Long Island Bishop Provenzano’s statement on Ferguson, Missouri

Posted Nov 25, 2014

[Episcopal Diocese of Long Island] As we awaken this morning to images of violence and the destruction of property in Ferguson and other cities, and confront our anger and disappointment at the decision of the grand jury in Ferguson, I am struck by how much work is before us.

I am struck by how many words have been spoken and how little real change has occurred in understanding issues of race in our nation.

If, as it appears by the evidence presented, the law is on the side of an armed police officer shooting an unarmed suspect, then the law must be changed and evenly applied to all people; the police better trained to defuse confrontation with the public and above all a recognition of the issues of race and prejudice that inform the actions of all involved.

I must recommend to the people of our Diocese the Pastoral Letter of the Bishops of the Church in 1994.  We must make it our work to go back and read and learn and then apply the wisdom of our tradition to this and every other situation that so affects God’s people.

Our prayers go out to the family of Michael Brown, the police and their families, and the people of Ferguson.

Our prayers go out for peace, calm and faithful indignation that will bring about change. Real and lasting change.

The Right Reverend Lawrence C. Provenzano
Bishop of Long Island
The Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk
The Episcopal Diocese of Long Island