In 2018 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the pastoral letter on racism, “Open Wide Our Hearts.” The document was issued in the wake of the Charlottesville white supremacist rally.

Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock proposed that the document specifically condemn the use of the Confederate flag, a symbol that evokes pain for many people. This proposal was voted down at the time but maybe now is a time when many individual bishops or groups of bishops can make statements condemning its use and calling upon Catholics to become active in the anti-racist movement.

A recent Sojourners article, “Harboring a Culture of Hate,” discusses disturbing past and current ways in which Catholics have been active in promoting racism and antisemitism. Now is the time for us to take an active role in ending systems that hinder the building of God’s Kingdom.

Paul Collins

Oregon City