USCCB Racism

Knights of Peter Claver Responds to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Pastoral Letter on Racism Approved During the Fall General Meeting at Baltimore.

New Orleans, LA – Today, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released a Pastoral Letter on Racism approved during the fall general meeting at Baltimore.  The letter, titled “Open wide our hearts: the enduring call to love – a pastoral letter against racism,” passed by a vote of 243 to 3, with one abstention, during the bishops’ assembly.  The letter intends to combat the scourge of racism in the hearts and minds of the faithful.  Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, KPC National Chaplain and chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, was instrumental in the overwhelming support for the letter by his fellow bishops.  Bishop Fabre said the letter encourages “honest self-reflection” by individuals and the Church and addresses racism “in a broad sense” as it affects various races and ethnicities, including Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, and immigrant groups. 

During this fall assembly in Baltimore, the bishops also endorsed the sainthood cause of Sister Thea Bowman. The granddaughter of slaves, she was the only African-American member of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, and she transcended racism to leave a lasting mark on U.S. Catholic life in the late 20th century.  Read U.S. Bishops Conduct Canonical Consultation on Cause for Canonization of Thea Bowman, FSPA

The Knights of Peter Claver, and its Ladies Auxiliary is the nation’s largest and oldest continually existent predominantly African-American lay Catholic organization. The organization was founded in Mobile Alabama on November 7, 1909 by four Josephite priests and three lay men to create a space for people of color to serve the Church and their communities with dignity and pride. Since then, the Catholic Fraternal Order has grown into an international Catholic service organization fighting for a fair and just society for all. The Knights of Peter Claver operate in 72 Dioceses across the U.S. and in South America and is a member of the worldwide International Alliance of Catholic Knights.