Excerpts from Fr. John’s Article in the Bulletin of 20 August 2017:
So many in our country have been discouraged and alarmed by the recent white supremist/alt right rally and protest in Charlottesville, Virginia and outraged when a possibly Neo-Nazi sympathizer ran his car into a group of counter-protestors of racism. One 32 year old woman, Heather Heyer was killed, and 19 others injured.
White supremacy or white nationalism or the alt right are all descriptions of a loosely organized group, including individuals, believing that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races. This group also attracts those in the Kl Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis as the more extreme adherents of the supremacy of the white race.
It should be clear that white supremacy and its many manifestations is not consistent with Christianity (though many white Christians in the South believed they were superior to blacks; similar views could be cited in the North, as well). Today’s First Reading from the Prophet Isaiah is an example of the welcome God has for all people, not just a few who may think themselves superior to others:
for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples, [says the Lord]” (Isaiah 56:7b).
But are some people in “God’s house” inferior to others? The Catechism can answer this question for us:
The equality of men [i.e. all people] rests essentially on their dignity as persons and the rights that flow from it:
Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.” (CCC 1935)
Our Catholic Bishops in the United States are also clear: “racism is not merely one sin among many, it is a radical evil dividing the human family…” (Brothers and Sisters to Us, No. 39)
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, released a statement on the hateful events at Charlottesville:
As we learn more about the horrible events of yesterday, our prayer turns today, on the Lord’s Day, to the people of Charlottesville who offered a counter example to the hate marching in the streets. Let us unite ourselves in the spirit of hope offered by the clergy, people of faith, and all people of good will who peacefully defended their city and country.
We stand against the evil of racism, white supremacy and neo-nazism. We stand with our sisters and brothers united in the sacrifice of Jesus, by which love’s victory over every form of evil is assured… Let us …stand against every form of oppression.” (August 13, 2017; emphasis added)