BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland’s Catholic bishops say they hope and look forward to playing an active part in bringing about racial justice and ending unequal treatment.

In a letter to parishioners, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori and others serving the state wrote that while progress has been made, church leaders and the institution as a whole has not always acted in accordance with the Gospel.

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“With regret and humility, we must recognize that as Catholic leaders and as an institution we have, at times, not followed the Gospel to which we profess and have been too slow in correcting our shortcomings,” the letter reads. “For this reason, it is incumbent upon us to place ourselves at the forefront of efforts to remove the inequalities and discrimination that are still present in Maryland and our nation today.”

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The letter goes on to call George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis an “unjust killing,” adding the rallies and vigils happening in Baltimore and across the country “make it clear that the conscience of our nation is on trial as questions of race and equality confront each and every one of us.”

The bishops also commend state lawmakers who are currently forming workgroups to discuss legislative initiatives to address reform, transparency and racial equality.

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Read the latest coverage of the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis from WCCO-TV | CBS Minnesota.