In a homily during Mass in the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception Dec. 8, Bishop Jaime Soto addressed the current social climate surrounding sexual harassment. “This is not a time to lecture, but it is an opportunity to learn how to regard one another in the world of work, as well as the many other social settings of which we are a part,” he said.

“Daily are the new revelations about the harassment of women in the workplace by men in power in Hollywood, the Silicon Valley, Washington and the halls of the state Capitol. A pervasive culture belittled women for personal gain and cloaked it under business as usual. The muffled and muted pain has now broken through the wall of sadly acceptable conventions. Women are bringing forth their stories. These account resonate with many other women and men throughout the work world who have felt the shame of someone imposing upon them their position, influence or power. Before, they felt pressured to let go of their dignity, believing there was too much else to lose. Now they bring the pain and the shame to light to free themselves from the complicity of silence and reclaim their own power. Hopefully others will be freed from the fear of workplace harassment. Better that they are free to do their best and to be their best as God created us to be.”

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is the solemn celebration of belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Noting the feast, the bishop said “the images and theology around this mystery of our faith may seem like a far cry from the daily news of accusations and resignations. We should not be too quick to discount what faith can bring to light.”

“The whole human race has gained from Mary’s cooperation with the Holy Spirit,” the bishop said. “An exalted dignity bestowed on all humanity from her share in the work of her Son is reason for us to acclaim along with her, ‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.’

“We all have something at stake in each human person, woman and man, finding one’s way to live for the glory of God. We all thrive when when the dignity of each one is respected and nurtured. This can only be cultivated in a climate of freedom and respect. These two social dimensions complement one another. The best exercise of our freedom should always be at the service of another’s dignity.”

To read the complete text of Bishop Soto’s homily, view the PDF below.

From Diocese of Sacramento.