We, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, are appalled and saddened by the recent events in Charlottesville. Our thoughts, hearts, and prayers are with those who have been affected by this violence.
As Sisters of St. Joseph, we are called to build a more unified and peaceful society. We believe mutuality can only happen when we acknowledge and deepen our understanding of our racism. These recent events are symptomatic of rises in hate crimes, violence, and deep-seated racial injustice. The acts of violence on minority and racially diverse groups have been misconstrued as individual acts rather than recognizing the more historic and systemic ideology of racial hatred. We know that these militant and extremist groups have been in existence for years throughout our country, but we are deeply concerned that they are increasing in number, becoming more vocal, emboldened, organized, and gaining a larger platform in the media.
We are called to “profound love” in action by being unifiers and reconcilers for peace, healing, and anti-racism. We denounce hatred of any kind. In the words of Cardinal Daniel De Nardo, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, “The abhorrent acts of hatred on display in Charlottesville are an attack on the unity of our nation and therefore summon us all to fervent prayer and peaceful action.” We recommit ourselves to nonviolence by our lifestyle, charism, action, prayer, and participation with others in challenging dehumanizing and violent actions. As Martin Luther King Jr. put it, “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state but rather the conscience of the state.”