Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley condemned the violence that broke out at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday, and he called for unity across the country against the “voices of fragmentation and hatred,” in a statement issued Tuesday.
O’Malley began his statement by stating the United States’ core national standards and identity using the Latin motto “E Pluribus Unum,” which he described as meaning “from many peoples we shape one nation.”
“This treasured civic truth reflects and is rooted in the biblical heritage of belief in the dignity of all people, and a shared humanity,” the Boston archbishop said.
“Our country is once again in a moment when the civic and biblical heritage is being attacked and tested,” O’Malley said. “We need to reassert and reaffirm the belief that one nation is meant to include all: the multiple races, cultures, ethnicities, and religions which make up our country.”
In addition to calling for solidarity, the cardinal spoke out against the “angry and violent mob” in Charlottesville, and decried the “pagan ideas of Nazism” and intolerance the United States fought against this past century.
“Those who seek to resurrect a new form of Nazism and extreme nationalism — those who denigrate African-Americans, who preach and practice anti-Semitism, who disparage Muslims, those who threaten and seek to banish immigrants in our land — all these voices dishonor the basic convictions of the American political and constitutional traditions,” O’Malley said. “They must be opposed in word and deed.”
O’Malley concluded his statement by expressing his desire to stand with other religious leaders in “opposition to the voices of fragmentation and hatred,” and calling for such opposition through “civility and charity.”
“Today when our unity is tested, when our basic truths of faith and reason are violated, as people of faith and as citizens we must uphold our ideas and ideals,” the cardinal said. “My prayer is that we can rise to this challenge. My belief is that we are surely capable of doing so.”
O’Malley’s statement came one day after President Trump spoke out against racism and the various hate groups that were represented at the Charlottesville rally, after previously denouncing violence “on many sides” there on Saturday.Ben Thompson can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Globe_Thompson