Catholics cannot be ‘innocent bystanders’ to racism, social ministry gathering told

January 31, 2023 | National Catholic Reporter

JULIE ASHER | National Catholic Reporter

Wanting peace by working for justice “is a hard road to walk, my brothers and sisters,” Sr. Patricia Chappell told attendees at the 2023 Catholic Social Ministry Gathering in Washington in the opening plenary session Jan. 28.

“We can no longer claim to be innocent bystanders,” said Chappell, a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, who is a longtime educator and a former executive director of Pax Christi USA. Catholics must address the systems in this country and in the church that “have kept injustice, racism and hatred alive,” and instead replace them “with the values of the Gospel and Catholic social teaching,” she said in a reflection that laid out today’s challenges for social justice ministry.

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