Statement by Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, Catholic Diocese of Arlington,
on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 18, 2021

As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we honor Dr. King's extraordinary legacy as a leading voice in the struggle against the sin of racism. 

Through Dr. King's witness and the power of his echoing words, he championed the inherent God-given dignity of all persons, particularly those subjected to bigotry and prejudice. In his courageous fight against racism and bigotry, Dr. King relied upon faith and prayer. Hope and transformative love were central to his message, as he reminded us, “hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Sadly, despite significant achievements, the sin of racism continues to affect men, women and children in communities across the nation.

As we work to address this evil, we must remember that what we ultimately seek is a genuine conversion of hearts that will compel change. To that end, the Diocese of Arlington continues to focus on prayer, education and action. This includes the efforts of the recently formed Advisory Council on Racism, which works to identify how instances of racism, prejudice and bias have impacted individuals and communities in the Diocese and to develop a plan to bring about positive change in light of the Gospel and the teachings of our Faith.

Together, let us pray that those harboring the burden of hate yield to the Prince of Peace, the source of salvation and love, Jesus Christ.

For information on the Diocese of Arlington's Advisory Council on Racism, visit here.