Catholics join efforts to heal, clean up, move forward in Baltimore

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April 28, 2015

Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori visits a riot-stricken section of  West Baltimore April 28. During a night of unrest that erupted in response to the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody the archbishop called pastors to check on their safety and the situation in their neighborhoods. (CNS photo/Olivia Obineme, Catholic Review) See BALTIMORE-CLEANUP April 28, 2015.

Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori visits a riot-stricken section of West Baltimore April 28. During a night of unrest that erupted in response to the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody the archbishop called pastors to check on their safety and the situation in their neighborhoods. (CNS photo/Olivia Obineme, Catholic Review)

BALTIMORE (CNS) — As the city cleaned up after a night of riots, looting and fires following the funeral of Freddie Gray, Archbishop William E. Lori said the church’s place is to pray, be a voice for peace, and participate in a wider community dialogue to solve the systemic issues that led to the unrest.

Gray, 25, died April 19, one week after being arrested on a weapons charge and sustaining a severe spinal cord injury in West Baltimore while in police custody. After his funeral April 27, peaceful protests turned into unrest later in the day, leading to damage of buildings and cars, and looting and fires seen nonstop on national TV news networks.

The next morning, as Archbishop Lori, Auxiliary Bishop Denis J. Madden and other archdiocesan leaders toured the West Baltimore neighborhoods affected, adults and children with brooms and trash bags were as numerous as the rioters the night before.

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