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