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Parish apologises for sign

The sign in situ before it was removed. PHOTO/FILE

ARTHUR HAWKES
[email protected]

The Pastoral Council for the Wairarapa Catholic Parish has issued a formal apology for the ‘All Lives Matter’ sign displayed outside St. Patrick’s Church last week, which garnered coverage from every major media outlet in New Zealand.

“St Patrick’s Church Masterton and the Pastoral Council of the Catholic Parish of Wairarapa sincerely apologise for the hurt and distress that the sign posted outside the church last week has caused to many members of our community,” it said.

“Our Parish Council and community will stand against and speak out against all racism, including the institutional racism suffered by many people all over the world. Black Lives Matter.”

Cardinal Dew, the Catholic Archbishop of Wellington, said the sign was placed when the parish priest was away last week.

National outrage came after media coverage of the signage.

‘All Lives Matter’ was established to negate the legitimacy of ‘Black Lives Matter’, the protest movement formed in 2013 to protest structural and systemic racism facing black and brown people globally.

As antiracist activism has intensified in recent weeks, after the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, USA, the use of ‘All Lives Matter’ has been a response, particularly in far-right circles – thought to be an attempt to dismiss the antiracist protest movement and its aims.

The apology will be put in this week’s parish newsletter for distribution this weekend at churches.

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