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South Dakota bishop warns against racism as election approaches

Catholic World News - October 23, 2008

In an article that appears in next Monday’s edition of America Magazine, Bishop Blase Cupich of Rapid City, South Dakota, describing racism as the United States’ ‘original sin,’ has cautioned against racism in voting.

‘As we draw near an election day on which one of the major party candidates for president is for the first time a person of African-American ancestry,’ he writes, ‘we should be able to do so with a sense that whatever the outcome, America has crossed another threshold in healing the wounds that racism has inflicted on our nation’s body politic for our entire history. However, in view of recent media reports regarding race-based voting, this potentially healing moment could turn into the infliction of one more wound if racism appears to determine the outcome. Because of that menacing possibility, it is worth recalling for Catholics and all Americans the central affirmation of [the 1979 US bishops’ statement] ‘Brothers and Sisters to Us’: racism is a sin.’

'Voting for a candidate solely because of that candidate’s support for abortion or against him or her solely on the basis of his or her race is to promote an intrinsic evil,’ Bishop Cupich continues. ‘To do so consciously is indeed sinful. That is behavior incompatible with being a Christian.’

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