The Church, like every human organization, is susceptible to sin. Christ, who established the Church as a universal community of believers to proclaim the kingdom of God, recognized the godliness and the human frailties of […]
To Jesuits, Black Americans were Objects of Ministry, Not Agents Of their Own Faith
“The most dangerous weapon of white supremacy has always been its ability to erase the history of its violence and its victims.” – Dr. Shannen Dee Williams. It is not uncommon for us to hear […]
No Innocent Space: Confronting Racism Here
Too often, when we talk about racism in the United States, we frame it as a sin of the past or as personal ignorance or prejudice. In many educational settings, we see emerging emphasis on […]
The Complicated History of American Jesuits and Racial Justice
Content Warning: This essay contains racist and racialized language used in its historical settings but quoted here. American Jesuits bear a long, complicated, painful, and often enraging history regarding racial justice. As a Jesuit brother, […]
White Supremacy and Roman Catholic Patriarchy
White supremacy and patriarchy have been built up for centuries, each using and advancing the other as its predicate. Like the proverbial threads woven in a sweater, white supremacy and patriarchy are intricately and intentionally […]
No One Wants to Be Accused of Racism, Not Even the Racists.
In September of this year, US Attorney General William Barr compared the Coronavirus state authorized lockdowns across the nation to American slavery. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn took issue with Barr’s statement: “It is incredible […]
The Duty of Remembering Pentecost
One of the most harrowing moments of my young life as a theologian in formation was when I found myself at an academic gathering listening to a seemingly innocuous academic exchange. The space was filled […]
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Of Saints and Symbols
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.
Catholicism’s White Supremacy Problem Has Infected Sojourners
Editor’s note: Since this piece was written, Sojourners has publicly apologized for taking down Martin’s piece & re-published the essay. The past statements on the article, including the one cited below, can be found here. […]
Preaching Your First Sermon on Racism: A Guide for White Pastors
In all my years of going to church, the only times I have ever heard a sermon about racism was when the priest was black. I have never heard a white pastor give a sermon […]
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