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“But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and it corrupts the souls of those who harbor racist or prejudicial thoughts. The persistence of the evil of racism is why we are writing this letter now.”

“The roots of racism have extended deeply into the soil of our society. Racism can only end if we contend with the policies and institutional barriers that perpetuate and preserve the inequality – economic and social – that we still see all around us. With renewed vigor, we call on the members of the Body of Christ to join others in advocating and promoting policies at all levels that will combat racism and its effects in our civic and social institutions.

“‘Even in the developed world,’ Pope Francis told members of the U.S. Congress, ‘the effects of unjust structures and actions are all too apparent. Our efforts must aim at restoring hope, righting wrongs, maintaining commitments and thus promoting the well-being of individuals and of peoples.” 

This quote is taken from Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, a statement written by the Catholic Bishops of the United States at the end of 2018. That may be surprising. First, that the Catholic Bishops of the US have written a document about racism. And, that, in 2018, the bishops understood that systemic racism is still a dividing problem in our nation. Today, the issue has exploded and takes center stage in our national conversation.

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