Pax Christi USA Bishop President John Stowe, Bishop of the Diocese of Lexington, KY, in an opinion article in the Lexington Herald Leader responds to the confrontation between Covington High School students and Native American elder, Nathan Phillips. The article is entitled “Wearing a Trump hat? That’s not exactly pro-life.”

In the nonviolent world that we hope for, pray for, and envision, hate is unthinkable, and we are grateful for a Bishop that is using his voice as an authority of the Catholic Church for truth and good.

Bishop Stowe sufficiently gives pause and reflection to all the elements at play in this display of racial ignorance and tension, and he calls us to a deeper understanding of human dignity. This is the kind of leadership we need from our Bishops, and standing up for a politics of love is the message that we must bring to our communities, parishes, and Pax Christi USA groups.

We thank Bishop Stowe for not only pointing out how structural racism has worked itself into the fabric of our nation but for also pointing out how the over emphasis on abortion has indeed become disconnected from other issues of human dignity and the affirmation of all of life.

I encourage you to approach Bishop Stowe’s article with the Pax Christi USA philosophy of Prayer-Study-Action.

Bishop Stowe’s article:

In peace with continued hope,

Sr. Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN
Executive Director
Pax Christi USA

17 thoughts on “Pax Christi USA Bishop President Responds to Covington Confrontation with Native American Elder

  1. Oh, So good to have you worship with us at Queen of Apostles, Belmont! thank you, So good all the work you do! Friend of Sr Carol Symons, Linda Gibbons 🙋🌅

  2. Well done and an excellent response to Bishop Stowe’s leadership in addressing structural racism.

  3. Thank you! We need to ponder this well-nuanced letter. How refreshing to hear a bishop speak out on this issue.

  4. Thanks for sharing as we’d hoped PAX CHRISTI USA would. Thankful also (VERY MUCH!) I am that many in the church are waking up to what I’d call “the consistent life ethic”…being “pro-life” true enough begins at conception (or even more completely) at fertilization. Sadly, very sadly though, in this country (USA) we’ve got way too many Catholics of conscience imagining that once the child is born, the spiritual war for sanctity of human life is over. It MOST ASSUREDLY IS NOT. We need more of our bishops acknowledging the reality, the sad truth: Neither major party has any right to call its entire body “pro-life” in the sense we understand which is womb to tomb. No exceptions, no exclusions. No race, socioeconomic class, age or gender restrictions. We must protect, defend and preserve ALL human life. I strongly suspect, though I’ve no exact data on the matter, that Republicans of great wealth are using their financial well-being in a tragically unorthodox, inappropriate way with OUR BISHOPS. As though silence on the crimes committed under the R banner is o.k., while the D party is fully held accountable for ITS sins. Finally, a discovery I’d really like PAX CHRISTI USA to research carefully and report on. The “New Kid on the block”…the American Solidarity Party. When USCCB members begin to research US, the duopoly games will be ended, I very sincerely hope. Happy New Year 2019.

  5. I have tried to open this important message by USA Bishop of Lexington, Kentucky, but could never reach it.   Is there a simpler way to read it?    thanks,   Sr. Mary Rogers

  6. Placing the entire blame on the Catholic school students is unfair. They were being insulted with filthy and hateful language by the Black Israelite radicals, and the Native American who came up to bang his drum in their faces bears some responsibility for this also. From what I understand, the teenagers did not physically attack anyone–which is not to absolve them of other insensitive behavior. The Bishop’s article did point out the historical injustice which is part of American history, and he is correct in saying that racism remains an issue to be dealt with. However insensitive and foolish was the reaction of the teenagers, I find it laughable that the secular media basically ignores reporting on the main issue, the March for Life which highlights the horror of over 61 million defenseless human beings who have been deliberately and legally killed by our nation, and makes an isolated and complicated situation the central issue of the event. I know that to be pro-life is more than opposing abortion,but to be logical, if you don’t have a right to be alive in the first place, then it seems facetious to be upset about things less harmful than being deliberately killed. Of course, if someone believes that insensitive behavior is a greater evil than killing the innocent and defenseless, I suppose there isn’t much to say. I applaud the Bishop’s stance on social justice; I question his evaluation of the situation involving the teenagers, the Black Israelites and the Native American with the drum.

    1. I agree with Msgr Thomas Dzielak and I believe the bishop and Pax Christi are not listening to the Covington boys’ story as they experienced it. I am strongly opposed to the President’s view of people of color, refugees, and migrants who are desperate to leave the abuses and murders in their respective countries. Wearing MAGA does not prove the students are bigots. I as a pro lifer for every person’s rights, look to make America better by action and word and by prayer to end abortion and all unjust laws and to promote compassion in our culture and society.

  7. So much thanks is owed to Bishop John Stowe, using his voice of authority to shed light on this event. He makes it clear that “pro-life” is much more than “anti-abortion.” The Trump/Republican gang holds up anti-abortion as the centerpiece of its platform. This ploy has won the backing of conservative Christians and built the Trump base. The rest of their platform is anything but pro-life – racisim, anti-poverty, anti-immigration, nuclearism, militarism, perpetual war and much worse. Those red maga caps worn by the H.S. kids from that Catholic school in Covington stood our as source of embarrassment and shame for us Catholic/Christians who hold on to the dream of the seamless garment. Our Pax Christi group wonders if the bishop of Covington will make a statement as well

  8. Thank you, Bishop Stowe. And thank you to Pax Christi for your statement in response. Loving one’s neighbor is what Jesus did, and what we need to do. We so often conveniently and self-servingly overlook — through both civic and religious sloganeering —the many ways we harm each other daily.

  9. Thank you Bishop Stowe! Many of us Catholics have been waiting for Catholic Bishops to be more bold in speaking out on current issues, especially racism and what it means to be pro-life. I hope you are setting a good example for others, and I hope you don’t get criticized for being too “political”!

  10. How refreshing to read this article by a Catholic Bishop. In their zeal to protect the life of the unborn,some Catholics ignore the central tenet of Catholic social teaching, that the dignity of human life applies to all humanity.

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