Franciscan Federation JPIC Resolution for 2021– 2022
Confronting Racism with a Franciscan Heart
Statement of Resolution
We, the members of the Franciscan Federation, renounce the sin of racism and recognize our complicity. We are deeply troubled by the acts of hate, discrimination, inequity, oppression. We recognize our call to be peacemakers, transforming the difficulties, tragedies and acts of violence into peace.
Saint Francis reminds us in ADMONITION 27 of the virtues of putting vices to flight—
- Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.
- Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor disturbance.
- Where there is poverty with joy, there is neither greed nor avarice.
- Where there is rest and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor restlessness.
- Where there is fear of the Lord to guard an entrance, there the enemy cannot have a place to enter.
- Where there is mercy and discernment, there is neither excess nor hardness of heart.
In “FRATELLI TUTTI”, Pope Francis reminds us: “Saint Francis of Assisi addressed his brothers and sisters and proposed to them a way of life marked by the flavor of the Gospel. Of the counsels Francis offered, I would like to select the one in which he calls for a love that transcends the barriers of geography and distance, and declares blessed all those who love their brother “as much when he is far away from him as when he is with him”. In his simple and direct way, Saint Francis expressed the essence of a fraternal openness that allows us to acknowledge, appreciate and love each person, regardless of physical proximity, regardless of where he or she was born or lives.”1
“A readiness to discard others finds expression in vicious attitudes that we thought long past, such as racism, which retreats underground only to keep reemerging. Instances of racism continue to shame us, for they show that our supposed social progress is not as real or definitive as we think.20
Racism is a virus that quickly mutates and, instead of disappearing, goes into hiding, and lurks in waiting. 97
In LAUDATO SI’, Pope Francis draws a connection between praising the God of creation and recognizing our duty to care for each other by caring for the planet, “our common home.” But the core of Francis’s message is even more challenging. He argues that praising the God of creation includes being willing to challenge and transform systems, institutions, and our own patterns of comfort and consumption that fail to respect our duty to care for the planet and for each other. “Human life is itself a gift,” he says, “which must be defended from various forms of debasement.”
- In June 2020, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, the Sisters of St. Francis issued a statement about confronting the issue of Racism. Read that statement here!
- In August 2019, the LCWR members affirmed a resolution for 2019-2022 entitled, Creating Communion at the Intersection of Racism, Migration & Climate Crisis.
- Because this topic is so critical, the charism office sponsored a Facing Racism Taskforce to pursue education and reflect on the sin of racism and the impact it has had on us and how it continues to impact us.
One suggested action step encourages us to engage in conversation around an identified local, regional, national, or global issue rooted in the intersection of racism, migration, and climate crisis and to examine its effects, explore the underlying causes, formulate a common response, and report on strategic initiatives taken in pursuit of justice.