Archbishop Gomez on the Increase in Anti-Semitic Attacks, White Nationalism, Nativism, and Anti-Immigrant Violence

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles writes:

“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.’ Let us recommit ourselves to ensuring opportunity reaches every community.

“In recent years, we have seen disturbing outbreaks of racism and prejudice against other groups. There has been a rise of anti-Semitic attacks and also ugly displays of white nationalism, nativism, and violence targeting Hispanics and other immigrants. Such bigotry is not worthy of a great nation. As Catholics and as Americans, we must reject every form of racism and anti-Semitism.


Cardinal Cupich and Archbishop Gomez Strongly Denounce Racism

In Chicago Catholic, Cardinal Blase Cupich writes:

While humanity is divided by culture, heritage and language, God created us to be one human family, one race — the human race.

This reminder of our fundamental unity as a people could not come at a more necessary time, as our nation continues to roil from the violence and hatred displayed by white supremacists in Charlottesville and beyond. Racism is our country’s original sin, a wound that forever requires tending. There can be no equivocating. Racism is a sin. White supremacy is a sin. Neo-Nazism is a sin. We know this.

Yet here we are in 2017 mourning the death of Heather Heyer, killed by a vehicle driven into a group of people in Charlottesville protesting hate. Here we are mourning the deaths of two Virginia State Troopers, Berke Bates and Jake Cullen, whose helicopter went down while monitoring the chaos. How many of our young people went to war to fight the ideology of hate we know as Nazism? How many sacrificed and toiled to support the effort to resist that evil? We call them the Greatest Generation. What will this generation be called?

Archbishop José Gomez addressed racism in a recent homily:

Let us continue to pray today for the people in Virginia, in Charlottesville. And let us commit ourselves in a new way — to overcoming racism and every ideology that denies the equality and dignity of the human person….

We are seeing in our country a new kind of racism and nationalism. It is a racism and nationalism rooted in fear. There is fear about what is happening in our society. There is fear about what is happening in our economy. Our country has become so angry and bitter, so divided — in so many different areas.

There is no place in the Church — and there is no place in American society — for racism; for prejudice against people based on their race or nationality.

We need to work to overcome all the forms of racial thinking and racist practices that are still realities in our society. And, as we know, there is still a lot of racism and nativism tied up in the immigration debate. Even among Catholics. This is all wrong and it needs to stop!

And it was announced yesterday that the US bishops are establishing a new committee to tackle racism:

In the wake of a deadly white supremacist march on Charlottesville, Virginia, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) announced that it had established an Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism.

The announcement on Wednesday comes just over a week after the events of Charlottesville, when neo-Nazis, KKK members, and adherents to the “alt-right” marched in violent, racially charged protests. One person was killed when a white supremacist rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters.

The Committee was initiated by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. bishops’ conference, and will “focus on addressing the sin of racism in our society, and even in our Church, and the urgent need to come together as a society to find solutions.

“Recent events have exposed the extent to which the sin of racism continues to inflict our nation,” said DiNardo in a statement….

The committee will be chaired by Bishop George V. Murry, SJ of Youngstown, Ohio, and anticipates releasing a new pastoral letter on racism in 2018.