To the editor,

The events of the past few days in our diocese and across our nation are expressions of sorrow and frustration.  Sadness at an unconscionable act that took the life of a young man in middle America despite the valiant attempt of other citizens to intervene.  The scene now embedded in our consciousness cries out with the words of the Lord in Genesis 3:10 – “What have you done? Listen, your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!”  At its heart is a central teaching of God’s law of love that all life is sacred from conception to natural death; and that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Herein lies also the frustration experienced as well:  Why doesn’t life matter?  Whether it is the life of the unborn child in the womb, the life of a brother or sister who may have a different skin color than us, the life of someone who is elderly or terminally ill, the life of a shopkeeper or public safety officer, the life of someone whose beliefs are different than ours, and the list could go on.  Unfortunately, frustration can cause us to strike out at one another like Cain did to Abel.

During this time of pandemic, it has been shown repeatedly that what best defeats COVID-19 is our conscientious adherence to practices that are considerate of our neighbors.  The same could be said today of the malaise in our country when it comes to truly caring for one another.  I grant you that I wonder how many wake-up calls it will take to get our society back on track when it comes to the precious gift that is human life.

Nonetheless, the time to act is now!  As we celebrate the great feast of Pentecost, let us pray that the Lord’s law of love will not be something we have just memorized.  Rather, may it be written on our hearts and in our daily actions.  I ask that out of respect for one another no more property or businesses in our diocese be damaged, but instead we work peacefully together to support one another and put an end to injustice and racism.  

Douglas Lucia

Bishop, Diocese of Syracuse

(1) comment


Frankly, this letter is appalling for its blatant lies, moral indifference, casual hypocrisy. The closing pleading - for protection of PROPERTY - over human lives, is offensive.

Although the letter writer does not bother to show the least respect for the murdered man by calling him by his name, the timing he cites inevitably points to the wrongful death of George Floyd who was brutally executed by a police officer, in full view of the public and multiple other police officers, on camera, without mercy or justification.

There was NO "valiant attempt of other citizens to intervene." The three police officers who did not directly participate in the murder stood idly by and did nothing useful to protect the life of the victim while he was slowly put to death. Perhaps that is why they have been charged with "aiding and abetting second degree murder". I repeat: THERE WAS NO "VALIANT ATTEMPT TO INTERVENE". There was only abject cowardice and dereliction of the 'duty of care' by those men sworn - AND PAID - to protect and serve.

As for hypocrisy, one would think that a man elevated to the rank of Bishop in the Diocese of Syracuse would have at least passing familiarity with the Bible. The chapter and verse he cited for the quotation used are NOT "Genesis 3:10".

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