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VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - The pope has congratulated an American bishop for showing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM) while a Vatican official has compared racism to the Wuhan virus.
Pope Francis called Bp. Mark Seitz of El Paso on Wednesday to congratulate the Texas prelate for leading a public prayer demonstration in solidarity with BLM. Meanwhile, prefect of the Pontifical Council for the Family (PCF) Abp. Vincenzo Paglia compared the Wuhan virus to racism.
Wearing a protective mask and carrying a sign reading "Black Lives Matter," Seitz said, "I expressed to the Holy Father that I felt it was imperative to show our solidarity to those who are suffering."
Seitz and a group of priests from his diocese knelt for nine minutes of silence in memory of George Floyd.
In his General Audience Wednesday, the pope said, "Dear brothers and sisters in the United States, I have witnessed with great concern the disturbing social unrest in your nation in these past days, following the tragic death of Mr. George Floyd."
"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. At the same time, we have to recognize that the violence of recent nights is self-destructive and self-defeating," he added. "Today I join the Church of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and of all the United States, in praying for the rest of the soul of George Floyd and all the others who have lost their lives because of the sin of racism."
On Monday, Abp. Vincenzo Paglia said, "I would compare (racism) to COVID-19, but it is a virus of the spirit, a cultural virus that, if not isolated, spreads quickly."
"Today we must start a revolution of brotherhood. We are all brothers and sisters. Brotherhood is a promise that is lacking in modern times," continued Paglia. "In my opinion, the true strength that supports us in our weakness is brotherhood and solidarity. And just as it defeats the coronavirus, it also defeats racism."
Sticking to his analogy, the archbishop went on to say, "It's not enough to remain silent. To prevent the virus of racism from multiplying, those (who oppose racism) must also multiply."
Discussing how people must recognize "we are one family of 7 billion people" to overcome racism, Paglia concluded that it is "not that I can say to my brother, 'I don't care about you' because he's the ninth brother and I only like the first five siblings. ... I am convinced that there is a great mission for American Catholicism."
In 2019, Catholic pro-abort politician Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke, who resides in the El Paso diocese under Seitz, told Dr. Christopher Manion that Seitz never publicly condemned his 100% pro-abortion record. Seitz, who has done so privately, told Manion when pushed, "I have met with Congressman O'Rourke privately and expressed the Church's position on abortion as well as the entire range of Catholic moral and social teachings."
Beto also told Manion that Seitz had worked with him closely on immigration issues.
In July 2019, Seitz and advocacy group Hope Border Institute started a Border Refugee Assistance Fund for migrants on the border near El Paso, asking the faithful to provide direct funding.
But critics of Seitz and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) which supports these measures, say the love for refugees is really a money grab.
"They need illegal aliens to fill the churches," said Steve Bannon. "They have an economic interest. They have an economic interest in unlimited immigration — unlimited illegal immigration."
In April, Seitz tried to use the Wuhan virus to have illegal immigrants released from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) centers.
"Faith and reason tell us that the right thing to do right now is to protect each other by taking steps toward social distancing," said Seitz. He added the "federal government has already recognized that this is very nearly impossible in facilities like prisons and detention centers."
Paglia made headlines last year for claiming it is "heresy" to say Judas Iscariot is in Hell, a position held unanimously by the saints, Fathers and Doctors of the Church.
In 2016, under Paglia, the PCF released a project titled, "The Meeting Point: Project for Affective and Sexual Formation," which contradicted teachings from Pius XI, Paul VI, John Paul II and even previous statements from the PCF.
During the summer of 2019, Paglia overhauled the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, appointing two professors known for their dissent from Catholic teaching on such topics as homosexuality and contraception.
One of those professors, Fr. Maurizio Chiodi, said the Church:
must have the courage to rethink these questions, overcoming the temptation to respond simply by invoking human "nature," understood as an unchanging substance and known to reason once and for all, in an innate way, and identified with the biological organism that becomes basic "natural datum."
Chiodi went on to say, "I would not exclude that, under certain conditions, a homosexual couple's relationship is, for that subject, the most fruitful way to live good relationships."
In January, Paglia reiterated the pope's words that there can be no compromise on the Church's teachings against euthanasia and assisted suicide. But one month earlier in December, he said he would hold the hand of somebody who chose assisted suicide.
"I believe that from our perspective, no one is abandoned, even if we are against assisted suicide, because we don't want to do death's dirty job," he said. "To accompany, to hold the hand of someone who is dying, is something that every faithful must promote as they must promote a culture that opposes assisted suicide."