After the events in Minneapolis and the demonstrations worldwide we feel powerless and outraged, yet we continue to believe and work for a spirit of openness and participation so as to address the deepest needs of our time.
“While we still have before our eyes the recent events that once again highlight the odious reality of racial injustice and violence, we are broken-hearted. We feel powerless and outraged. Yet we continue to hope.”
These are some of the initial expressions of the statement by the Focolare community in the U.S.A., expressing its commitment to racial justice in the wake of the events in Minneapolis and the protests we are witnessing around the world. This commitment is shared globally and we reaffirm it here on behalf of the members of the Focolare Movement worldwide.
With Pope Francis and many religious and civil leaders, we too affirm that “we cannot tolerate or close our eyes to any kind of racism or exclusion” and that we are committed to “supporting the more difficult right and just actions instead of the easy wrongs of indifference,” as the US bishops claim. “We cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities and yet still try to profess to respect every human life. We serve a God of love, mercy and justice”.
At a time like this when “the dream of our foundress, Chiara Lubich, to see steps forward in the realization of the prayer of Jesus to the Father, ‘that all may be one’ (John 17:21) seems far away, almost out of reach”. We ask ourselves what can we do both personally and as a community? What change is needed in each of us? How can we make our voice heard in the public debate so as to support those who suffer from racism and in other ways?
“Our aim is to promote a deep spirit of open welcome and vibrant participation in our culturally diverse and multi-generational communities. We take as our guide the words of Chiara Lubich: ‘Be a family’ “ .
We believe and continue in the commitment to give life to local communities that are authentically founded on the Gospel law of fraternity; a principle and an action that unites us also to the brothers and sisters of all religions and to those who do not recognize themselves in a precise creed. We want to dedicate our efforts especially to the youngest, who may experience a particular fear and apprehension for their future.
Faced with such deep tensions and difficulties, the projects and initiatives we carry out may seem small or ineffective and there is still a long way to go. Projects such as the Economy of Communion, the Movement for Unity in Politics (Mppu) and the United World Project, the global strategy proposed by the young people of the Focolare Movement to deal with the world’s challenges on the ground, may seem like drops in the ocean, yet we are convinced that they contain seeds of powerful ideas capable of helping to address the deepest needs of our time together with many people, organizations and communities that constitute that invisible network capable of saving humanity.
  Statement of U.S. Focolare Movement: our commitment to racial justice – https://www.focolare.org/usa/files/2020/06/Focolare-Statement-on-Racial-Justice.pdf