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St. Peter Claver - Year of Encounter with Pope Francis

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Alexander Slavsky

on 12 October 2016

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Transcript of St. Peter Claver - Year of Encounter with Pope Francis

PREFACE & WELCOME
POPE FRANCIS' VISION:
" to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by joy, while pointing out new paths for the Church's journey in years to come"
(
Joy of the Gospel 1
)
.

SIGN-POSTS FOR JOURNEY:
ENCOUNTER
EXCLUSION
SOLIDARITY

Session 1: A Journey with Pope Francis

OVERVIEW/PURPOSE:
For the encouragement of Catholics and all Americans of good will for the betterment of society, especially those often excluded and marginalized

Session 2: How our Economy Excludes People

OVERVIEW/PURPOSE:
Economics must be directed toward the service of the common good in accord with the protection of human dignity

SEE:
Scripture: Matthew 21:12
Do you agree with this interpretation of the Gospel reading?
Why do you think Jesus chose to confront this system that was economically exploiting poor people in such a public way?
A Story of Exclusion
Labors"s $15 Wage Strategy Video
ISAIAH Hero-Leaders - Mary Video

Signs of the Times
Poverty Tour USA' (2013)

Do you think families are feeling more worried about making ends meet these days?
When you think about the financial future for you and those close to you, what's your biggest fear or concern?

JUDGE
Pope Francis Responds:
"Thou shalt not kill" sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say "thou shalt not" to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills..."
(
Joy of the Gospel
,
53
)

How do you understand what Pope Francis is saying in these two excerpts?
Does our economy put people first, as Pope Francis urges?


Session 2 Continued
ACT
WHO MIGHT WE FEEL CALLED TO ENCOUNTER AND STAND WITH?
Building off of our own discussion earlier in the session about our own economic struggles and anxieties, how does our own experience speak to you about who might feel called to engage and build a deeper relationship with?
When you think about those of us within our parish and community who are seen as less 'worthy' or as 'disposable' - who comes to mind?
Where do they (or maybe it's "we") live, work, worship, come together?
How could we connect with them/get into deeper relationship with them?

We're brainstorming, here, not making any definite plans as of yet:
If we were going to try and create a way for our parish to have a deeper encounter with all of us dealing with these kinds of pressures - maybe among our own members or maybe with people in the broader community - what are different ways we could try to do that?
If we were going to take a public stand to confront the 'sins of exclusion' in our community the way Pope Francis does, what particular 'sins of exclusion' are most affecting members of our parish and/or community?

CLOSING
Check-In
Preview of next session
(Immigration)

Closing Prayer
, Prayer of St. Francis
Session 3: How our Immigration System Excludes People
Overview/Purpose:
The recognition that all of the resources of the earth belong to everyone regardless of citizenship status

SEE:
Scripture: Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23
What strikes you about this passage?
If you try to put yourself in the shoes of Joseph and Mary, what do you imagine their hopes and fears are as they set out on their journey?
A Story of Exclusion:
Liliana Ramos, a single mother threatened with deportation video

Signs of the Times:
Did you or your family immigrate to the United States? If yes, why did you or your family come? Have you or someone you love ever had to move to find work? Have you or someone you love ever been separated from a loved one involuntarily for an extended period of time? What was that like? If not, imagine what it would be like and talk about the feelings that arise for you.

JUDGE:
Pope Francis Responds:
"Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people's pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else's responsibility and not our own"
(Joy of the Gospel, 54).

How do you understand what Pope Francis is saying in these excerpts? What do you imagine his visit meant to the immigrants he encountered in Lampedusa?

ACT
Have you had more thoughts about who within our parish and community we'd want to make sure is part of that conversation? Has today's conversation shaped your thinking in new ways?
How does our Catholic faith show up in public?
What are some of the symbols and rituals of our Catholic faith that you hold dear (e.g., saying the rosary, Stations of the Cross, la Virgen de Gaudalupe, etc.)? Can you imagine incorporating any of them into a 'public encounter' that speaks to the systems that exclude immigrants, the unemployed, black and Latino youth, and others?

