Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love

During their Fall General Assembly the U.S. Bishops approved “Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love” – A pastoral letter against racism.

The letter asks us to recall that we are all brothers and sisters, all equally made in the image of God. Because we all bear the image of God, racism is, above all, a moral and theological problem that manifests itself institutionally and systematically. Only a deep individual conversion of heart, which then multiplies, will compel change and reform in our institutions and society. It is imperative to confront racism’s root causes and the injustice it produces. The love of God binds us together. This same love should overflow into our relationships with all people. The conversions needed to overcome racism require a deep encounter with the living God in the person of Christ who can heal all division.

This pastoral letter is not the first time the U.S. Bishops have spoken collectively on race issues in the United States; their last pastoral letter on the topic was written in 1979 and entitled “Brothers and Sisters to Us: A Pastoral Letter on Racism in Our Day.” 

You can read the full text of “Open Wide Our Hearts” here.