Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese of the Military Services, usa , and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops ( usccb ) issued a statement on Rev Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Reflecting on the late Dr King’s “legacy of a non-violent struggle against racial injustice”, and recognizing “the progress made towards a just society that leaves no one on the margins”, the Archbishop notes that “much work remains”. He adds that remembering and quoting Dr King is not enough: “We must act to address racial disparities in the criminal justice system, access to affordable housing and healthcare, and economic opportunities”. The Archbishop affirms the usccb ’s ongoing support for “policy changes in these areas of society” as well as its “efforts to overcome racism”.
“Remembering that Dr King was guided first by his faith”, he continues, “also challenges us to personal conversion. Unjust structures exist because personal sin persists”. Quoting Pope Benedict xvi on the importance of saints for the renewal of the church, the Archbishop notes that “for models of lives transformed, we can always turn to the saints. To this end”, he continues, “the usccb has advanced beatification and canonization causes of six inspirational African American men and women: Venerable Pierre Toussaint, Servant of God Mother Mary Lange, Venerable Henriette Delille, Venerable Augustus Tolton, Servant of God Julia Greeley, and Sister Thea Bowman. May their holy examples”, he concludes, “convert our hearts and our society, that we may achieve Dr King’s dream of building a society where every person is recognized as a beloved son or daughter of God and treated with the justice and dignity that they deserve”.