Cardinal Cupich on the Toxic Environment Giving Rise to Xenophobia, Racism, and Populist Nationalism

Cardinal Blase Cupich writes:

We as a people are divided. Our world is plagued by global terrorism and the re-emergence of nationalism, threatened by climate change, the exploitation of limited resources, the exclusion of many people who are left homeless, or forced to migrate owing to wars and privation. As a result, we have become fearful of one another in a time marked by great divisions over race, ethnicity, religion and place of origin….

This toxic environment of “anger mixed with disgust” is infecting our political environment, especially when voices within the halls of governance give rise to xenophobia, nationalism, populism and racial intolerance. This polarization is also spilling over into the life of the church — to the point that it seems to be open season on papal teachings, especially those calling for needed reforms in the church, promoting a consistent application of the church’s social teachings regarding human dignity, care of the environment and a preferential option for the poor. Sadly, ad hominem attacks through social media, including against Pope Francis, seem to be commonplace….

The problem is that contempt is like a drug. It is addictive, and there are pushers who exploit people’s fears….

It is time for all of us to begin a conversation about the need to replace a culture of contempt with a culture of solidarity….

But it will also require all Catholics to reflect on and take seriously the first mark of the church, namely that we are one. The Holy Father has the unique charism of guaranteeing that unity. We should always be willing to distance ourselves from anyone who would injure that ministry of unity, the unity the Lord himself prayed for the night before he died for us: “Father, I pray … that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.”

Cardinal Cupich: We Must Call Out Bigotry, Racism, Anti-Semitism

via America:

[Cupich] noted that as a church, we must call out the xenophobic rhetoric of political leaders. He said, “It is not just quenching this anger that is there. The church actually has the responsibility to name bigotry, racism and anti-Semitism and call out those who are elected officials when they attempt to exploit the fears of people that eventually erupt into outbursts of violence.”

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.