CLOSING
Check-In: How are people doing? How are you feeling?
Preview of Next Session
(Restorative Justice)

Closing Prayer,
Prayer of St. Francis

Session 4: How our Criminal Justice System Excludes People
Overview/Purpose:
The law is meant to protect those in society and rehabilitate those in the correctional system in accord with everyone's dignity as children of God

SEE:
Scripture: Luke 15:11-32
What is the point Jesus is making with this story?
Who do you identify with the most: the older brother, the younger brother, or the father?
A Story of Exclusion:
Rev. Darren Ferguson overcoming diversity video
Signs of the Times:
Have you - or a loved one - ever made a big mistake in your life and received a second chance? What impact did that have on you? Or, have you or a loved one ever made a mistake and not been given a second chance?

JUDGE:
Pope Francis Responds:
"Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society's underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised - they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the "exploited" but the outcast, the "leftovers"
(Joy of the Gospel, 53).

How do you understand what Pope Francis is saying in these excerpts?

ACT
Do you have any new ideas on how we could create that kind of encounter?
Pope Francis and the Media:
Why do you think Pope Francis has captured the imagination of the world? Is it his personality, his message, or a little of both? What role has the media played in helping get his message out to the world? Would he be having the same impact on public consciousness if we were not reading about his visits and watching television coverage of them? As we think about the possibility of holding a 'public encounter' to bear witness to the sins of exclusion in our community and demonstrate the healing power of encounter and solidarity, what is the message that we would want to send out? What could we we learn from Pope Francis about how to make the event 'newsworthy'? What could we do or say?

CLOSING
Check-In: How are people doing? How are you feeling?
Preview of Next Session
(Racism)

Closing Prayer,
Prayer of St. Francis
Session 5: How Racism Excludes People
Overview/Purpose:
Racial equality includes not only a shift in thinking but also includes a transformation in the structures of society

SEE:
Scripture: Luke 10:29-37
What strikes you about this passage?
Why do you think Jesus chose to make a Samaritan man, a member of an "excluded" group in Jesus' day, the person who saves the injured man? What effect do you think the story had on the people who heard it?
A Story of Exclusion:
Racism is Real Video
Signs of the Times:
Bishop Edward Braxton of the Diocese of Belleville in his recent letter on
The Racial Divide in the U.S.
Racial Justice and the Catholic Church;
Rev. Bryan N. Massingale, S.T.D.
Think of a concrete experience where you were treated as if you or your perspective or ideas mattered less than others. Describe the experience. What feelings did it stir up in you? Racism spiritually wounds us all, in different ways, whichever ethnic group we belong to. How has it affected you and your family?

JUDGE:
Pope Francis Responds:
"It is the responsibility of the State to safeguard and promote the common good of society.[188] Based on the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity, and fully committed to political dialogue and consensus building, it plays a fundamental role, one which cannot be delegated, in working for the integral development of all. This role, at present, calls for profound social humility" (
Joy of the Gospel, 240
).
Imagine that while he is in the U.S., Pope Francis asks you to gather a group together to help him understand what racism in the U.S. is about - and how Christians can heal this wound. What would you want to tell him? And who would you want to make sure is in the room with you?

ACT
Response to Pope Francis' Invitation to Encounter:
How to Do a One-To-One about Race, http://www.piconetwork.org/community-tools/body/YoE-Study-Guide-Race-One-to-One.pdf
What steps could we take as a parish and community? Examples: hold a listening session after Mass, launch a 1-1 campaign within the parish and community, partner with another parish or organization to hold an "encounter" session (Brainstorm ideas)
What's the first step we can commit to taking? (Finalize the decision)

CLOSING
Check-In: We've taken an important step tonight - how are you feeling about it?
Preview of Next Session (Solidarity)
Closing Prayer,
Prayer of St. Francis

Session 6: To Go Forth in Solidarity
Overview/Purpose:
Uniting together as one body of Christ in both the joyful and sorrowful moments is solidarity.

