Archbishop Gabriele Caccia's words focused on the evil of racism and racial discrimination and why we cannot allow them to flourish.
The Church raises her voices on many important issues at the United Nations and did so again recently on November 1, 2022, when Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, made a powerful statement about the evils of racism.
The archbishop made the statement to the committee that deals with social, humanitarian, and cultural issues as part of a discussion about the “elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and related intolerance.”
Here are some memorable excerpts from the statement
Quoting from a 2018 papal address about how racism tends to hide and then re-emerge
“We live in times in which feelings that to many had seemed to be outdated appear to be reemerging and spreading. Feelings of suspicion, fear, contempt, and even hatred towards other individuals or groups judged to be different on the basis of their ethnicity, nationality, or religion, and as such, believed not to be sufficiently worthy to participate fully in the life of society. These feelings, then, too often inspire real acts of intolerance, discrimination, or exclusion that seriously harm the dignity of those involved as well as their fundamental rights, including the very right to life and to physical and moral integrity.”
Pointing out the distinction between racism and racial discrimination
“Racism categorizes people in a way that fails to recognize their full dignity by emphasizing only one characteristic at the expense of all the others. Overt racism is easily identified and rightly condemned. Racial prejudice, however, often takes subtler forms including in policies, practices, and attitudes in the labor market, and in the education and criminal justice systems.”
Advocating for solutions
“Responses to racism must, therefore, take as their point of departure a renewed commitment to quality education, which will enable every human being to realize his or her full potential and to pursue the common good.”
Calling racism what it truly is
“Racism is a radical evil, which denies human dignity, divides the human family, and hampers the establishment of a just and equal society. The struggle against it demands an awareness that is not only rooted in the truth and human dignity, but also in the family, the primary educator in human values, and cultivated at school and in society.”
The Holy See’s statement underscores the seriousness of racism and racial discrimination and how, as Pope Francis as said, we are all called in our different roles and in various ways to foster respect for the dignity of every person, which begins in the family.
The entire statement can be read here.