"And these expressions are a leaven to the Catholic Church. They are charisms which God has given to the whole Church through our African American brothers and sisters," he continued.
The Detroit archbishop also said the only antidote to the evils of racism is Christ, and asked for the particular intercession of Blessed Solanus Casey, who was a "shining example" of how to treat others with dignity and love.
"As we seek to build a more just society – one in which we can truly say that racism has been defeated – we must begin, as Christians, with our personal commitment to Jesus Christ," Vigneron said.
"To conclude, I particularly commend to you the memory of Blessed Solanus Casey," Vigneron continued, encouraging his archdiocese to let Fr. Solanus "be for us still a powerful intercessor to obtain the grace from on high that we need to be agents for healing wounds of racism in our community, and to be agents of the new creation in Christ."
Vigneron's comments come amid recent efforts within the Church in the US to oppose racism.
The archbishop is a member of the USCCB's ad hoc committee against racism, which was announced in August 2017 in the wake of rising racial tensions, for the purpose of promoting education, resources, communications strategies and care for victims of racism.
The committee's chair, Bishop Shelton Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, said earlier this month at the US bishops' spring general assembly that their work is on schedule, and a draft of a pastoral letter should be presented at the autumn general assembly held in November.
The US bishops also listened to a presentation about racism by Bryan Stevenson at their spring general assembly. Stevenson is a lawyer and the executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization which advocates for equal treatment in the criminal justice system.
A fellow US archbishop, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, has also written a pastoral letter on racism recently.
"The Challenge of Racism Today" was published by Cardinal Wuerl in 2017. In the pastoral letter, he wrote that "Intolerance and racism will not go away without a concerted awareness and effort on everyone's part. Regularly we must renew the commitment to drive it out of our hearts, our lives and our community."
Both Cardinal Wuerl's pastoral letter and Archbishop Vigneron's pastoral note were fruits of diocesan synods.
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