SEE:
Scripture: Luke 4:16-21
What strikes you about this passage, as we return to it now?
Do any new thoughts, feelings or images come up for you?
A Story of Exclusion:
Campaign for Citizenship (PICO, 2013), https:vimeo.com/81549855
Signs of the Times:
Catholic Campaign for Human Development, domestic, anti-poverty social justice program of USCCB
PICO National Network, largest faith-based community network in the USA
As a Catholic, what does it mean to you that the Catholic Church is one of the largest supporters of grassroots community organizing groups in the country?
Have you been involved with a social justice organization like the ones CCHD supports? What has that experience been like for you?

JUDGE:
Pope Francis Responds:
"Solidarity, in its deepest and most challenging sense, thus becomes a way of making history in a life setting where conflicts, tensions and oppositions can achieve a diversified and life-giving unity. This is not to opt for a kind of syncretism, or for the absorption of one into the other, but rather for a resolution which takes place on a higher plane and preserves what is valid and useful on both sides. This principle, drawn from the Gospel, reminds us that Christ has made all things one in himself: heaven and earth, God and man, time and eternity, flesh and spirit, person and society"
(Joy of the Gospel, 228-9).
How do you understand what Pope Francis is saying in these excerpts? Are you comfortable with the world 'solidarity'? Uncomfortable? Why?

ACT
Are you feeling called to respond - even with our doubts and fears? Do we want to publicly take a stand together to confront systems that treat some of us as less 'worthy' or as 'disposable'? (Discussion)
Use the balance of your time to flesh out your plans a bit more for the one-to-one encounter project that you are planning: Who? When? Where? How? Next Step? Save 15 minutes for reflection and evaluation section.
Next Meeting: Do we want to keep meeting?

REFLECTION & EVALUATION
Questions for Discussion
What has this journey we've been on meant for you? What questions has it stirred up within you? Are you thinking or feeling any differently about your Catholic faith? And the potential for our parish to be part of a larger movement for justice and peace within our church and society? What feedback would we give about the materials? What worked? Were there any parts that weren't as helpful, or could have been better?
Each Group is Encouraged to Develop Your Own Way to Close Out the Series
Prayer & Closing Ritual
Organizing a Public Encounter
Coordinate with local PICO Organization
Visit
www.piconetwork.org
to find resources

NEXT
Structures of Inequality:
Race, Incarceration, and the Health of Louisian's Children
(MICAH Project and PICO Center for Health Organizing)
GOAL!
ST. PETER CLAVER CHURCH
YEAR OF ENCOUNTER
WITH POPE FRANCIS
CONFRONTING ECONOMY
OF EXCLUSION

Pope Francis welcoming residents at a refugee camp in Ponte Mammolo on February 8th, 2015 (Source: Yahoo News)
3-STEPS OF CST PRINCIPLES:

SEE
Scripture: Matthew 21:12
What strikes you about this passage?
Whom is Jesus prioritizing for his ministry? Why?
JUDGE
Slideshow:

Encountering Pope Francis in Words and Images

What are your reactions to the slideshow?
Does Pope Francis' way of following Jesus make you feel comfortable? Uncomfortable? Some of both? Why?
What do you think he means by "encounter"?
ACT

Charity and Justice:
(http://www.piconetwork.org/community-tools/body/YoE-Study-Guide-Charity-and-Justice.pdf)

What are your reactions to the handout?
What's an example of two organizations that are doing work in each area in our parish, diocese, or community?
Pope Francis' Private and Public Encounters
What do you think he was trying to accomplish by having the encounter 'for all the world to see'?
What was the message he was sending? Whom was his audience?
What was the impact?
CLOSING
Check-In: How are people doing? How are you feeling?
Preview of next session
(Economy)

