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Strides made against racism; more work to be done, says visiting bishop

Bishop Fabre spoke to a crowd of nearly 200 at St. Stephen Cathedral, outlining the USCCB’s pastoral letter, “Open Wide Our Hearts – The Enduring Call to Love.” TINA KASEY | WKC


The Diocese of Owensboro was pleased to have Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, La., speak to the public in a presentation entitled, “Against Racism” on Thursday, Sept. 19 at St. Stephen Cathedral. Bishop Fabre, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, was one of the writers for the USCCB’s pastoral letter, “Open Wide Our Hearts – The Enduring Call to Love.”  Earlier on Thursday, Bishop Fabre had presented a similar message to the diocesan priests during their Presbyteral Day.

That evening Bishop Fabre said that while great strides have been made in terms of civil equality, “civil law on its own will not eradicate racism.” He went on to say that racism is “a human, pastoral and spiritual problem.” Later he shared that “laws have a role to play, but laws alone will not change the human heart.” He asked that people listen “to the stories of the victimized so we can promote an end to racism.” He also encouraged parents to find ways to expose their children to different races and cultures.

Following the presentation, which included songs from the Men’s Mass Community Choir of Owensboro, presentations by Owensboro’s Mayor Pro Tem, a county commissioner, and Rhondalynn Randolph with the Owensboro branch of the NAACP, a question and answer session occurred before everyone gathered in the Fr. John Vaughan Community Center for a reception. The diocese’s Offices for Black Catholic Ministry and Faith Formation sponsored this public event.

Originally printed in the October 2019 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

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