ROME (AP) — The highest-ranking American at the Vatican will lead a prayer service on Friday in Rome to pray for “peaceful coexistence” following the death of George Floyd and protests that erupted across the U.S.
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, an Irish-born naturalized U.S. citizen, is the prefect of the Vatican’s family and laity office.
The Sant’Egidio Community, a Catholic charity close to Pope Francis, is organizing the evening prayer at its Santa Maria in Trastevere church. Francis this week decried Floyd’s death and the “sin of racism” and denounced violence as “self-destructive and self-defeating.”
He’s appealed for national reconciliation and peace.
Farrell was bishop in Dallas, Texas, and an auxiliary bishop of Washington D.C. before taking his current job in 2016.
George Floyd will be memorialized by family, friends and celebrities on Thursday afternoon at the Frank J Lindquist sanctuary at North Central University in Minneapolis.
Inside the sanctuary sits the gold casket and a portrait of Floyd. The blue and orange mural painted at the site of Floyd’s makeshift memorial is projected above the pulpit.
The Rev. Al Sharpton is among those who planned to speak. Those expected to attend include Martin Luther King III; the Rev. Jesse Jackson; Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz; Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey; St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter; U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar; U.S Sen. Amy Klobuchar and others.
Other services will be held in Raeford, North Carolina, and Houston.