Closing Prayer:
Prayer of St. Francis
Pope Francis washing the feet of inmates at the juvenile detention center on Holy Thursday, 2013 (Source: Yahoo News)
Labor's $15 Wage Strategy- NY Times (Source: YouTube)
CCHD Tour Poverty USA (Source: YouTube)
Economic Justice, in America Magazine (Source: paxchristiusa.org)
ISIAH Hero Leaders - Mary, 2014 (Source: Vimeo.com)
Liliana Ramos: a single mother threatened with deportation (Source: YouTube)
Pope Francis visiting with Migrants to Lampedusa, an island off of Southern Italy, on July 8th, 2013 (Source: America Magazine Online)
Pope Francis greets a victim of Supertyphoon Yolanda in Leyte on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. (Source: philstar.com)
Bibliography
(Source: PICO National Network
(Source: Amazon.com)
(Source: Amazon.com)
(Source: The Belleville Messenger)
(Source: Amazon.com)
(Source: PDF)
Rev. Darren Ferguson from prison to the pulpit at The Summit 2014 (Source: Vimeo.com)
Pope Francis kisses an inmate's foot at Rome's Rebibbia New Complex Prison on April 2nd, 2015 (Source: Catholic News Agency)
“Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.”

Stewardship of Creation

“Solidarity is a word that…means more than some generous, sporadic acts. It is to think and act in terms of the community…It is also to fight against the structural causes of poverty, inequality, unemployment, and [loss of] land, housing, and social and labor rights…

Solidarity, understood in its most profound sense, is a way of making history.”

A Culture of Solidarity


“God is in everyone’s life.
Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if if it is destroyed by
vices, drugs or anything else—
God is in this person’s life.”


God’s Mercy Has No Limits


“A way has to be found to enable everyone to benefit from the fruits of the earth, and not simply to close the gap between the affluent and those who must be satisfied with the crumbs falling from the table, but above all to satisfy the demands of justice, fairness, and respect for every human being.”

A Poor Church for the Poor


“I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.”

A Culture of Encounter


“Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.”

‘No’ to An Economy of Exclusion


"Work is fundamental to the dignity of the person. Work… 'anoints' with dignity, fills us with dignity, makes us similar to God who has worked and still works, who always acts.”

The Dignity of Work


“The Son of God, by becoming flesh,
summoned us to the revolution
of tenderness.”


A Revolution of Tenderness


“We are a society that has
forgotten how to weep –
how to have compassion.”


The Globalization of Indifference


“How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”

A Throwaway Culture


“An evangelizing community gets involved by word and deed in people’s daily lives…”


Missionary Disciples


“Before all else, the Gospel invites us
to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and
to go forth from ourselves to seek
the good of others.”


The JOY of the Gospel

In Words and Images

Encountering Pope Francis

Racism is Real - Brave New Films (Source: YouTube)
Pope Francis visits Lampedusa with prayerful welcome for intruder Africans in 2013 (Source: limitstogrowth.org)
Pope Francis: solidarity with the poor is not optional, July 26, 2013 (Source: UCA News)
Pope Francis embraces a young girl in his visit to the Philippines between January 15-19, 2015 (Source: National Democratic Front of the Philippines
(Source: Amazon.com)
(Source: paxchristiusa1.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/racial-divide.jpg)
VI. Conclusion: Pray, Listen, Learn, Think, and Act

V. Are there really “minority” Americans and “minority” Catholics?

Part 1 – The Gifts We Share
The call of evangelization, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15).
“Not only preaching but witnessing; not only conversion but renewal; not only entry into the community but the building up of the community but the building up of the community; not only hearing the Word but sharing it” (2).
Black culture and values: informed by faith
Scripture, “tell it on the mountain”
Gift of freedom, “Good news of Gospel is the message of liberation” (5)
Gift of reconciliation, “builds on mutual recognition and mutual respect…can be erected an authentic Christian love” (7)
Spirituality and gifts
Contemplative, holistic, joyful, and communitarian
Family centered, particularly in the role of fatherhood
Part 2 – The Call of God to His People
Black Initiative
Black leadership in an effort “to denounce racism as a sin and to work for justice and inner renewal” (17-18)
Opportunities for Evangelization
Vocations to the priesthood and to religious life
Restoration of the permanent deaconate
The Laity’s role to build up the body of Christ
The Youth are the future of the Church in the Black community
RCIA is important for the growth of the Church
Catholic education as a cost effective and well-worth educational institution
Liturgy as an experience of God’s power and love

