpetrator was a small woman and the officers ought to have overpowered her. This is unreasonable once someone understands the lethal harm she was both threatening and reasonablly able to perform. This is taught in permit to carry classes. It would be good for our law enforcement, city and state officials — even the media — to start teaching the general population.

          We need to hear from people who experience great fear regarding the police and how they perceive they are being unfairly treated or profiled or stopped. We must also hear about the nature of police officers’ job, how they are trained, what state law mandates they do, and how decisions they make are based on training and not because they wish to commit murder.

      • Charles C.

        Dear Suzanne, I understand that there is disagreement between us. But isn’t that the perfect time for dialogue? What’s the sense in only speaking with those you agree with?

        Here we are, anonymous, with no personal stake in the outcome (neither of us would lose our jobs or suffer harassment). Isn’t this the perfect opportunity to talk things out and see if we can reach some understanding and common ground?

        If we can’t do it, how can anyone?