“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.”
– Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love, 2018
The pastoral letter asks us to recall that we are all brothers and sisters, all equally made in the image of God. Because we all bear the image of God, racism is above all a moral and theological problem that manifests institutionally and systematically. Only a deep individual conversion of heart, which then multiplies, will compel change and reform in our institutions and society. It is imperative to confront racism’s root causes and the injustice it produces. The love of God binds us together. This same love should overflow into our relationships with all people. The conversions needed to overcome racism require a deep encounter with the living God in the person of Christ who can heal all division.
Catholic communities in the military are encouraged to review the pastoral letter and consider ways to advocate against racism in military settings. Community resources and educational resources support faith formation for all ages.
What Can We Do?
- The first step is prayer.
Stations of the Cross: Overcoming Racism
Prayer to Address the Sin of Racism
Prayer to Overcome the Racism
- The second step is awareness and discernment.
Webinar on Integrating Open Wide Our Hearts within Ministries with Young Adults
Webinar on Race and Ministry with Young People
Webinar on How to Talk about Racism
Webinar series on Empowering Church Leaders to Address Racism
More information from the USCCB
- The third step is action.
Action Items from the USCCB
Outreach Activities from the USCCB