One of the very sad side effects of the recent civil unrest involving racism is a rise in anti-Catholicism.

There have been a number of churches that have been vandalized and statues of Saint Juniper Serra, of the Blessed Mother, and of Jesus, which have been damaged. One statue of Mary was spray painted with the word, “IDOL.”

I hope and pray that this is a momentary rise of such hatred and violence, but we must pray that it will not continue. Unfortunately, very justifiable concerns over racism and other forms of oppression and discrimination are stirring the coals of any number of hatreds and prejudices. Violence is never a solution to any problem. It unleashes emotions and responses that are impossible to control.

We pray for an end to racism and all forms of violence and oppression and for an end to religious intolerance.