BOSTON (AP) — Cardinal Sean O’Malley is calling for prayers in the aftermath of the deaths of unarmed black men in New York City and Ferguson, Missouri.

The Archdiocese of Boston released a blog post from O’Malley, who says the Christian Advent season is a time to spread hope, peace and compassion.

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The cardinal asks the nation to pray for the families of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, and Eric Garner, who died after a white officer placed him in a chokehold.

Grand juries in both cases did not return indictments against the officers, triggering widespread and sometimes violent protests.

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O’Malley said in his blog Friday that every person’s dignity, regardless of race, “must be respected and protected.”

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