USCCB President Calls for Courage and Commitment on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

January 10, 2018 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON— The president of the U.S. Conference ofCatholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, has issued thefollowing statement in relation to the observance of Martin Luther King Jr.Day.

Cardinal DiNardo's full statement follows:

"In recent years—including last summer in Charlottesville—wehave glimpsed an appalling truth that lurks beneath the surface of our culture.Even with all the progress our country has made on the issue, racism remains a livingreality. As our nation celebrates the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we aregiven an important time to recommit ourselves to the Gospel message hepreached, that the sin of racism can be defeated by active love and the lightof faith.

Our challenge is to bring Dr. King's message into thepresent moment in a way that inspires lasting change. In a pivotal 1958 essay, hewrote that: 'Along the way of life, someone must have the sense enough and themorality enough to cut off the chain of hate. This can only be done byprojecting the ethics of love to the center of our lives.'

Breaking the chain of hate requires both courage and commitment.Sr. Mary Antona Ebo, a Franciscan Sister of Mary and the first African-Americansister to march with Dr. King in Selma, exemplified these qualities. She toldthose gathered that: 'I'm here because I'm a Negro, a nun, a Catholic, andbecause I want to bear witness.' Sister Antona passed away on November 11 last yearat the age of 93. She remained a bold and dedicated champion of civil rightsthroughout her lifetime, and her witness should inspire our own.

We pray in confidence that Jesus Christ will remind usall that he is the most powerful means to break the chains of hate that stillbind too many hearts, a truth which lies at the center of Dr. King's legacy."

USCCB racism resourcesand information about the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism can be foundat: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/racism/

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal DanielN. DiNardo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., observance, Charlottesville, racism,Sr. Mary Antona Ebo, Selma, civil rights 

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