March 18, 2021

Along with millions of other Americans, I deplore and condemn the recent deadly attacks on Asian Americans in Georgia and other incidents of violence against them elsewhere. From the Chinese Exclusion Act of the 19th century to the internment of Japanese American citizens during World War II in the 20th century to the resentment shown in our own day toward Asian American students who work hard and get good grades, men, women and children who trace their origins to the ancient societies of Asia have been subject to many kinds of prejudice and unfair discrimination in this country. Such racism and nativism have no place in our national life. I have worked closely with Korean, Vietnamese and Filipino Americans throughout my priesthood. I have the joy of working now with priests from India and other countries, who have come here to serve our people. They are good people. They enrich our nation with their cultures, their talents and their hard work. We should all welcome them and defend them against attacks. May the Lord Jesus, who came to us as a foreigner from heaven, laying aside the prerogatives of his divinity in order to share our human lot, give us wisdom and courage to speak the truth that all men and women, regardless of race or place of origin, are made in God’s image and deserve respect and fair treatment. I trust the basic goodness of our people to live by and proclaim that truth.