WelCom February 2023
Catholics ‘must act’ for racial justice, starting with personal conversion, to honour Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s struggle and eliminate racial injustices in society, says the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
In his statement, Archbishop Timothy P Broglio immediately referred to the call to action from Servant of God Sr Thea Bowman, one of six Black Catholic women and men proposed for sainthood.
‘People keep saying, “Where’s the next Martin Luther King?” We’re all called, I think. We’re called by our citizenship, by our membership in the human race. We’re all called to free ourselves and to free one another,’ Sr Bowman said.
Archbishop Broglio noted while society has made progress toward ‘a just society that leaves no one on the margins’ in the 60 years since King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, nevertheless much work remains.’
Dr King led the civil rights movement until his assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, April 4, 1968. He was just 39 years old and would have turned 94 this year.
‘Beyond remembering and quoting Dr King today, we must act to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system, access to affordable housing and health care, and economic opportunities,’ the USCCB president stated.
Archbishop Broglio pointed out King’s faith drove his civil rights work, and Catholics today must undergo conversion and look to the saints to undo unjust structures of racism in society.
‘Remembering that Dr King was guided first by his faith also challenges us to personal conversion. Unjust structures exist because personal sin persists,’ he said.
Archbishop Broglio highlighted the USCCB’s efforts to advance the sainthood causes of ‘six inspirational African American men and women: Venerable Pierre Toussaint, Servant of God Mother Mary Lange, Venerable Henriette Delille, Venerable Augustus Tolton, Servant of God Julia Greeley, and Sr Thea Bowman.’
Source: CathNews, National Catholic Reporter