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The history of Catholic opposition to racism is mixed. But can this history be changed and moved decisively in a positive direction? This public lecture by Youngstown, Ohio, Catholic Bishop George Murry will address one of the most decisive steps against racism taken by Catholic bishops in the United States in the last decades: The publication in November 2018 of a major document called “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love.”
In the document, the bishops unequivocally denounce racism as contrary to fundamental ethics, Catholic moral teaching, and the Christian Gospel. Bishop Murry, an African American and Jesuit, chaired the committee of bishops who wrote the document. In the 19th century, the Catholic Church in the United States largely supported slavery. In the 20th century, many Catholics joined in the civil rights movement even as many others opposed Martin Luther King, Jr.
Today the Catholic Church in its entirety is more aware than ever of the presence and heroic witness of African American Catholics at the same time as it is aware of great tensions within the Catholic community over race-inflected issues like affirmative action, immigration, and criminal justice. Bishop Murry’s talk promises to be a singular occasion for taking a hard, new look at an enduring challenge to the Catholic community and American society.
Co-sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics and the Jesuit School of Theolog.
LOCATION: Event takes place on SCU Campus, de Saisset Museum.