WASHINGTON (June 29, 1999) -- The role of Catholics in finding innovative ways to overcome the remnants of slavery, fight the effects of racism and discrimination, and promote justice for all people will be key topics at the
National Catholic Gathering for Jubilee Justice, July 15-18 in Los Angeles.
Participants will explore the theme of atonement and reconciliation in workshops and dialogue throughout the conference, which is titled, "Open the Doors to Christ: A National Catholic Gathering for Jubilee Justice."
Two workshops on July 16 will help attendees understand racism's harmful effects and build bridges across the racial divide. "Atoning for the Sin of Racism" will discuss our nation's history of racial disunity and suggest how to restore these broken relationships. "Making Up for the Debt of Slavery: Affirmative Action" will discuss the role of affirmative action in addressing racial injustice, examine recent attacks on this policy, and provide insights from lessons learned in implementing the policy.
The Church also will take a personal look at racism. During the workshop "Undoing Racism in Catholic Institutions," scheduled for Saturday, July 17, Anglo-Catholics will be challenged to examine the role they must play in addressing racism within Catholic institutions.
During the conference's closing session, the more than 2,500 attendees will pledge to work for justice in their local communities. This pledge will include a commitment to ending racism.
The Jubilee Justice meeting is a time for Catholics from around the country to gather and recommit themselves to work for justice and peace. Featured speakers at the meeting include Nobel Peace Prize-winner Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo of East Timor, McArthur Grantee Father J. Bryan Hehir, and PBS and CNN Commentator Mark Shields.
Workshops in English and Spanish will address more than 100 topics, including racism, the environment, health care, nonviolence, parish social ministry, liturgy and worship, debt forgiveness, sweatshops, immigration, euthanasia and other pro life issues, education for justice, and Catholic identity.
Co-chairs of the event, Annette Kane, Executive Director of the National Council of Catholic Women, and Rev. Robert Vitillo, Executive Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, note that the meeting is a response to Pope John Paul II's call for Catholics to prepare for the Jubilee Year 2000.
Persons seeking copies of the registration booklet can call (202) 541-3149. Information on the meeting also can be found at www.nccbuscc.org/jubileejustice.