Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, spoke out in solidarity with the black community and protestors of all races following George Floyd’s death in late May. 

“My friends, we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form and yet claim to defend the sacredness of every human life,” the pope said.

On Wednesday, the pope sent a powerful letter addressing the protestors and Floyd’s family.

“Let us pray for the consolation of their grieving families and friends and let us implore the national reconciliation and peace for which we yearn,” the pope said. “May Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mother of America, intercede for all those who work for peace and justice in your land and throughout the world.”

Before the protests, the pope has stood firm against any form of discrimination. In 2013, he addressed a group from the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Rome. “Today I wish to emphasize that the problem of intolerance must be confronted in all its forms: wherever any minority is persecuted and marginalized because of its religious convictions or ethnic identity, the wellbeing of society as a whole is endangered and each one of us must feel affected,” he said.