The killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and so many people of color by law enforcement violate a most fundamental teaching of our faith: the sacredness of human life and the inviolable dignity of the human person.
Our hearts break and we lament the historic and current realities of racism in our country, which continue to threaten the lives of our brothers and sisters of color and diminish the flourishing that God intends for all his children. We pray for the repose of the soul of those lost to racism and police brutality, and for the consolation of their families and loved ones.
As Pope Francis has said, in order to defend the sacredness of human life ‘we cannot tolerate or turn a blind eye to racism and exclusion in any form.’ To act and speak strongly against exclusion, we have embarked on an intentional discernment and listening process to identify action steps that we can contribute as a community of Catholic and Catholic-inspired funders to end racism.
The late Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., Ph.D., as Bishop of Youngstown Ohio and Chair of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, gave a prophetic 2018 address to FADICA entitled Confronting the Sin of Racism. In his keynote speech, Bishop Murry defined racism as “race prejudice plus power, a conscious or unconscious assumption that one race is superior to another, which is then re-enforced by political, social, economic and societal power.”
With Bishop Murry’s definition in mind, we recognize that there is an urgent need for both organizational and personal introspection, combined with active listening to Black Catholic leaders and other Catholic leaders of color. We seek to identify the most strategic and effective steps that we can take as a community of funders guided by the gospel and Catholic social teaching.
We, as an organization and member community, are in listening and discernment mode. In the days ahead, FADICA will share recommendations and action steps with its members and beyond, including the identification of underfunded programs and institutions and effective strategies to support anti-racism and inclusion in Catholic philanthropy, our society, and our church.
And now, as we listen and discern, we continue in solidarity and with open hearts in standing unequivocally against the sin of racism.
Since its establishment in 1976, FADICA (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities) has become the leading philanthropic peer network which serves as a catalyst for a vital Catholic Church, Catholic ministries, and the common good. The organization promotes the growth and effectiveness of Catholic philanthropy inspired by the joy of the Gospel and the Catholic social tradition. For more information, see https://www.fadica.org/