Washington D.C., Jan 20, 2020 / 03:37 am
The example of Martin Luther King, Jr., is still sorely needed in the United States, given continued injustices, racism and discrimination against minorities, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a message for MLK Day.
“As our nation prepares to commemorate the life and witness of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are grateful for his courageous stand in solidarity with all who suffer injustice and his witness of love and nonviolence in the struggle for social change,” Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Jan. 16.
“But we are once again painfully aware that we are still far off from his dream for America, the ‘beloved community’ for which he gave his life.”
King is remembered as an African-American Baptist minister and the most visible leader of the civil rights movement, for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was the founding president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He was assassinated in 1968 at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 39.
The United States has celebrated a federal holiday in his memory since 1983. This year the holiday falls on Jan. 20.
Archbishop Gomez, writing on behalf of the U.S. bishops, warned of continuing “disturbing outbreaks of racism and prejudice” against minority groups in the U.S. today.
“Racism is a sin that denies the truth about God and his creation, and it is a scandal that disfigures the beauty of America’s founding vision,” he said.
“Too many hearts and minds are clouded by racist presumptions of privilege and too many injustices in our society are still rooted in racism and discrimination,” the archbishop continued.