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Bishop Shelton Fabre

Theological Reflection on Racism

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A reflection from Bishop Shelton Fabre of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Ad Hoc Committee against Racism.

Product Description

Overview

Racism is a moral and spiritual problem. Jesus Christ made it clear that all kinds of vices flow from the human heart. (Mark 7: 20 – 23) If we do not seek to convert our own hearts as well as the hearts of others in our efforts to overcome racism, then we will be left with “tolerance” between the races and not the real “reconciliation and healing” that is truly needed. Pastoral leaders need to first deal with what might be contained in their own hearts regarding racism, before seeking to help others to overcome racism. This theological reflection on racism makes use of sacred scripture to guide a spiritual reflection on how we can proceed to overcome racism in our own hearts and in the hearts of others.

This presentation is part three of the Grace & Bias: Forming Catholic Leaders Around Issues of Race series. Part one, Implicit Bias: Tools for Self-Development, and part two, Creating a Safe Space for Dialogue About Racism, are also available on-demand.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  1. Learn how racism is a spiritual problem;
  2. Learn why conversion of hearts is needed and how to address the conversion of their own heart as necessary regarding racism prior to seeking to assist others with a conversion of heart; and
  3. Understand the spiritual challenge that the Catholic Christian faith places before us in our response to racism.

Reflection Questions

Questions for reflection and discussion prior to the learning session are provided below.

  1. What do I understand as the abundant life that Jesus came to give us?
  2. Do I truly consider others equal to me?
  3. What flows from my own heart with regard to racism and race hatred?

Who Should Participate

Priests, deacons, men and women religious, lay ministers, and those involved in vocations, formation, or clergy and ministry personnel needs.