Top bishop in Steve King's district: White supremacy comments 'seem totally inappropriate'

Top bishop in Steve King's district: White supremacy comments 'seem totally inappropriate'
© Greg Nash

The bishop of the Diocese of Sioux City spoke out against GOP Rep. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingGOP brawls over Trump on eve of first Jan. 6 hearing Pence to visit Iowa to headline event for congressman Former Steve King challenger on rural voters in GOP states: 'They hate Democrats' MORE’s (Iowa) comments on white supremacy, saying they “seem totally inappropriate.”

King was stripped of his committee assignments this week over comments he made to The New York Times asking why the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” are "offensive."

In an interview with Crux, Bishop Walker Nickless said that the firestorm over King’s comments is an opportunity for Catholics to “examine our attitude towards acceptance of others different from ourselves.”

King, a Catholic convert, represents the district that encompasses the Diocese of Sioux City.

Nickless urged Catholics to reexamine a pastoral letter called “Open Wide Our Hearts,” a document addressing the Catholic response to racism that was approved by the general assembly of U.S. bishops.


“In our personal lives, and in our public policies, we should treat all people with dignity as they are created in the image of God,” Nickless told Crux.

“Each of us needs to be honest with ourselves, examine our conscience, and ask if these fruits are really present in our attitudes about race,” he added. “If not, what are we going to do about it?”

Nickless has also expressed disapproval of some of King’s past comments about immigrants, according to Crux. The lawmaker has a history of making controversial comments about immigration, race and nationalism, but this week marks the first concrete action taken by lawmakers to punish King.

King joined his colleagues in voting for a resolution condemning white nationalism. The resolution did not directly rebuke King, but was meant as a response to his comments.

Despite the vote, a number of Democratic and GOP figures have called for King to step down. After the Tuesday vote, the Iowa Republican criticized House GOP leaders for their response to him.