Your public response to the Derek Chauvin trial verdict has, perhaps unintentionally, served to advance a false, divisive and dangerous narrative. I speak for the many in your flock who view this as reckless irresponsibility and even heresy, as your statements are in alignment with the intrinsically evil Marxist agenda perpetuated by Black Lives Matter and “woke” elites.
By way of background, I am married to a career law enforcement officer who suffered hardships and countless nights, weekends and holidays away from our family to protect society from criminals like George Floyd, Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. I thank God he is now retired and not subject to the vilifying of uniformed men and women, which you have reinforced with your rhetoric.
Please realize that the so-called George Floyd “murder” was not racially motivated. Derek Chauvin’s trial did not prove that he killed Floyd out of racial hatred; arguably, he committed manslaughter in an overzealous attempt to subdue a rebellious prisoner. To quote a fellow Catholic, your logic in using this event to call for racial equality is “faulty and disappointing for a bishop.”
All that said, I must agree with your opening statement that “we are not done with racism.” No, indeed, “we” (meaning you, your USCCB cohorts, and BLM) are stoking the fires of racism and ensuring it permeates our culture.
Like so many who holler “racist!”, you proclaim systemic discrimination against non-white people without providing meaningful examples. Do tell us, Your Excellency, where and how in the Diocese of Jefferson City are these individuals “being humiliated and denigrated because of their race”? Can you please help us understand how non-white persons in your diocese are experiencing “moments of humiliation and danger” by “attending public events, shopping or walking by an impromptu social gathering”?
I grew up in this diocese in the Sixties, when racism was a valid concern in some parts of our nation more than others. Even then, however, politically motivated forces were at work to instill racial hatred where it did not exist. Riots ensued in my community where, by and large, everyone had lived in relative peace. Overnight, white people became the enemy, and non-white people became state-sanctioned victims. Any real or perceived inequality in those days was firmly addressed with anti-discrimination laws and the imposition of racial quotas in government and in the private sector.
Today the population in our diocese is a virtual tapestry of Black, Latino, Asian, Middle-Eastern and more (not to mention the multitude of religious and sexual persuasions which far too many in the hierarchy applaud in violation of the Solemn Magisterium). We interact with one another in stores and restaurants, in our jobs, in our schools, at community events, at church. We live, work, socialize and pray together. We band together to help our neighbors in need. And from time to time, this thing you call “racism” is displayed by people of every creed and color in the mix.
Yet you have issued a public statement admonishing only white people. Is that not racist, Your Excellency? You are saying that simply because God created me as a white person, I cause non-whites whom I encounter to “internalize each day” some level of “pain and suffering”, even “terror”. Imagine the outrage if you said this about any other race of people! This narrative, this madness, is inciting distrust, hatred and violence—real racism. I beg you to stop pointing fingers, and instead look to the Truth of our faith:
For you are all the children of God by faith, in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you be Christ’s, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to the promise. (Galatians, 3:26-29)
Meanwhile, you are silent about the increasing confusion emanating from the chair of Peter occupied by a scandalous man. To my knowledge you have never addressed the blasphemous pagan worship of Pachamama conducted by Pope Francis; nor his statements in Amoris Laetitia leading divorced and remarried Catholics to believe they may receive Holy Communion in their objective state of sin; nor his endorsement of same-sex civil unions; nor his Fratelli Tutti encyclical laced with the principles of Freemasonry; nor his unprecedented and perplexing change of the words our Father gave us, from “lead us not into temptation” to “do not abandon us”; nor his assertion that the Blessed Mother is not our Co-Redemptrix; nor his celebration and glorification of the heretic, Martin Luther; nor his support of world elites who are openly and aggressively promoting contraception and abortion . . . the list is simply too long to continue!
You are throwing the lambs and sheep of this diocese to the wolves, Bishop McKnight.
Instead of issuing statements to correct and clarify Church teaching in order to save souls, you have joined the “woke” culture in advancing a Marxist takeover. You ignite racism. You require Mass-goers and Catholic schoolchildren to wear a political symbol on their faces, despite scientific proof that facemasks do not prevent COVID-19 and are even harmful. Perhaps most egregiously, you endorse abortion-tainted, experimental, highly questionable and potentially deadly injections for “the common good.”
Sadly, you have rendered yourself irrelevant to the remaining devout and informed Catholics in your shrinking diocese—people who have found “the pearl of great price” in our faith and, with God’s grace, will not abandon it along with so many of our shepherds. We continue to pray for you and for our brethren who are lost and misled by what you have said and failed to say.