Today, Martin Luther King, Jr. day we are reminded of the struggle of the civil rights movement and the courage of Dr. King and so many others.
However, unfortunately, as Archbishop Gomez stated so clearly “We have come a long way in our country, but we have not come nearly far enough. Too many hearts and minds are clouded by racist presumptions of privilege and too many injustices in our society are still rooted in racism and discrimination. Too many young African American men are still being killed in our streets or spending their best years behind bars. Many minority neighborhoods in this country are still what they were in Rev. King’s time, what he called ‘lonely islands of poverty.’”1
Our call as Catholics is to remember and be grateful for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s courage and faithfulness but also to join in the struggle for real social change. We are called to build the ‘beloved community’ for which Dr. King fought and died 55 years ago.
We found this pastoral letter and wanted to share it with you. “Practical Steps for Eradicating Racism: An Invitation” from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “This Guide was prepared to assist Catholics and people of goodwill in reflecting on the evil and harm of racism. While this is not a comprehensive list, it provides actionable steps that may assist Catholics to reflect and respond in faith. With the aid of Holy Scripture, Catholic social teaching, and sacred tradition, this is an open invitation to journey toward reconciliation.”2
“Let us commit ourselves once more to building his ‘beloved community,’ an America where all men and women are treated as children of God, made in his image and endowed with dignity, equality, and rights that can never be denied, no matter the color of their skin, the language they speak, or the place they were born.”
-Archbishop Jose Gomez