By Dr. James M. Calderone, O.F.M., Ed.D., executive director, and Board of Directors, Ethics Institute of Northeastern Pennsylvania at Misericordia University
In the wake of events in Charlottesville, Virginia – and now, after the most recent tragedy in Barcelona, Spain – we, the Board Members of the Ethics Institute of Northeastern Pennsylvania at Misericordia University, express our profound sadness at the heartbreaking hurt caused by racism and religious prejudice. We offer our solidarity with all people and groups who in the cause of human dignity have publicly stated their rejection of bigotry in all its forms.
Our Institute, founded by the late Sister of Mercy Siena Finley, is charged with not only understanding contemporary ethical issues, but also with creating respectful conversations where we might identify principles which foster what is good, virtuous, and decent in human interaction and those which foster hate and division. In doing so, we support all who witness the peaceful discussion of important social issues while at the same time affirming the dignity and worth of every person.
In the midst of the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, "When I speak of love, I am not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of ... the supreme unifying principle of life."
Recognizing that there is always a cost when individuals and groups witness to human dignity and social justice, we call upon ourselves and all people of goodwill to act boldly, but always respectfully, in upholding principles which affirm the inherent dignity of all and to refute bigotry of any kind whenever and wherever it arises.Dr. James M. Calderone, O.F.M., Ed.D., is the executive director of the Ethics Institute of Northeastern Pennsylvania at Misericordia University.