USCCB president calls for courage and commitment to end hate

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF CRIME & PUNISHMENT—Bronze relief of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the National Museum of Crime & Punishment, Washington. (Photo by By Karen Neoh - Martin Luther King Jr's Death Mask)
REV. DR. KING—Bronze relief of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the National Museum of Crime & Punishment, Washington. (Photo by Karen Neoh)

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement in relation to the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day on Mon., Jan. 15, 2018.

Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:

“In recent years—including last summer in Charlottesville—we have glimpsed an appalling truth that lurks beneath the surface of our culture. Even with all the progress our country has made on the issue, racism remains a living reality. As our nation celebrates the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are given an important time to recommit ourselves to the Gospel message he preached, that the sin of racism can be defeated by active love and the light of faith.

Our challenge is to bring Dr. King’s message into the present moment in a way that inspires lasting change. In a pivotal 1958 essay, King wrote:

‘Along the way of life, someone must have the sense enough and the morality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done by projecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives.’

Breaking the chain of hate requires both courage and commitment. Sr. Mary Antona Ebo, a Franciscan Sister of Mary and the first African-American sister to march with Dr. King in Selma, exemplified these qualities. She told those gathered that: ‘I’m here because I’m a Negro, a nun, a Catholic, and because I want to bear witness.’ Sister Antona passed away on Nov. 11, 2017, at the age of 93. She remained a bold and dedicated champion of civil rights throughout her lifetime, and her witness should inspire our own.

We pray in confidence that Jesus Christ will remind us all that he is the most powerful means to break the chains of hate that still bind too many hearts, a truth which lies at the center of Dr. King’s legacy.”

USCCB resources on racism and information about the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism can be found at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/.

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