George Floyd death: Pope condemns US violence and prays for those suffering from ‘sin of racism’

Gino Spocchia
Pope Francis speaks about the United States and George Floyd: via REUTERS

Pope Francis has spoken-out against racism and called on the United States to come together amid destruction that he said was "self-destructive and self-defeating".

The pope broke his silence on Wednesday after eight nights of protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, whilst in police custody.

Dedicating the entire English-language section of his weekly audience to the US, the pope said the 46-year-old's death was "tragic".

Pope Francis added that he was praying for all who died as a result of the "sin of racism", including Mr Floyd.

"My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life," Francis said.

"At the same time, we have to recognise that the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating. Nothing is gained by violence and so much is lost," he said.

The pope then asked Americans to ask God for "the national reconciliation and peace for which we yearn".

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