To the Members, Companions, Volunteers, and Friends of the Kansas City Province of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood:
We live in a time when civil discourse has become vulgar and vindictive. On Thursday, January 11, 2018, the President of the United States of America, a nation of immigrants, used a vulgarity to characterize people from Haiti, El Salvador, and the nations of Africa. The racist remarks of the president must be condemned in the strongest terms possible. The fact that he made these remarks on the eve of the 8th anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake that caused untold suffering, death, and destruction to the people of Haiti only magnifies the hurt caused by this reprehensible remark. To say what he reportedly said as the nation prepares to honor Dr. Martin Luther King who longed for the day when his children would “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character” scars our nation and reminds us how far we have to go to achieve Dr. King’s dream.
The Kansas City Province of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood stands with those who are treated unjustly, with those who are oppressed because of their color, creed, gender, and sexual orientation. We believe our faith based on the biblical belief that all peoples are made in the image and likeness of God must show courage in speaking out against injustice and compassion to those who are seeking shelter from the terror, poverty, and oppression in their homelands. As a worldwide community, we serve in nations the president’s cruel statement callously characterizes. Our missionaries, companions, and sister communities have served in these countries in solidarity with those who long to breathe free. This rhetoric coming from the White House has polluted the air of human decency. If the president wishes to honor Dr. King, he must apologize to the millions and millions of people he has offended—and to the world community.
As Missionaries of the Precious Blood who long for and work for the day when all peoples are drawn near in the blood of Christ, we must be courageous in denouncing hateful speech. Regardless of political persuasion or party, this kind of discourse must never be tolerated. We stand in solidarity with those seeking to come to the shores of the United States to be free of oppression, violence, and injustice to provide a future for themselves and their family. We welcome these courageous men, women, and children with open hearts, open minds, and open arms.
With peace in the blood of Christ,
Joseph F. Nassal, C.PP.S.