Following the March on Selma, a pinnacle moment in the American civil rights struggle, the Archbishop of San Antonio, Robert E. Lucey, penned a letter to the Reverend Claude William Black, of San Antonio’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church. In his letter, the Archbishop conveyed a sense of indignation concerning the actions of the government towards the peaceful protesters, writing “in Selma, the State troopers instead of protecting the rights of the colored marchers attacked them and wounded them.... any citizen has a right to walk peacefully in defense of justice.”1 Furthermore, the irate Archbishop lacerated the logic of the people who based their opposition to the march on its supposed lack of legality, stating that while “religion [protected] the civil authority against treason,” it also protected the individual from the predations of unjust laws.2
Harvell-DeGolier, Thomas, ""Unjust Laws Do Not Bind in Conscience": Archbishop Lucey, Catholic Social Thought, and Civil Rights" (2017). Undergraduate Student Research Awards. 38.