A group of bishops announced their new committee Wednesday to fight the “sin of racism” in light of the white nationalist violence in Virginia earlier this month.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops created the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism to try and help America heal from racism, reports the Catholic News Agency.
“Recent events have exposed the extent to which the sin of racism continues to inflict our nation,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the conference president. “Marches by hate groups such as the KKK and Neo-Nazis are outrageous to the sensible mind and directly challenge the dignity of human life. It is time for us to recommit ourselves to eradicating racism.”
The decision comes after the “Unite the Right” rally in which white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Klu Klux Klan members devolved into violence. One white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of protesters, killing Heather Heyer, a thirty-two year old woman.
The committee also nominated Bishop George Murry of Youngstown, a black bishop, to lead the committee. The group will focus on how to get rid of racism in the Church and how the Church can get society to fight racism as well. The committee will also examine the best ways to help people who have been affected by racism
“Through listening, prayer and meaningful collaboration, I’m hopeful we can find lasting solutions and common ground where racism will no longer find a place in our hearts or in our society,” Bishop Murray said, adding that racism in the U.S. is its “original sin.”
“In recent years, our divisions have worsened. Hatred is more evident, and becoming more mainstream. It has targeted African-Americans and other people of color, Jewish people, immigrants, and others,” he said.
The U.S. Bishops conference has set up other committees on justice issues in the past, including a committee devoted to immigration.
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