In the wake of the terrible events that unfolded recently in Charlottesville, Virginia, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, on behalf of the bishops of the United States, affirmed our solidarity as believers with those who suffer persecution because of race or ethnicity. He wrote: “We stand against the evil of racism, white supremacy and neo-Nazism. We stand with our sisters and brothers united in the sacrifice of Jesus, by which love’s victory over every form of evil is assured…Let us especially remember those who lost their lives. Let us join their witness and stand against every form of oppression.”
The events in Charlottesville should uncomfortably remind us that the vision of human equality and dignity articulated in both the scriptures and the teaching of the Church is not fully realized in practice, even in a society that claims to be as enlightened as ours. Assaults on human dignity continue at an unprecedented pace, not only from those who march publicly under the banners of hateful ideologies, but also from those who more subtly discount the most weak, vulnerable and marginalized among us, oftentimes under the guise of false charity.
Rather than get lost in yet another wave of rancor surrounding our evaluation of the responses to events like those in Charlottesville, we must recommit ourselves to the truth of human dignity, a truth founded on the fact of God’s creative act, not on any political position or prevailing cultural attitude.