Record Staff Report
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz condemned the actions of white supremacist groups and called for concrete action against “the evil of racism” in a statement released Aug. 15.
His statement was a response to violent and deadly events in Charlottesville, Va., the weekend of Aug. 12 in which one woman was killed and more than 20 others were injured. The events were organized by white supremacists who carried lit torches and were filmed assaulting counter-protestors. A car also was driven into a group of counter-protesters, in what officials are calling an act of terrorism.
“I join with my brother bishops and political and religious leaders across our nation in condemning the actions of white supremacy groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the Neo-Nazi Party that are motivated by hate and seek to foment violence,” the archbishop said in the statement. “I offer my deepest sympathies to the families of those who lost their lives, to those who were injured, and to the people of Charlottesville as they grieve this assault on their community.”
The archbishop said he takes heart in his faith, saying, “There is no justification for hate in the name of Jesus Christ. Every person is first and foremost a child of God. Every person has inherent human dignity. Love overcomes evil, and the gift of love comes from God, the Father of us all.”
He also noted that other U.S. bishops have called for a “continuing commitment to ‘work with all people of goodwill for an end to racial violence and for the building of peace in our communities.’ ”
“This statement is best backed up by our concrete actions and by the recognition that each of us is responsible for combating hatred and restoring peace,” he said. “We begin by looking into the eyes of every person we encounter in our families, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and the streets of our community and seeing them as Christ sees them.”
Archbishop Kurtz urges the faithful to join in the various “community-wide efforts to embrace solidarity and build bridges among all people.”