Loading
Bishops offer encouragement on anniversary of civil rights march
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Half a century after the famous civil rights march in Washington, D.C., significant progress towards justice has been made, but some goals remain unmet, said a group of U.S. bishops.

“While we cannot deny the change that has taken place, there remains much to be accomplished,” said members of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.

In a statement marking the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which occurred Aug. 28, 1963, the bishops reflected on the history of African Americans and other minority racial groups in the U.S.

“The March on Washington and the struggle for Civil Rights have brought about significant accomplishments in the past 50 years,” they said, pointing to advancements in opportunity and legal protection, as well as greater racial and cultural diversity among leaders in the public and private sectors.

“However, the Dream of Dr. King and all who marched and worked with him has not yet fully become a reality for many in our country,” they continued.

The Aug. 13 statement was authored by Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas; Auxiliary Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of New Orleans; Bishop Gerald Barnes and Auxiliary Bishop Rutilio Del Riego of San Bernardino, Calif.; Bishop Randolph Calvo of Reno; and Archbishop Charles J. Chaput O.F.M. Cap, of Philadelphia.

The authors echoed the words of the U.S. bishops’ 1979 Pastoral Letter on Racism, which stressed the continued need for a “fundamental change” of culture rather than an indifferent “acceptance of the status quo.”

They also referenced the African American bishops’ 1984 Pastoral Letter on Evangelization, which noted that “the cause of justice and social concerns are an essential part of evangelization.”

These concerns are still relevant today, the bishops observed, stressing that Catholics “must never allow other issues to eclipse our belief in the fundamental human dignity of each and every person.”

At the historic march 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech, the bishops noted, describing the address as one “which redirected the moral compass of the nation toward concern for the cause of justice” for the marginalized and forgotten in society.

They also commented on the participation of numerous religious, civic and community leaders – including many Catholics – in the civil rights movement.

“Those who participated in the March on Washington came from different races and faith denominations, but were all united for a just cause,” they reflected.

“Seeking to touch and to move the heart of America, they came to the nation’s capital and marched to advance the cause for Civil Rights, calling for an end to segregation. They called attention to the economic disparity that existed for African Americans and other minorities in this country.”

This work continues today, the bishops said, urging the faithful to see the ongoing task “from the perspective of the continued call to hope and in the light of faith.”

They encouraged “continued dialogue and non-violence among people of different races and cultures,” in order to promote “transformative, constructive actions.”

“We join the call for positive action that seeks to end poverty, increase jobs, eliminate racial and class inequality, ensure voting rights, and that provides fair and just opportunities for all,” they said. 

Tags: Civil rights, Martin Luther King

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Nov
1

Liturgical Calendar

November 1, 2014

All Saints

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 14:1-6

Gospel
Date
10/31/14
10/29/14
10/28/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Phil 1: 1-11
Gospel:: Lk 14: 1-6

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/31/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 14:1-6

Homily
Date
10/31/14
10/29/14
10/28/14