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Catholic leaders call for "serious examination" of racial disparities in policing

Two young children hold signs during a demonstration by the group Black Youth Project 100 stage a 'lie-in' near the City Council offices in Washington, DC, November 25, 2014.
Two young children hold signs during a demonstration by the group Black Youth Project 100 stage a 'lie-in' near the City Council offices in Washington, DC, November 25, 2014.
(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty)

More than 100 Catholic theologians at prominent universities have signed a statement condemning systemic racism and calling for police reform. The statement was published on the website Catholic Moral Theology.

The statement acknowledges that the events of the past few months — specifically, the killing of unarmed black men and the resulting protests— "brought to our attention not only problems in law enforcement today, but also deeper racial injustice in our nation, our communities, and even our churches." These problems must be addressed, or peace will not be realized, the statement concludes.

The statement contains quotes from Jewish prophets, Pope Francis, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and ends with 12 resolutions. Here are three of them.

  • We pledge to examine within ourselves our complicity in the sin of racism and how it sustains false images of White superiority in relationship to Black inferiority. In the words of the US Catholic Bishops Conference, "Racism is a sin: a sin that divides the human family, blots out the image of God among specific members of that family, and violates the fundamental human dignity of those called to be children of the same Father."
  • We commit ourselves to placing our bodies and/or privilege on the line in visible, public solidarity with movements of protest to address the deep-seated racism of our nation.
  • We support new efforts to promote accountability and transparency, such as body cameras for police officers.

You can read the full statement here

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