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NC Catholic Bishops Encourage Passage of Racial Justice Act

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CLERGY AND CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS ASK FOR PASSAGE OF NC RACIAL JUSTICE ACT

The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Raleigh, and the Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis, Bishop of Charlotte along with 11 clergy leaders of other denominations and organizations have joined with civil rights leaders in pressing for the passage of the current edition of the North Carolina Racial Justice Act in the North Carolina General Assembly. The support for this bill stems from the fact that racial discrimination has played a role in determining who is charged with capital offenses, sentenced to death and actually executed in North Carolina. The church and civil rights leaders believe the vast majority of citizens in this state do not believe race should play a role in the judicial system, especially if the death penalty is a possibility.

The present version of the bill currently rests in the state Senate and is scheduled for a concurrence vote on Tuesday, July 28. These leaders are encouraging members of their denominations and organizations as well as the general public to contact their Senators and ask them to concur with the present edition of this bill.

Their statement appears below.

CLERGY AND CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS ASK FOR PASSAGE OF NC RACIAL JUSTICE ACT

As clergy and civil rights leaders, we affirm and applaud the movement through the General Assembly to enact the North Carolina Racial Justice Act. The current edition of the bill, if passed, will send a clear signal that we are serious about removing any vestiges of racial discrimination in the administration of the death penalty.  If passed, it would make North Carolina a leader in the southeast on a matter of great importance to anyone who believes justice should be color blind.

The current edition of the bill simply asks for an end to racial bias in the distribution of justice for capital crimes; nothing more, nothing less.  Sadly there is ample evidence that we need this law in North Carolina and believe that enacting it will move us one step closer to a judicial system of true equality.

This bill currently rests in the state Senate and is tentatively scheduled for a concurrence vote on Tuesday, July 28. We ask the citizens of this state to contact their Senators as soon as possible and urge them to concur with the present edition of this bill.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II
President, NC NCAAP

Rev. Dr. Leonard Bolick
Bishop of the North Carolina Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Most Rev. Michael F. Burbidge
Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Raleigh

Rt. Rev. Wayne Burkette
President of the Provincial Elders’ Conference
Southern Province, Moravian Church in America

Rt. Rev. Michael F. Curry
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina

Ms. Barbara Campbell Davis
Executive Presbyter/Stated Clerk
Presbytery of New Hope

Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster
Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church

Bishop Al Gwinn
North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church

Most Rev. Peter J. Jugis
Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte

Dr. Gregory T. Moss
President of the General Baptist State Convention

Rev. George Reed
Executive Director of the NC Council of Churches

Rev. Sam Roberson
General Presbyter/Stated Clerk
Presbytery of Charlotte

Rev. Nancy Wilson
Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches