Bishop Gregory O. Brewer of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida Calls for Prayer, Accountability and Civil Discourse in the Wake of Capitol Attack

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Condemnation of the violent attack on the Capitol Building should be accompanied by condemnation of the language used to foment it. Bishop Gregory O. Brewer writes, “We have been steeped in a political discourse shaped by lies for so long; we as a nation live in two distinctly different realities. The challenge is not merely to get along, but to discover again the common truths that define our common life.”

During the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., The Rt. Rev. Gregory O. Brewer, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida, denounced the assault and released a statement with an urgent call to prayer. “This violence must be publicly and unequivocally condemned,” Brewer wrote. “While this is a developing story, it is critical that we pray now. The light we can shine in the darkness is the light of prayer. Prayer is ours to do and is indispensable, especially in this national crisis.”

Reflecting on the attack, which took place on the Christian Feast of the Epiphany, Brewer noted that condemnation of the violence should be accompanied by condemnation of the language used to foment it. “It is dreadful that few, if any, of those who used their words to encourage this violence have not expressed any regret or remorse for using language that incited these lawbreakers. They, too, should be held accountable,” Brewer wrote in his “Reflections on the Morning After Epiphany 2021.”

With pastoral and patriotic concern, Brewer further appealed to readers that they refuse to tolerate “dehumanizing rhetoric or public policies that put down one group of people as a way of protecting another group.”

The images of the attack on the Capitol moved Brewer to tears, he wrote, as he described what he saw as “a raw display of fury, rebellion and sedition.” He went on to note the particularly troubling use of Christian symbols by the violent mob.

“The challenge before us is immense,” wrote Brewer. “We have been steeped in a political discourse shaped by lies for so long; we as a nation live in two distinctly different realities. The challenge is not merely to get along, but to discover again the common truths that define our common life.”

Brewer concluded his reflections with an additional appeal to prayer, noting that God has given us both the capacity to know truth as well as “tools for reconciliation, forgiveness, justice and mercy.”

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The Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida comprises over 80 congregations divided into five deaneries across 15 counties in Central Florida. It includes over 200 active priests, approximately 100 active deacons, over 27,000 parishioners, as well as dozens of schools, Camp Wingmann, Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center and the Institute for Christian Studies as resources for people of all ages to explore and grow in their faith.

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