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The Sin of Racism

Black Lives Matter.

We join the world in mourning George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and untold thousands of other people—Black, Brown, and Indigenous men, women, and children who have been murdered in the United States and its predecessor colonies and settlements over the past five hundred years. We acknowledge our complicity in the sin of racism and the evil inflicted on people of color in our country and the Church we serve.  

As an apostolate of Saint John’s Abbey, Liturgical Press is guided by the Rule of St. Benedict, wherein we are called to “Listen . . . with the ear of our hearts.” In recent weeks, as we have listened to the outpouring of grief and rage, I have reflected on our failures as a company to live up to our mission: “To publish the Good News of Jesus Christ . . . to deepen the faith and knowledge of a richly diverse Church.”

In what we have done and what we have failed to do.

We have published good and wonderful and important works of many kinds. And we are grateful for the authors and customers we have served. At the same time, we confess:

We could and should have done more to work against the structures of privilege that encode racism in the fabric of our culture and our Church.

We could and should have done more to employ and mentor people of color, to open our hearts and minds to the manifold richness of God’s creation in the human spirit.

We could and should have done more to engage with and publish Black, Brown and Indigenous authors to authentically serve readers, ministers, and worshipers of all races.

We could and should have done more to sow the Word of God, in various media and a multitude of voices, for a richly diverse Church and for all peoples regardless of faith.

Our commitment.

We commit ourselves to redress these failures. We commit to work, with humility and hospitality, toward becoming a publishing company that represents and reflects and serves the whole People of God.

In Christ,

Peter Dwyer
Director

June 15, 2020