Bishop J. Scott Mayer interrupted his sabbatical to issue a statement in the wake of the tragic shootings in Dallas last night. He is joined in this statement by Assisting Bishops Rayford B. High, Jr., and Sam B. Hulsey.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The news of the fatal shooting of four Dallas police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer in Dallas last night is horrifying and heartbreaking. Make no mistake. This is a devastating loss for their colleagues, for Dallas, for all humanity. As President Barack Obama said, it was “a vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement.”
We hold all of Dallas in prayer today.
That these shootings happened during a demonstration aimed at reforming police departments in the wake of two more shootings of black men by police officers makes them at once more heartbreaking and more dangerous. It may be tempting to lash out at those protesting, to blame the “Black Lives Matter” movement for this violence. We pray that people refrain from doing so.
The organizers of the march in Dallas emphasized as they expressed their own horror and grief that “violence doesn’t heal violence.” As they said, it is important to remember that trying to reform police departments is not about hating the police.
As this investigation unfolds, we urge all to stay centered in prayer and in the knowledge that all of us, black and white, civilian and police, are valued and beloved children of God. Our commitment in our Baptismal Covenant shows us the way forward – to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves and to strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being. Hold fast to this in the coming days.
May God help the brokenhearted, heal the wounded, comfort those who mourn, and give us the strength and courage to move forward toward a more just future.
The Rt. Rev. J. Scott Mayer, provisional bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High, Jr., assisting bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
The Rt. Rev. Sam B. Hulsey, assisting bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth