In a soon to be released book, Pope Francis has lent his support for the protests following the killing of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer.
Titled Let Us Dream: The Path to a Better Future and coauthored by British Catholic journalist Austen Ivereigh, the 150-page book will be released through Simon & Schuster on Dec. 1. In the book, Francis discussed the death of Floyd and subsequent protests, calling on people to struggle against the abuse of systemic racism and inequality.
“Abuse is a gross violation of human dignity that we cannot allow and which we must continue to struggle against,” wrote Francis, as quoted by the Associated Press.
The pontiff also denounced some members of the Roman Catholic Church and Catholic news media outlets for turning the death of Floyd “into a cultural battle what was in truth an effort to ensure the protection of life.”
“You’ll never find such people protesting the death of George Floyd, or joining a demonstration because there are shantytowns where children lack water or education,” he added.
While expressing sympathy for the cause, Francis also cautioned against using the protests to engage in activities like vandalizing public property and controversial monuments.
“Amputating history can make us lose our memory, which is one of the few remedies we have against repeating the mistakes of the past,” stated the pontiff.
Let Us Dream is described on the Simon & Schuster website as an “uplifting and practical book” which explains how and why people should “make the world safer, fairer, and healthier for all people now.”
“… the Pope offers an inspiring and actionable blueprint for building a better world for all humanity by putting the poor and the planet at the heart of new thinking,” the description states. “For this plan, he draws not only on sacred sources, but on the latest findings from renowned scientists, economists, activists, and other thinkers.”
The book examines multiple issues, with Francis also taking issue with people in the media who are using "this crisis to persuade people that foreigners are to blame, that the coronavirus is little more than a little bout of flu, and that restrictions necessary for people’s protection amount to an unjust demand of an interfering state.”
"There are politicians who peddle these narratives for their own gain," he wrote. "But they could not succeed without some media creating and spreading them."
In May, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on the neck of Floyd for eight minutes and 46 seconds, with Floyd dying in the process.
Video of the incident was given widespread attention online and led to large-scale and sometimes violent demonstrations across the United States.
Chauvin was eventually charged with second-degree and third-degree murder and manslaughter charges. He was given a $1 million bail in October and has his next court date in March 2021.
In June, as part of their virtual general assembly, the Presbyterian Church (USA) held a moment of silence for victims of prejudice and racism that lasted eight minutes and 46 seconds.
"This vigil is not simply to remember the tragic murder of George Floyd, but to remember all the injustice suffered by black, indigenous, and people of color due to systemic racism and white supremacy,” said PC(USA) General Assembly Co-Moderator Elona Street-Stewart at the time.
“To remember the economic oppressions upon people who are poor, to remember the denial of many immigrants the rights of U.S. citizenship, to remember the iniquities suffered by those whom our nation has forsaken.”