Fifty years after the death of one of the greatest civil rights leaders of any time, the teachings of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continue to resonate in a society plagued by violence and racial discord.
Dialogue surrounding issues of race and the quest for a more just society continue to take place here in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and in other communities across our country.
The Catholic Bishops of the United States have established a Committee Against Racism and are preparing a national pastoral letter on racism. In view of these and other important conversations now underway, I thought it appropriate to reflect on Dr. King’s teaching on nonviolent direct action and to propose questions aimed at furthering introspection, dialogue and constructive change.
In that spirit I ask you to receive my pastoral reflection, “The Enduring Power of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Principles of Nonviolence,” with a prayer that it will help us all focus anew on Dr. King’s prophetic teaching and bring about true and lasting social change for the common good.
I have asked our clergy to address in their preaching the evil of racism. I also invite you to enter into dialogue at the parish and archdiocesan levels. A forum for such discussion is part of the pastoral letter webpage.
Please join me in praying that open and honest discussions will lead to greater understanding and civility as together we rid our society of racism, intolerance, injustice and violence.