January 28, 2015 – Excerpted from “Put Out Into the Deep,” Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,
The current situation in our country, especially in the City of New York, brings to mind the question of racial and class divide in our society. I am grateful to my brother Bishop Edward Braxton, of Belleville, Ill., for his reflection on “The Racial Divide in the United States: A Reflection for the World Day of Peace 2015.”
In a past article, I commented on our Holy Father’s message for World Day of Peace where Pope Francis reflected on the theme, “No Longer Slaves, But Brothers and Sisters.” The Holy Father reminded us that besides the obvious enslavement of people which, unfortunately, still happens in the world, there are other types of enslavement which are just as heinous. Bishop Braxton, in his reflection, writes a very personal and poignant pastoral letter on a new awareness of the racial divide and the obvious need for a call to dialogue.
There has been a series of unrelated acts of violence against African-American men that has brought to our attention a continuing racial divide; first, Trayvon Martin, then Michael Brown and finally, in our own city, Eric Garner. Bishop Braxton brings to our attention three other cases to which I was totally unaware. As we reflect on the feelings of our fellow Americans we recognize that even the terms we use are divisive. Why should we speak of someone as an African-American or as black. Does color divide us? Does it make a difference? Or are our national origins divisive? Or are we “all” Americans?
Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.