Racial justice activists want Catholic leaders to act

(NCR Online) Since white supremacists and neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 12, Catholic leaders have issued sharp condemnations of racism and violence, created a new ad hoc bishops’ committee against racism, organized prayer services, and provided homily tips to address racism from the pulpit.

But those who have been involved in anti-racism work since long before Charlottesville know that such moves made in the immediate aftermath are only the first step. Lots of hard work lies ahead, and the Catholic Church is already a bit behind.

“It’s not enough to issue a statement,” says Resurrectionist Fr. Manuel Williams of Montgomery, Alabama, who nonetheless praised the statement from Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, for being forceful and direct in its condemnation of racism and white supremacy.

Speaking out is important, Williams and others say, since not to speak against acts of white supremacy and racism is viewed as approval.

“But I’d like us to be as proactive and organized on issues of race and class, as our bishops and organizations have been on what they see as prolife issues,” said Williams, pastor of Resurrection Parish in Montgomery. [More]


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