Mar 7, 2018
According to the dictionary, a triptych is "a set of three associated artistic, literary or musical works intended to be appreciated together." And that's my intention here – to highlight three panels of a pro-life triptych, three distinct but related current issues: racism, immigration and abortion. The common theme? Respect for human life.
As it has during much of our history, racism continues to be a sad reality in our nation. At its base, it's a human problem that has marred many nations and societies throughout history. And the Church hasn't been immune to its virulence either.
Bishop George Murry, S.J., is the outstanding Bishop of Youngstown, Ohio, my successor there. And now he's been tapped to lead the American Bishops' pastoral response to recent incidents of racism in our country. In an important speech, he pointed to the Catholic history of racism.
While Bishop Murry acknowledges that our nation has made progress on race relations, he says that "recent events in our country have questioned exactly how far we have come." And he rightly mentions the many Church leaders who have risked their lives to support the cause of racial justice. Nonetheless he asks, "Why does it appear that the Church in America has been incapable of taking decisive action and enunciating clear-cut principles regarding racism?" Perhaps because Catholics have "shown a lack of moral consciousness on the issue of race," the Bishop suggests.