From ............. National Catholic Reporter

April 10, 1987

Page 2

USCC says Klan, Catholicism do not mix

Membership in racist groups such as the Klu Klux Klan is "in violation of Catholic teaching," the U.S. Catholic Conference's administrative board declared at its semiannual meeting in Washington last month, clarifying a 1979 pastoral that called racism a sin but did not explicitly condemn participation in groups that advocate it.

The Knights of the Ku Klux Klan's imperial wizard James Farrands of Shelton, Conn., is a Catholic.

Last fall, Farrands said he did not see a conflict between Catholicism and Klanship. The bishops called Klan beliefs "a scandalous contradiction to all that we hold sacred and teach in the name of Jesus Christ."

Once the target of KKK hostility, Catholics are now actively recruited for Klan membership.

The bishops' letter, intended as an "educational" rather than a disciplinary document, does not outline punitive measures to be taken against Catholics active in racist groups.

- Maryclaire Dale