Hard work, prayer can lead church to overcome racism, Bishop Fabre says

By Dennis Sadowski, 1 August 2020
Bishop Shelton J. Fabre, Bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, United States. Image: Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux/Facebook.


The response of Catholics to racism and racial injustice can lead to a watershed moment “if we put in the work we can do and put in the effort that needs to be undertaken,” said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism.

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, admitted the work of “dismantling personal racism and institutional racism” will be difficult.

But, he explained, through “prayer and action” and following the nonviolent example of Jesus’ life, the beloved community that God envisions for all people can be realised.

“We know that by the work of our hand and by the grace of almighty God we can be a part of advancing the discussion and moving hearts and moving people and moving society to root out racism and intolerance,” he told Catholic News Service July 23.

“I fully believe an important part of that is our call for each and every person to examine their hearts and their experiences and to encounter those who are on the margins, who are not part of our ordinary circle of friends. When we do that, we can hear the pain and reality of racism,” the bishop said.

Addressing racial injustice means recognising the human dignity of each person, a basic tenet of the Catholic faith, he said.

“I really believe these encounters with people, once we are able to put a face and a name on it, I think those encounters will lead people to be stronger advocates to work to dismantle racism and to pray and to do all of this as people of faith who are willing to accept the challenge that Jesus Christ calls us to embrace in loving one another.”

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With thanks to Crux and Dennis Sadowski, where this article originally appeared.


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