Racism denounced at Vatican-sponsored inequality conference

Speakers at a Vatican-sponsored conference in Northern California have called on the Catholic church to acknowledge its own racism and urged those attending to fight against oppression.

Bishop Shelton Fabre of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux in Louisiana says the church should use its influence to eradicate racism "from the human heart."

More than 600 clergy and social justice activists are meeting in the small city of Modesto in California's agricultural heartland for a four-day conference on economic inequality.

The gathering comes as the world grapples with the impact of President Donald Trump's efforts to change U.S. immigration policy.

Pope Francis welcomed the group Thursday night with a letter in which he said "no people is criminal and no religion is terrorist."

Migration is due for discussion Friday afternoon.