Responding to the sin of racism is part of the call of every Christian. It’s based in Jesus’ Great Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37, 39).
“Almost 40 years ago, the Bishops of the United States wrote a Pastoral Letter on Racism. Among the many things they discussed was the fact that ‘Racism is a sin: a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father’” reads the press release from the USCCB announcing the establishment of a new Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism in August 2017.
Announcing the establishment of the Committee, Cardinal DiNardo, President of the USCCB, said, “Prejudice can lurk unnoticed in the soul. Without prayerful reflection, it can feed on the fear of what is different. It can grow into overt racism…. Let us not allow the forces of hate to deny the intrinsic dignity of every human person. Let the nation and world see the one body of Christ move to the defense of our sisters and brothers who are threatened.”
As we recognize the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the many others who have fought against racism and for the civil rights and dignity of all people, we honor them best by taking action in our own lives—our own hearts, families, classrooms, neighborhoods, communities, and parishes. Find resources for responding to the sin of racism here.
Image credit: Macaaa (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons