On Wednesday, the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops – the leadership arm of the U.S. church – announced the formation of a special committee on racism. The category of the committee is the conference’s highest; it alone holds the same top-priority rank as committees on religious liberty and the protection of (traditional) marriage.
The committee will have its work cut out for it, as the USCCB’s last major effort on racism in America was in 1979.
The committee will be led by African-American Bishop George Murray, of Ohio, who was born in Camden, N.J., and graduated Georgetown University.
USCCB leaders said the committee was formed in the wake of Charlottesville, so between that deadly day and President Trump’s speech in Phoenix Tuesday night, the move is an important one for the church. In recent years, the USCCB has operated more like an arm of the conservative evangelical movement, for its issues.
In recent years the USCCB has prioritized: religious freedom, remained in steadfast opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion, and has promoted events such as the “Fortnight for Freedom” and the amorphous “Convocation of Catholic Leaders” in July 2017. [More]