CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS): Pope John Paul II has condemned racism as a sin against God and humanity and warned that new types of racial discrimination were emerging across the globe.
The Pope made the remarks at a blessing on August 26, five days before the start of a week-long UN conference on racial discrimination in Durban, South Africa.
Addressing pilgrims at his summer residence outside Rome, the Pope said the Vatican delegation to the conference would make clear the Church’s commitment to fighting racism in all its forms.
The Pope said human dignity had been seriously threatened in recent decades, which he said had witnessed increasingly aggressive forms of nationalism, ethnic violence and racial discrimination.
‘Racism is a sin that constitutes a serious offence against God,’ he said.
‘Every honest conscience must decisively condemn racism in whatever heart or place it makes a home. Unfortunately, it is emerging in new and unexpected forms, offending and degrading the human family,’ he said.