WASHINGTON – The Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral, and the Rev. Canon Leonard L. Hamlin Sr., the Cathedral’s canon missioner and minister for equity and inclusion, issued the following statement after the guilty verdicts delivered in the murder trial of Ahmaud Arbery: 

The loss of any life is tragic, and the pain is even more acute when an innocent man dies as the result of vigilante justice, racism and gun violence. The death of Ahmaud Arbery was heartbreaking, tragic and unnecessary, and we are grateful that justice was served in the verdict delivered today. We pray for parents who have lost a son, three men who have been convicted of murder and the families who are forever changed.

On this eve of Thanksgiving, we give thanks for a legal system where judges and ordinary citizens come together to seek truth and justice. We remember the Arbery family–and far too many families in this country–who gather together amidst an empty chair at the table as a painful reminder of loss. 

Even as we give thanks, we pray that all Americans can find their way to seeing in each other a beloved child of God. The building of God’s beloved community requires each of us to work towards a world where all are valued and respected. This community building is a journey of both faith and action, requiring our best selves and our individual commitment to our nation’s highest ideals. And while America has not yet lived into her full potential, every act that promotes justice takes us one step closer to that more perfect Union. We have taken another step today, but we pray for the grace and the strength to continue the work of building a nation where we can truly say that there is “liberty and justice for all.”

Kevin Eckstrom, 202-390-0240, [email protected]


About Washington National Cathedral
Grounded in the reconciling love of Jesus Christ, Washington National Cathedral is a house of prayer for all people, conceived by our founders to serve as a great church for national purposes.