Bishops Intensify Battle Against Racism
U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, have intensified battle against the negative vice.
The group’s chairman, George V. Murry, in his first address to the bishops’ conference on Monday, stated that the group’s goal included organizing dialogues to foster conversion of hearts.
“Our faith gives us confidence that Christ wishes to break down the walls created by the evils of racism. He wants us utilize us as his instruments in this great work,” Murry said.
“This call is embedded in the Gospel message,” he said, “As we respond to those who even today continue to suffer from racism.”
According to CNA, the committee was established in late August, after white supremacists and neo-Nazis rallied in Charlottesville, Va., and a 20 year-old man drove a car into the counter-protest, killing one and injuring 19.
While emphasizing the importance of the committee’s work, Bishop Murry said,
“Some people think that there is no need to confront racism, or that we should confront it only in private,
“To confront racism is essential – in fact, necessary – because the Gospel calls us to work for justice, and racism denies just to people simply because of their race.”
He stated that public displays of racism – such as those seen in Charlottesville in August – require a public response, from society and from the Church.
In a discussion following Murry’s presentation, the bishops shared their observations and experiences of working to fight racism.
Several bishops noted the need for symbolic actions, which can be powerful in changing minds and hearts.
They observed the intersection of social class and racial divisions, as well as the need to understand how racist ideas are spread, particularly on social media and among young people.
Archbishop Wilton Daniel Gregory of Atlanta reminded his colleagues that, “Racism is never going to be conquered by speech, but only by actions.”