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Here are some quotes from the U.S. Catholic bishops' statement of Nov. 14, 1958, titled Discrimination and Christian Conscience.
"The heart of the race question is moral and religious. It concerns the rights of man and our attitude toward our fellow man. If our attitude is governed by the great Christian law of love of neighbor and respect for his rights, then we can work out harmoniously the techniques for making legal, educational, economic and social adjustments. But if our hearts are poisoned by hatred, or even indifference toward the welfare and rights of our fellow men, then our nation faces a grave internal crisis."
"We must repeat the principle -- embodied in our Declaration of Independence -- that all men are equal in the sight of God. By equal we mean that they are created by God and redeemed by his divine Son, that they are bound by his law, and that God desires them as his friends in the eternity of heaven. This fact confers upon all men human dignity and human rights."
"Discrimination based on the accidental fact of race or color, and as such injurious to human rights regardless of personal qualities or achievements, cannot be reconciled with the truth that God has created all men with equal rights and equal dignity."
"We hope and earnestly pray that responsible and sober-minded Americans of all religious faiths, in all areas of our land, will seize the mantel of leadership from the agitator and the racist. It is vital that we act now and act decisively. All must act quietly, courageously and prayerfully before it is too late."
"For the welfare of our nation we call upon all to root out from their hearts any seeds of bitterness and hatred. The tasks we face are indeed difficult. But hearts inspired by Christian love will surmount these difficulties."
These quotes were originally compiled by Catholic News Service, "Quotes from1958 statement 'Discrimination and Christian Conscience'," August 25, 2017. Used with permission.
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