“We Stand Against the Evil of Racism”: Catholic Leaders Respond to Charlottesville

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You’ve probably heard about the violent white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, VA that included a car attack on peaceful counter protesters that left 3 dead and dozens injured.

All forms of racism, white supremacy, and bigotry are gravely immoral, and many Catholics leaders – clergy and lay – have been loudly proclaiming their condemnation of the Charlottesville rally, its ideology, and the ensuing violence. Below is a sampling of this response.

“We stand against the evil of racism, white supremacy and neo-nazism,” reads a statement from the USCCB. “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.”

Bishop Robert Barron, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and head of Word on Fire, posted a statement on his Facebook page that reads in part: “Friends, there can be no equivocation or nuance when it comes to racism. […] The Church stands against and condemns all racist ideologies and warns those who would propagate such horrors to repent. Please join me in praying for the victims of the shocking violence in Charlottesville and for the conversion of its perpetrators.”

Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago retweeted the USCCB’s statement against white supremacy, adding the comment: “When it comes to racism, there is only one side: to stand against it.”

The New York State Catholic Conference of Bishops, tweeted on Saturday: “We strongly condemn racism in all forms, in particular the evil of white supremacy on display in #charlottsville. Pray 4 the dead & injured.”

Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska tweeted, “Pray for an end to the evil of racism. And pray, especially today, for its victims. Pray for justice and mercy in our nation.”

Robert George, a prominent lay Catholic thinker and law professor at Princeton, strongly condemned racism in a string of tweets, including making a call for harsh ecclesiastical censures against Catholics who engage in it.

“If any white supremacists claim to be Catholic, their bishops should demand immediate renunciation of racism on pain of excommunication,” he tweeted.

He added in another tweet: “White supremacy and all forms of racism are sinful. Those who embrace them place their souls in jeopardy of eternal damnation.”

Sr. Theresa Aletheia, a Paulist sister and writer with a large social media following, called on the saints not only to bring an end to racism, but especially that Christians who support it would be converted.

“For an end to white supremacy and all evil ideologies that lead to hatred & violence. Saints Edith Stein and Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us!”

“That Christians who defend white supremacists, because of the idol of politics or racism, be converted. Pray for us Maximilian Kolbe!”

Pray for an end to racism and violence!

[See also: The Inspiring Story of the Anti-Nazi Martyr-Father You’ve Never Heard Of

[See also: 4 Times God Miraculously Saved John Paul II from Being Killed Before His Time]