TWO Irish bishops based in Britain are leading a campaign to get their fellow clergymen to support the global call to challenge the ‘evil of racism’.
Bishop Paul McAleenan, the Lead Bishop for Racial Justice, and Bishop Declan Lang, the Lead Bishop for International Affairs in England and Wales, are leading the campaign for their fellow bishops to support those fighting racism, with efforts currently focused on the USA.
A statement on behalf of all the Bishops of England and Wales states: "We stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the USA as they challenge the evil of racism and the brutal killing of George Floyd.
“As the US Bishops made clear, ‘We cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities and yet still try to profess to respect every human life. We serve a God of love, mercy, and justice’,” they added.
"Systemic racism is embedded in our own society,” they explain.
“The disproportionate harm suffered by BAME people throughout the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted profound inequalities, marginalisation and injustice here in the UK.
“The peaceful Black Lives Matter protests taking place in our towns and cities this week reflect the understandable anger that so many people feel about this.”
The statement continues: "As Catholics we recognise that racism is an evil which must be opposed; we all have a responsibility for actively promoting racial justice.
“Whenever we ignore racism or dismiss BAME people's experience of it, we are complicit in violations of human dignity.
“We pray for God's help to overcome racism in all its forms and that we might protect everyone who suffers its consequences. We are all made in God's image."
Bishop Paul McAleenan is the Belfast-born Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster.
Rt Revd Declan Lang is Bishop of Clifton, the diocese that covers Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire. Both of his parents were immigrants from Ireland.