Pope Francis said on Monday that Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream “of harmony and equality for all people” is still relevant today.
“In today’s world, which increasingly faces the challenges of social injustice, division and conflict that hinder the realization of the common good, Dr. King’s dream of harmony and equality for all people, attained through nonviolent and peaceful means, remains ever timely,” the pope said on Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
In a message addressed to King’s daughter, Bernice A. King, Francis said that it was imperative to see people “in the truth of our shared dignity as children of Almighty God.”
“Only by striving daily to put this vision into practice can we work together to create a community built upon justice and fraternal love,” he said, praying for “divine blessings of wisdom and peace” upon participants in the Beloved Community Commemorative Service, marking MLK Day. Hosted by The King Center, the streamed service on Jan. 18 featured as a keynote speaker T.D. Jakes, bishop of The Potter’s House, a megachurch in Dallas, Texas.
Last week, Pope Francis blessed a special MLK jersey of the NBA basketball team the Atlanta Hawks. The uniform features the initials “MLK” across the front in honor of King, who was born in Atlanta on Jan. 15, 1929.
The Hawks will wear the special edition uniform when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Jan. 18. The jersey sent to the pope had a number one and “Francis” written across the back. After blessing the shirt, the pope also signed it.
The Atlanta Hawks wrote on Twitter that the jersey was in honor of their “commitment to making positive change in social equality, economic empowerment and love.”
Bernice King told Vatican News in June 2020 that she felt a strong sense of harmony between her father and Pope Francis, whom she met twice in 2018.
She said that if Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today he “would be guided by his philosophy of nonviolence, which corresponded with his following of Jesus Christ.”
“He would, as he often did while he was living, share that we cannot cure violence with violence, which he said is a descending spiral. Of course, I believe he would compel us to embrace nonviolence, which is strategic, courageous, love-centered and organized,” she said.
By Hannah Brockhaus
Feb 18, 2021 0This was a recent conversation in a WhatsApp group. Person...
Feb 25, 2021 0A Catholic health centre of the Diocese of Wau has temporarily shut down after all three doctors at the facility tested positive for Covid-19. The administrator of Sika Hadid Primary Health Centre, Sr. Bibiana Efimi,...
Feb 25, 2021 0Pope Francis on Saturday accepted the resignation of Cardinal Robert Sarah as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Sarah, who turned 75 in June 2020, was the most senior...
Feb 25, 2021 0Like Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert, Christians must be prepared to battle evil, knowing that “with faith, prayer, and penance,” the victory is assured, Pope Francis said Sunday. In his weekly Angelus...