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Catholic Church Documents


Church Statements

On Racial Harmony (1963): A statement approved by the Administrative Board, National Catholic Welfare Conference


Brothers and Sisters to Us (1979): U.S. Catholic Bishops Pastoral Letter on Racism


25th Anniversary U.S. Bishops’ Pastoral Letter on Racism (2004): A research report commemorating the 25th anniversary of “Brothers and Sisters to Us”


Bishop’s Statements and Letters


While the statements released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offer clarity and guidance for the faithful of this country, the statements and actions of local ordinaries offer further guidance specific to local churches. We encourage you to research statements particular to your home diocese. An example would be “The Racial Divide in the United States,” which is a pastoral letter written by Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville, IL, and included on the USCCB resource page on racism.


“Archbishop Calls for Bishops’ Racism Statement Given Election Tension”

From the Catholic News Service, a statement by Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, GA, regarding the pressing need for the bishops of the United States to speak on the problem of racism and police brutality against black men.


Statement by Bishop George Murry, S.J. at Press Conference at MLK Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The bishop of Youngstown, OH, and chair of the USCCB’s ad hoc Committee Against Racism, addresses the media at the formation of the committee.


USCCB Resource Page

Part of its teaching and action on behalf of human life and dignity, the USCCB has compiled a large number of current and historical documents issued by bishops of the United States regarding the pernicious effects of racism. This page contains sections on the new ad hoc committee, mentioned above, background information with church statements, statements and letters from bishops, prayers and liturgy resources, teaching resources, and more.


“Sin of Racism”

This article, from the Clarion Herald, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, offers more insight into the creation of the committee against racism, including the statement referring to racism as sin. The article also offers a brief historical overview of similar work done by the United States bishops in the past.