During the 2020 US presidential debate, moderator Chris Wallace asked both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden if they would denounce white supremacy.

Trump made no such denunciation, while decrying “Antifa,” and messaged to the white supremacist group Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”

The Proud Boys viewed this message from Trump as a rallying cry and endorsement of their racist cause.

For a presidential candidate, who is also the sitting president, to have such a boldfaced racist stance is outright shameful.

However, worse than this and held to a higher moral standard is the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), with its inability to denounce white supremacy, white nationalism and white privilege which makes it complicit in these forms of racism.

Perhaps it should not be shocking that there are US Catholic bishops who support a racist president and do not themselves denounce racism, particularly racism perpetrated by white people.

And while not only Americans but people all over the world are stunned by Trump’s apparent endorsement of white supremacy, I would like Catholics to channel this outrage towards the US bishops.

Dear US bishops, what kind of example are you showing in your lack of denunciation of white supremacy?

Kyle Rittenhouse allegedly* murdered two people. White supremacy and nationalism influenced his decision to bring an assault weapon across state lines and use that weapon to assault innocent people.

Where is the denunciation of Rittenhouse and his white supremacist beliefs?

The world is watching the USCCB. Will the USCCB stand with Trump and white supremacists, or will the USCCB stand with the People of God and denounce white supremacy as an intrinsic evil? 

I am still waiting for the USCCB to re-enter language into the “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” document that names racism as an intrinsic evil.

If the USCCB cannot denounce Trump and white supremacy, then the USCCB does not stand with Christ, defender of the poor and the marginalized (cf. Matthew 25: 40).

*This article has been altered to better reflect the nature of the allegations against Rittenhouse.

More on Novena by Matt Kappadakunnel:

Despite what the US Bishops say, racism is an intrinsic evil

God bless the US? Not until the land comes back to the people God gave it to

Painting Black Lives Matter as “Marxist” is a lazy excuse not to tackle racism

Bishop Barron needs to acknowledge his own “abyss”: white privilege


Matt Kappadakunnel has a background in investment management and investment banking. Additionally, Matt spent multiple years studying to be a Catholic priest. He is a graduate of Creighton University and is a CFA Charterholder. Matt lives in Los Angeles with his wife and toddler, and they are expecting a newborn in November.