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 November 15, 2018 For immediate release

 Anti-racism pastoral welcomed with a promise to apply it

 Early in November, the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests distributed a newsletter, Assembly to Action,pledging support of the anticipated pastoral from the United States Catholic Bishops.

 With the adoption of the pastoral, “Open Wide our Hearts,” by the bishops, November 14, AUSCP members and friends renewed the promise to make the text available to those they serve, “to discuss and apply it.”

 The newsletter includes “eight doable prophetic actions” toward the AUSCP goal to “Eliminate Racism in Our Church.” The newsletter is available at the AUSCP website,

 "It is essential that this pastoral get much more attention, affirmation, and sharing than previous documents,” said Rev. Bernard “Bob” Bonnot. “This has to be made available to parishioners across the country. AUSCP will do all we can to have our Members and Friends promote it, preach it, and live it if we are to eliminate racism in our land.” Bonnot is chair of the AUSCP Leadership Team. The AUSCP has about 1,200 priest members and more than 150 friends.

 "I welcome this effort within our Church to eradicate racism because there is only one race, the human race,” commented Jack Gilroy, one of several AUSCP friends who reacted to the pastoral.

 Rev. Tulio Ramirez, a member of the AUSCP Leadership Team, said “People walking with pregnant women, walking on foot, walking in slippers, walking with children towards the USA” are not invaders. Military and commercial invaders came from the north, exploited natural resources and cheap labor in Latin America, creating the situations “that now force people to have to leave their mother land to venture into the USA and ‘the north’ in general.”

According to the pastoral, “When this conviction or attitude [of superiority] leads individuals or groups to exclude, ridicule, mistreat, or unjustly discriminate against persons on the basis of their race or ethnicity, it is sinful. Racist acts are sinful because they violate justice.”

The pastoral finds hope in the love of Christ. “Once ‘we have come to the conviction that one died for all’— and not just for ourselves — then ‘the love of Christ impels us’ to see others as our brothers and sisters (2 Cor 5:14).”

 Ramirez also expressed hope for the impact of the bishops’ pastoral on racism. “It is therefore more than timely that our bishops' communication comes to soothe the hysteria of rejection and to undo the justifying ideologies of racism . . .”

Contact Rev. Bernard “Bob” Bonnot,, (330) 397-1257

Sr. Jacquelyn Doepker, OSF, Executive Secretary,, (872) 205-5862

On behalf of the AUSCP

Paul Leingang

(812) 459-1374