Working Together to Overcome Racism
The U.S. Catholic Church at all levels is tackling the sin of racism and working toward lasting justice and peace.
At the San Diego Diocese, the Office of Ethnic and Intercultural Communities hosted a series of community forums via Zoom to explore racism in various arenas and to identify long-term solutions that can be implemented locally.
Five forums, called “My Church, My Story: Listen, Dialogue and Action,” were held from August of 2020 to February of 2021. Each focused on the experiences of African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders and immigrants and refugees.
Each forum featured speakers who shared their story and how racism had affected their life, particularly in the Church. Then participants were invited to propose ways their parishes, diocese and the Church itself could root out racism.
Videos of the speakers are presented on this page, as well as videos on related themes. The participants’ comments and recommendations were summarized in a report, also available on this page, which was shared with the Bishop, the diocese’s leadership and its clergy.
The Office organized special Masses to call attention to the pain two populations are enduring and to pray for racial healing. The first was held on June 7, 2020, for the African American community in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The second one was held April 15 to accompany the Asian and Pacific Islander communities, which have been the target of verbal and physical assaults and deadly violence across the country.
“My Church, My Story” Videos
Other video resources
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
- March 22, 2021 Statement of U.S. bishops on discrimination against the Asian community
- Feb. 1, 2021 U.S. Bishop chairmen welcome Administration’s racial equity actions on housing and prisons
- Jan. 15, 2021 President of U.S. Bishops: This year, we remember Dr. Martin Luther King’s belief in nonviolence and the power of love
- Aug. 27, 2020 Bishops urge day of prayer in wake of Kenosha violence
- May 5, 2020 Bishop chairmen condemn racism and xenophobia in the context of the coronavirus pandemic
- U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (Resources)
- Practical steps for Eradicating Racism
- “Open Wide Our Hearts: The enduring call to love,” a pastoral letter against racism
- “Abramos Nuestros Corazones: El incesante llamado al amor”, Carta pastoral contra el racism
- “Open Wide Our Hearts” (Study Guide)
- Prayer Service for Racial Healing
California Catholic Conference
- Sept. 9, 2020 Bishops announce yearlong effort to examine the impact of racism.
- Sept. 9, 2020 Obispos lanzan esfuerzo de un año para examinar el impacto del racismo.
- June 19, 2020 “Stations of the Cross: Overcoming Racism” (Video)
- June 1, 2020 Calif. Bishops respond to death of George Floyd
San Diego Diocese
- April 15, 2021 "We must in shame recognize those moments when we have contributed to the terrible legacy of racism in our world."
Bishop McElroy's Homily in Mass for Racial Healing, for and with the AAPI community.
- July 14, 2020 “Racial turmoil rends our nation and demands that we confront our long history of racial and ethnic prejudice.”
Bishop McElroy’s homily at the ordination Mass of Auxiliary Bishop Ramón Bejarano.
- July 14, 2020 “La agitación racial desgarra nuestra nación y nos obliga a enfrentar nuestra larga historia de prejuicios raciales y étnicos.”
La homilia del Obispo Robert McElroy en la ordenación del Obispo Auxiliar Ramón Bejarano.
- June 7, 2020 “This must be a moment of transformation.”
Bishop McElroy’s homily at a Mass for Catholic African American leaders.
- June 7, 2020 “Este debe ser un momento de transformación”
Homilia por el Obispo McElroy en una Misa para los líderes afro-americanos católicos.
- June 1, 2020 “Where lies grace in a moment such as this?”
Bishop McElroy’s statement in light of the killing of George Floyd.
- “¿Dónde yace la gracia en momentos como éste?”
Declaración del Obispo McElroy tras la muerte de George Floyd.