Column: Thinking right or wrong before race

Carole Norris Greene was an associate editor for CNS for nearly 22 years. (CNS)

Carole Norris Greene was an associate editor for CNS for nearly 22 years. (CNS)

Guest Column

By Carole Norris Greene
Catholic News Service

When we as human beings think primarily along racial lines, we unwittingly disqualify ourselves as objective and even reliable observers of an occurrence at hand.

Why?

Because far too many of us have not mastered the skill of not seeing self and our potential advantages or disadvantages, however remote, in a given situation.

In short, we are not inclined to die to self. Our instincts are to survive, to even prosper personally or figuratively through our family of origin and everyone else who is like us. Continue reading

Posted in CNS columns

Louisiana bishop: ‘People are losing their lives because of racism’

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, La., chair of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, speaks during the bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore in November 2019. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

By Mark Pattison 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The bishop who heads the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism said the May 25 death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police “reminds us that people are losing their lives because of racism.”

It also serves as a reminder that “racism is a life issue,” said Bishop Shelton T. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, whose committee produced “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love — A Pastoral Letter Against Racism,” which was approved by the U.S. bishops in 2018.

“Until we take the human dignity of each and every person — regardless of the circumstances of their lives — serious(ly), there will continue to be a loss of life due to racism,” he added. “It is outrageous that this is another African American death in police custody.”

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Posted in U.S.

Racism ‘at heart’ of man’s death at hands of police, says Pax Christi USA

Protesters in Minneapolis set fire to the entrance of a police station May 28, 2020, as demonstrations continue after a white police officer was caught on a bystander’s video pressing his knee into the neck of George Floyd, an African American, who later died at a hospital. (CNS photo/Carlos Barria, Reuters)

By Julie Asher 
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The racism “at the heart” of the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis “penetrates every aspect of life in the United States” and seeds “the terror that threatens communities of color and disfigures all our humanity,” Pax Christi USA said May 28.

The Catholic peace organization, based in Washington, said it stands “in solidarity with our siblings in Minneapolis who are protesting white supremacy with their voices and their bodies, and we recommit ourselves to working to dismantle systemic racism in all its forms.”

Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, was arrested by police May 25 on suspicion of forgery. Once he was handcuffed, a white officer pinned him down on the street, putting his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes. A now widely circulated video shows Floyd repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.” He appears to lose consciousness or die and was later declared dead at the hospital.

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Posted in U.S.

Sunday Scripture readings, May 31, 2020: Come, Holy Spirit

The Catholic News Service column, “Speak to Me Lord,” offers reflections on the Sunday Scripture readings. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

May 31,
Pentecost Sunday

Cycle A
1) Acts 2:1-11
Psalm 104:1, 24, 29-31, 34
2) 1 Cor 12:3-7, 12-13
Gospel: Jn 20:19-23

By Jem Sullivan
Catholic News Service

The experience of a pandemic will not be forgotten easily. The shared experience is a stark reminder of the vulnerability of the human condition. The opening chapters of Genesis introduce us to this perennial theme as Adam and Eve fell from God’s friendship. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

Pope thanks refugee center’s efforts to help migrants

Pope Francis meets refugees at the Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesbos, Greece, in this 2016 file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Junno Arocho Esteves
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis expressed his gratitude to a Jesuit-run refugee center in Rome for its continued care for migrants and refugees fleeing war, persecution and hunger.

In the letter dated May 23, the pope said the Centro Astalli is an example that will help “inspire in society a renewed commitment for an authentic culture of welcome and solidarity.”

“I wish to express my sincere appreciation to you, the employees and volunteers for the courage with which you confront the challenge of migration, especially in this delicate time for the right to asylum, for the thousands of people who flee from war, from persecution and from serious humanitarian crises,” he said in the letter addressed to Jesuit Father Camillo Ripamonti, the center’s director.

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Posted in Vatican

Vatican official says anti-religious bias was evident during lockdown

A woman prays at the closed doors of London’s Westminster Cathedral in early April during the COVID-19 pandemic. (CNS photo/Jonathan Brady, PA Images via Reuters)

By Catholic News Service

VIENNA (CNS) — As people spent more time online during the coronavirus lockdown, negative remarks and even the incitement of hatred based on national, cultural or religious identity increased, a Vatican representative said.

Discrimination on social media can lead to violence, the final step in a “slippery slope which starts with mockery and social intolerance,” said Msgr. Janusz Urbanczyk, the Holy See’s representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Msgr. Urbanczyk was one of more than 230 representatives of OSCE member nations, intergovernmental organizations, marginalized communities and civil society participating in an online meeting May 25-26 to discuss challenges and opportunities to strengthen tolerance during the pandemic and in the future.

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Posted in Vatican, World

Faith leaders call for ‘Day of Mourning and Lament’ for victims of virus

A mask seen near a New York City cemetery May 27, 2020, honors those who have died from the coronavirus disease. (CNS photo/Brendan McDermid, Reuters)

By Catholic News Service

SILVER SPRING, Md. (CNS) — The Leadership Conference of Women Religious said May 27 it will join a group of over 100 national faith leaders — from Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions — who have called for a National Day of Mourning and Lament June 1 for those who have died from COVID-19.

The group is urging federal, state and local elected officials to observe the day as well, which will be marked by marked by moments of silence, lowering of flags, interfaith vigils, ringing of bells and civic memorials.

LCWR, based in the Washington suburb of Silver Spring, said it asked its more than 1,300 members to invite the more than 40,000 Catholic sisters they represent to participate “in these actions of grieving and lament.”

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Posted in U.S.