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USCCB President’s Statement in Observance of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2024

WASHINGTON – In observance of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has issued a statement:

On Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day we pause and reflect on Rev. King’s indelible legacy, and his rallying cry in the pursuit of justice and peace.

As Rev. King taught us, we must confront the evils of racism and prejudice with the love of Christ: ‘Deeply etched in the fiber of our religious tradition is the conviction that men are made in the image of God . . . the heirs of a legacy of dignity and worth. . .. This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one’s tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men.’ 

Each of us can and must work for justice and peace, remembering Rev. King’s call to action: ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

Martin Luther King, Jr., was a champion of civil rights. Dr. King used the Word of God to effect change of hearts and minds. Given the issues of migration, antisemitism and racial and religious discrimination touching our communities, we are reminded that the work of bringing people together in mutual recognition and cooperation is never really done. There remain forces in the human condition that would tear asunder what has been accomplished. Let us remain vigilant to take advantage of positive signs existing in evangelization efforts and continued civic progress within human relations. These things help shape communities that manifest the affirmative outcomes arising from our varied races, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds. The Catholic Church is committed to this endeavor and willingly clasps hands and hearts with all others of like mind, faith, and hope.