What we Have Seen and Heard (1984)

The reality of racism remains deeply ingrained in our society, but the universal call to provide for our brothers and sisters in Christ refreshes our spirits
The voice of Scripture (Luke 4:17-21, Matthew 25:31-40)
The voice of the Church: “On account of the mystery of the Redemption [every human being] is entrusted to the solicitude of the Church.” The human being is “the primary and fundamental way for the Church” (Saint John Paul the Great, Redemptor Hominis, 7).
Voice of the World: “The Church…recognizes that worthy elements are found in today’s social movements, especially an evolution toward unity, a process of wholesome socialization and of association in civic and economic realms” (Gaudium et Spes 20).
Our Response
Personal Choices: “Conversion and Renewal in Love and Justice”
Community Church: “the Church Sharing in Responsibility and Decision Making”
Society at Large: “Racial difference”, equitable sharing of resources with other nations, and private sector’s responsibility to promote racial justice

Brothers and Sisters to Us (1979)

From the Civil Rights Movement, spearheaded by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to the election of the first African American president, Barack Obama
The continued discontinuity between law enforcement and racial justice:
Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, John Crawford, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice
Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos

III. Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, John Crawford III, Michael Brown, Jr., Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice

An encounter between White police and Young Men of color, a “unique event”
Influenced by age, education, family background, personal experience, religious beliefs, and the media
Pope Francis selected the theme “No Longer Slaves, but Brothers and Sisters” for the 2015 World Day of Peace
Our vocation as Catholics, members of the Body of Christ, the Church, is to cross the racial divide


II. A New Awareness of the Racial Divide and a Call to Christian Dialogue

A Pastoral Letter by His Excellency, The Most Reverend Edward K. Braxton

The Racial Divide in the U.S.

The call of Catholic Bishops such as Archbishop Robert Carlson for renewed efforts to overcome racial injustice
“If you had seen and hard what I have seen and heard, you would not be amazed that there are so few, you would be amazed that there are so many” (Bishop Joseph A. Francis, S.V.D., late Auxiliary Bishop of Newark, New Jersey)
Brothers and Sisters to Us (1979)
What We Have Seen and Heard (1984)
“World Day of Peace” from a slogan to a reality

IV. What we have seen and heard

An imaginative scenario is proposed, which initiates a “role reversal” between white and black Catholics
The Catholic Church is portrayed as historically an Afro-centric institution
Angels and saints are depicted as black while the devil and other demons are white
Images of Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and all the saints are People of Color (African, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American)


I. Prologue

World Day of Peace 2015 Vision “that we are sisters and brothers no longer enslaved by sin, including the sins of racism and vengefulness, can be impeded, to some degree, by the very language we use” (21)
Redress injustices by giving consideration to all minorities and women in matters related to education, employment, housing, financial assistance, professional advancement and business contracts (21)
Refraining from referring to only special groups of people as minorities and everyone else as the majority group

The triggering of a conversation concerning the racial divide
World Day of Peace, Pope Francis reminds us of many of the injustices present in our society “I think in the first place of poverty, underdevelopment and exclusion, especially when combined with a lack of access to education or scarce, even nonexistent, employment opportunities.”
Inspired by the faith of Mother Church and the life and teachings of Christ and the Disciples throughout history
Pray, Listen, Learn, Think and Act

