By The California Catholic Conference of Bishops     5/13/2021

Videos on unprovoked assaults on elder Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI), arson at a Chinese church and, literally, thousands of racist and violent incidents against Asian women in only the past year, are a horrible and shameful scar upon our society. The California Catholic Conference of Bishops calls for an end to violence and discrimination as we stand in solidarity with our AAPI brothers and sisters as well as all victims of racial prejudice. May God protect them, console them and keep them safe. 

Many Bishops have already issued statements. We unite with them as we amplify their statements calling for peace, reconciliation and conversion of heart those of us who fail to recognize the dignity and worth of every human being: 


Archbishop José Gomez, Los Angeles: “We pray for a new spirit of fraternity in our society, that we may all come to see one another as brothers and sisters. We are all children of God, who loves us and created each of us in his own image to live in equality and with dignity as one family of God.”  


Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, San Francisco: “In our own Catholic community we are blessed to be enriched by many vibrant Asian communities, which bring much vitality to our people’s faith lives. As Catholics, we also belong to a global faith community that is the most diverse and multicultural institution in the world; and as Americans, we have a responsibility on the global stage to show respect for all people, affirming their human dignity. We must, then, lead by example in working toward the much spoken-of but ever elusive unity that is so needed and desired in our society right now.”  


Bishop Robert McElroy, San Diego: “The love of the good Samaritan destroys racism by casting aside that mysterious cancer of the human soul that leads us to label God’s children as ‘other,’ as inferior, as unworthy, as threat, as competitor. And in casting aside that terrible impulse of the human spirit, God opens up the truth that we are all equal in the sight of God. There are no children of a lesser god in this world, and we must begin to rebuild our state and our nation to foster genuine unity and peace.”  


Bishop Jaime Soto, Sacramento: “Our faith in a merciful God, who is Father of us all, compels us to affirm the mutual bonds of respect and charity that give strength to the cultural diversity of our Nation. Remember the words of St. Paul to the Ephesians, “You are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the holy ones and members of the household of God.” (Eph. 2.19)  


Bishop Kevin W. Vann, Orange: Recent examples of prejudice against our Asian-American brothers, sisters and friends are not only regrettable, but reprehensible. I remember years ago when so many Vietnamese families, for example, were welcomed here to the states as they were fleeing their homeland. Let us be sure to remember that our Faith calls us still to live that welcome and witness. We owe all of them a thanks and acknowledgement.”  


Bishop Daniel Garcia, Monterey: “Our country, our world is profoundly in need of a change of heart. We must be willing to work towards finding ways to end the violence and hate that has gripped our souls and all too often is spewed through our thoughts, words and actions. Please join me today in praying for all the victims of these mass shootings, as well as for all who are touched by acts of violence and hate. Our Lady of Bethlehem, please intercede for our nation and world.”  


Bishop Michael Barber, Oakland: “The racially motivated violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community has reinforced the critical and moral imperative to stop the hate and end racism. Recent events in our Oakland community, throughout the Bay Area and across the country, and the caustic rhetoric that marks conversations around responsibility for the pandemic provide ample evidence there is still much work to do. As Christians, we are constantly called to examine our hearts and consciences and assist in removing racial divisions, intolerance, and discrimination.”  


Bishop Alberto Rojas, San Bernardino: “Let us also pray for the conversion of those who hold these feelings of violence and hostility toward the Asian Pacific community. We know that God’s justice and His mercy will prevail, and we continue to work for the building of His Kingdom in our families, communities, and society.” 


Bishop Oscar Cantu, San Jose:Join me in celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May. The Asian community has been on my mind and in my prayers recently, given the disturbing rise of anti-Asian animus, prejudice, aggression and violence. It is disgraceful to see this in our American society in our modern times. We have come so far in our country since the eras of the Chinese Exclusion Act and the Japanese Internment Camps of generations past. And yet, we manage to take steps backward into prejudice, discrimination, and even violence. This is sad and disgraceful. Anti-Asian hatred not only hurts Asian Americans; it tarnishes the dignity of all Americans.”  


Bishop Oscar Solis, Salt Lake City and Chairman, USCCB Chairman, Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Island Affairs: In the midst of increased reports of incidents of racism and xenophobia against Americans of Asian and Pacific Island heritage, three bishop chairmen … call for a stronger resolve towards unity, demonstrated through acts of solidarity, kindness and love toward one another, so that we can emerge from this crisis renewed and stronger as one American people; a people that places value in every human life, regardless of race, ethnic origin, gender or religious affiliation.”  


Auxiliary Bishop Alex Aclan, Los Angeles: We stand in solidarity with the victims of racial violence across the United States as we uphold our commitment to the core values of Catholicism. As we mobilize the faithful to take action against racism, we take Christian love, and not political interests, as our guide.”  


Auxiliary Bishop Edward Clark, Los Angeles: “As universal Christians, as Catholics, we are called to be the first among all people to reject prejudice, the first to defend human rights, the first to work for justice and equality, and the first to demonstrate respect for people of every nation, culture, and ethnic origin.”