Over the past few months, the United States has been grappling with racism in a way that it has not in recent years. The current discourse has included a greater discussion within the Church of these issues as well. And, one hopes, that the continued discussion will bring further healing and reconciliation, especially with regard to the failures of the American Church to address racism and how it has facilitated racism.
Despite this healthy introspection, an additional phenomenon has arisen that has affected the nature of the discussion: the destruction of the statues of saints. The actual destruction or threatened destruction of these statues is almost beside the point. There will always be people seeking to engage in behavior of this sort. What has taken my interest is the response of some Catholics that—rather than defend the saints—take the opportunity to call for a reexamination of the saint, and what they represent.