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Monday, October 19, 2020

Spirituality: Cardinal Sean O'Malley on Anti-Racism

 Racism and slavery find a common nexus in this country, the denial of the humanity and dignity of other persons. As a nation we abolished slavery legally, but we have not dealt with its enduring legacy. If we reject slavery then we must reject and denounce the dehumanizing attitudes that foster discrimination, inequality and violence. Racism can be explicit, but it also can be unrecognized and unacknowledged. Yet, all of its manifestations are deadly and corrosive to civil society. Like COVID-19, racism can infect any person, without regard to region, religion, race or ethnicity. It is highly contagious, easily transmitted to others, and too often unseen and disguised in those seemingly healthy. Racism is a social and spiritual disease that kills people.

Going forward, the reality of racism in our society and the moral imperative of racial equality and justice must be incorporated in our schools, our teaching and our preaching. We must uphold the commitments to equal dignity and human rights in all institutions of our society, in politics, law, economy, education. Catholic teaching on social justice measures the way a society acts fairly or not. Our work will not be done until African American men, women and children are treated equally in every aspect of life in the United States.

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