Letter to President Biden from Catholic Sisters and Associates of Religious Communities
Dear President Biden:
As Catholic Women Religious and associates of religious communities, we recognize, affirm, and commit to uplift the sacredness of Black lives. In this country, we must honestly reflect on the history of racist and immoral policies sanctioned by the United States government and Catholic institutions. It is time to provide repair and redress for the ongoing repercussions of chattel slavery and continued systemic racism.
For more than 400 years, our federal policies and economic practices fostered the Atlantic slave trade, chattel slavery, segregation and Jim Crow, and other forms of discrimination. This sinful racism, which fueled the economy and built the very foundation of the United States, was given moral absolution by the Catholic Church.
The Catholic faith tradition calls for confession, penance, and restitution when a sin has been committed. Telling the truth is, indeed, the only way we can begin to repair and redress the pain caused by slavery and our country’s failure to repent for centuries of systemic racism.
President Biden, as people of faith, we call on you to act with courage and fulfill your campaign promise to ‘support a study of reparations’ by establishing a national reparations commission via executive order.* As Catholic institutions, including orders of women religious, grapple with and make reparations for their pasts, so must the United States.
The sinful legacy of white supremacy and the enduring racial wealth gap must no longer be allowed to deny Black people good health, educational, and economic outcomes. It is time to act on your commitments to dismantling racist laws, policies, and frameworks, and to advance racial equity by establishing a reparations commission. We implore you to answer this urgent moral imperative to advance justice and build a better future for our country.
Catholic Sisters and Associates
*President Biden said during his campaign, “a Biden Administration will support a study of reparations.” joebiden.com/blackamerica
Sisters and Associates – Add Your Name
*This sign-on letter is now closed. To continue making your voice heard, please send an email to the White House.
We must move forward together if our democracy is to reconfigure the integrity so valued by the Constitutions of the USA. This means that each of us is called to transform from within in terms of saying “I am a racist.” Our allies must be inclusive; equity issues must prevail; voting rights for all must be a sign of our ability as a country to share our resources, and so much more. “Let peace begin with me…” “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”
Get behind this.
This is the first step beginning an honest relationship with black citizens who are and have been living a new kind of slavery in our white midst!
If we doo not start now this wound will become deadly within us.
This just cannot go on anymore. our hatred is eating away at our soul and the Heart of our Nation. May God give us ALL a new heart!
Reparations are long overdue. We need to make things right as a nation.
Our brothers and sisters have suffered enough. It is time to change what happened in the past. ALL are God’s children and we need to treat each other as God would.
I am glad we are sending this letter but it would be more accurate to say that racist practices were routinely given moral absolution by the Catholic Church in the United States. From Rome, it was often condemned from early 19C on. (Late to the game, I know) US Church generally, but not always, ignored those directives. Grateful to Dr. Shannen Dee Williams for her research and writing so we can take a look at ourselves. Will we?
This is work long overdue. How can we heal a nation if we are not all inclusive and embracing of every person as a Beloved of our God?
This work is long overdue. How can we heal a nation if we are not all inclusive and embracing of every person as a Beloved of our God?
I’m glad to sign this petition an ADS&A and blessed to be a member. This petition is something that needs to be done! We are all God’s children.
I agree wholeheartedly with Jean H. This needs to be done. Thank you for your part in taking responsibility to see that justice is done.
I am happy to sign this letter to President Biden
Privileged to sign this.
It is long overdue.
I am so delighted to sign on to this letter. We cannot remain silent while any of our brothers and sisters (anywhere) are denied respect for their human dignity. We ALL are truly God’s children having equal rights in God’s eyes.
Thank you. Federal reparations to descendents of enslaved persons in forms of cash, housing assistance, trade and educational scholarships and assistance in starting businesses will be helpful to and are needed by our Black brothers and sisters. Yet money will not end racist policies, microaggression, discrimination, White supremacy and privilege. Only non persons of color can end that suffering. Actions speak more than words at grass roots and heart roots. Hire Black employees. Encourage local schools to hire Black teachers. Support local Black owned businesses and banks. Invite Black women, men and teens to attend retreats, engage in conversations, and share meals serving culturally appropriate food. Contribute to local Black teens college savings plans. Speak with, not for, our Black brothers and sisters.
It is time to reckon with the history and sin of racism and enslavement the unjust enrichment this nation received from the slavement of African peoples. It is time that the descendants be given reparations for the atrocities suffered by their ancestors. Justice must prevail.
Reparations need also to go to Native or Indigenous people. They were killed in genocidal programs, displaced to nearly uninhabitable areas, and deprogrammed out of their traditions in schools for many generations. They are now among the poorest and sickest Americans. Our country owes them very substantial reparations.
Remember the Baltimore Catechism…contrition without reparation is insincere…And don’t forget the “firm purpose of amendment! ” So, yes, do it!
Thank you for this! As members of this country, we need to acknowledge and atone for our past, and continue to work for a better future for all!
Thank you. I support any actions designed to move all people to equality!
We have so much to learn to respect the women and men of the black community who made many sacrifices and gave their all in many unselfish ways.
May we pray daily to kind, compassionate and loving to all God’s creatures.
It’s time for some positive steps to be taken.
We have to have a plan for taking actions that match our words.