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The National Association of Black Catholic Administrators strongly condemns the hateful act that was committed at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.  For this act to be carried out in a place of worship during Bible study is a very sinister and cowardly act.  We offer our prayers and condolences for those that were killed, their families and all in the Charleston, SC community.  The National Association of Black Catholic Administrators supports all efforts to ensure that our communities are safe from senseless and hateful acts of violence.

National Association of Black Catholic Administrators (NABCA)
Statement on Injustice
December 13, 2014

The National Association of Black Catholic Administrators (NABCA) join our voice with other faith-filled people who are concerned about the recent tragic events that have plagued the Black community. As a result of these recent events, it seems that all we do is protest against the violent acts against our young black people without taking any other actions. We are flooded with comments about civil rights violations, racism, legalized murder and so many other negative remarks about Blacks in our society. This is not the norm of our nation that we should accept. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stated that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”.

Black life does matter. Our ancestors fought hard for our civil rights. Now we are fighting another injustice, a more cultural injustice. It is thanks to our ancestors for having the courage to stand in the midst of injustice, to be steadfast in their conviction to make this country a better place for us. It is because of their unwavering spirit, their sacrifices, that we too unite and rally together to bring an end to the violence that has eroded in the Black community.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement and a reminder of other significant Civil Rights achievements. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, released a statement on this important occasion to address racism and the value of continuing to press forward. We are reminded of the accomplishments of many individuals in the fight for equality. We are all made in the image of God and we should respect the life and dignity of every human person. We are all responsible for the well-being of one another. Yes, recent events are very discouraging and they go against Catholic Social Teaching. But we should not be discouraged, for there is hope. God is with us.

It has been 30 years since the pastoral letter from the Black Bishops of the United States, “What We Have Seen and Heard” and we are in need of their spiritual guidance just as much now if not more. Our community is in turmoil. Our family bond is being tested. As our bishops put it, “Community means social concern and social justice”. With one voice we need to go beyond the walls of our homes, our offices, our schools, our parishes. We need to answer the call of our bishops from their pastoral letter and take the lead in the Church’s work within the Black community. As a community we can be “instruments of peace”.

As Catholic Christians we are a people of unity and reconciliation. We are a people who believe in solidarity. Fr. Bryan Massingale, a priest in the Diocese of Milwaukee and Associate Professor of Moral Theology at Marquette University wrote, “Solidarity moves us to have a concern for those who are different from us and to see them as fully sharing in our humanity”. What does this mean? We need to stand with our brothers and sisters who are victims of violence, of injustice.

We need to do more than just go out into the streets with our raised hands and signs. We need to approach our local officials by going to city hall and State Legislatures. We need to dialogue with our officials about the policies of the local enforcement departments. We need to hold them accountable. We need to be at the voting booths on Election Day for ­all local, state and national elections. Exercise your right to vote and be a voice for your community. When we make a difference at the local and state levels we will see that effect ripple to the national level. It will unite all of us to stop the injustices that infect our nation. There is an urgent need for change and with a united voice let us go out and make a difference. Let us stand in solidarity with our young adults who are leading the movement today.