Archbishop condemns racist chants by Elder student cheering section

CINCINNATI - Archbishop of Cincinnati Dennis M. Schnurr issued a statement Wednesday condemning racist chants by the Elder student cheering section during last Friday's basketball game against St. Xavier.

Schnurr said he was "deeply dismayed" and the students' behavior "falls well short of the expectations that I have of any our Catholic schools."

The archbishop said he contacted Elder Principal Kurt Ruffing "to ensure that this matter is being addressed with the urgency and seriousness that it warrants."

The entire statement, published on the Catholic Telegraph website Wednesday, reads:

"I have been made aware of the racially demeaning and hurtful language used by Elder High School students this past Friday during their basketball game against St. Xavier High School.

"Behavior such as this is directly contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and falls well short of the expectations that I have of any of our Catholic high schools. Our Catholic faith demands that we respect and love all of God’s children, and our words and actions should reflect this at all times. For that reason, I am deeply dismayed at what occurred this past Friday, and apologize on behalf of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to the St. Xavier student athletes who were the targets of these taunts, as well as to their parents and family members.

"I have been in contact with the office of the Elder principal, Mr. Kurt Ruffing, to ensure that this matter is being addressed with the urgency and seriousness that it warrants. I am confident that Mr. Ruffing shares my disappointment in what transpired, as well as my commitment to making this a teachable moment that instills a greater sense of Christian charity and justice in our students."

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