Eds. Note: The following statement was issued by the National Black Catholic Sisters’ Conference and run in its entirety in The Black Catholic Messenger. You can read the entire statement on The Black Catholic Messenger’s site at this link. In its editorial note leading into the statement, the editors at The Black Catholic Messenger write: “Following a recent address from Archbishop José Gómez of Los Angeles that excoriated social justice movements (including Black Lives Matter), Black Catholic leaders have spoken out in response—calling his remarks false, irresponsible, and harmful to the African-American community.”

from the National Black Sisters’ Conference

Your Excellency,

We greet you in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Mother.

Founded in 1968, the National Black Sisters’ Conference (NBSC) is an organization of Black Catholic Women Religious and Associates belonging to congregations and communities from across the United States, the Caribbean and Africa. We are committed to confronting the sin of racism, which continues to permeate our society and Church as we work tirelessly for the liberation of our people.

In 1989, Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA addressed the Conference of Catholic Bishops challenging her “brothers in Christ” to continue to evangelize the African-American community while promoting inclusivity and full participation of African Americans in the Church, and to work tirelessly to eradicate the sin of racism that continues to divide the Body of Christ.

Thirty-two years later, African Americans continue to confront racist systems of oppression as we fight for justice, to have our lives, our Black Lives Matter in the same way that white lives are valued in this country.

Last year, the world watched in shock and disbelief as George Floyd took his last breath under the knee of a police officer, who swore to “serve and protect”. It led to a raw awakening around this nation and world that America did not see or treat her African American citizens as human beings endowed with inalienable rights.

As president of the Bishops’ Conference, Black Catholics had hoped that you and your brother bishops would have acted in solidarity with those who have suffered at the hands of white supremacy since first being kidnapped from their homeland and enslaved with the blessing of the Catholic Church.

In 1968, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus declared that the Catholic Church is a “racist institution”, and while significant progress has been made, the Church continues to fail its African American members by its frequent silence and now its condemnation of Black Lives Matter…

Read the entire letter at this link.

4 thoughts on “National Black Sisters’ Conference issues statement on Archbishop Gómez’s speech against social justice movements

  1. God bless the National Black Sisters for speaking out against the misguided statements Archbishop Gomez made about the Black Lives Matter movement. BLM is a very important national and international Social Justice movement that calls us as Christians and Catholics to respect human life from the womb to the tomb. Isn’t that what our Church teaches? I personally was appalled and sadden by his statements. I feel that Archbishop Gomez and other clergy who think like him need to take time to fact check their rhetoric and discern more on what’s morally right on this issue. Archbishop Gomez is a leader in the Church and what comes out of his mouth matters.. Shame on him!

  2. Many Catholics are awakened, have awakened, or are awakening to the need to reflect upon the message of Jesus to protect all of our sisters and brothers. The message from the National Black Sisters’ Conference is conveyed by those who know. No one can pretend to express their feelings any better. The message can educate all who read it and take the time to reflect upon it. Thank you!

  3. i am so thankful that the National Black Sisters’ Conference answered Archbishop Gomez’s statement about The Black Lives Matter Movement. Ignorance is no excuse for statements such as his. I work and live in Sr Thea Bowman, Servant of God home parish and she would have spoken to him as well. We pray every Sunday that she intercede for racial justice for all.

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