“There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it” (MLK).
Policy Implications
Addressing Childhood Obesity (PRISM)
Eight nutrition and physical activity issues for policy attention
Ridding of the “Three Strikes Law” and the Notion of a “War On Drugs”
Repealing laws and sentencing disparities for cocaine powder vs. crack cocaine
Providing Health-Care Services
Qualification for Medicaid through the Louisiana Child Health Insurance (LaCHIP)
Increasing the Minimum Wage
President Obama in 2014 State of the Union address signed into Executive Order to raise minimum wage to $10.10
Dealing with the School-to Prison Pipeline
Statement from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) outlining the negative effects of zero tolerance



VI. So Now What?

Education
“Few if any personal characteristics are more strongly and positively related to an individual’s later occupational attainment, employment, earnings, home ownership, health and other measures of a successful life… A given educational achievement gap between two individuals leads to a larger earnings gap today than it did in the past” (George Farkas, Professor, Penn State University).
Problem of “zero tolerance”
Markers of educational inequality
Black students fail to reach basic level at a rate 3X and 2X that of white students
Only 3% met ACT college readiness benchmarks for English, math, reading, and science
Graduation rate of black students from 4 year institutions almost 1/3 lower than that of white students
Health
“We know that a child’s life expectancy is predicted more by his ZIP code than his genetic code” (Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation).
About 1 of every 3 children in Louisiana is overweight or obese
75% of black children covered by public health insurance
5X prevalence of HIV among black teens and young adults


V. Continued

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” (Dr. Wayne Dyer).
Child Environment
Black children in Louisiana experience poverty 3X higher than white children
4X more likely to be in working poor class than white children
Majority have experienced at least one difficult life experience
Family
Almost 1/5 black children’s homes lack most elements of a positive home environment
More than 3X more likely to live in a household without a father
Almost 75% participate in organized activities outside of school and attend religious services
Neighborhood
Over 75% of black children live in a neighborhood perceived by parents to be supportive and safe
Over 33% live in neighborhood with poorly kept or dilapidated houses




IV. The Child Well-Being Index

“The economic benefits of investing in children have been extensively documented. Investing fully in children today will ensure the well-being and productivity of future generations for decades to come. By contrast, the physical, emotional, and intellectual impairment that poverty inflicts on children can mean a lifetime of suffering and want – and a legacy of poverty for the next generation…” (Carol Bellamy).
Gross disparity between the poverty status of children in Louisiana (just under 1 in 3 living below the national poverty level) vs. Louisiana’s gross domestic product (GDP) nearly double that of the USA between 2005 and 2013
Racial inequality through policies, programs, and systematic barriers
Child environment (poverty, family, neighborhood, mortality)
Health (pre-natal health, health status, health access)
Education (primary, secondary, higher education)

II. Louisiana’s Children: A Well-Being Index

“Our lives begin to end the moment we become silent about things that matter” (Martin Luther King, Jr.).
Confronting structural racism with the health and well-being of Louisiana children, mass incarceration, and the educational system
Practice of democracy offers hope: “a path out of poverty and ill health for the children and families whose plight is documented here” (3).
Call to action for churches, community groups, policy-makers, and government officials

I. Forword

“The solution of adult problems tomorrow depends in large measure upon the way our children grow up today. There is no greater insight into the future than recognizing that, when we save children, we save ourselves” (Margaret Mead).
40% of children in Louisiana have parents without stable employment
Racial inequality (overt and systematic)
Ecologically (Experiences day-to-day)
Socioeconomically (Discrimination based on risk factors)
Increased Anomie (Loss of control over life)

III. Child Well-Being and Inequality

The MICAH Project
PICO Center for Health Organizing

Race, Incarceration, and the Health of Louisiana’s Children
February 27, 2015

Structures of Inquality

Massingale defines justice as “a pathos, a desire, a longing, a yearning…indeed a passion” (130-131).
“Welcome table” and the “Beloved Community” in African American culture
Hope is defines as a “blues hope” that endures despite constant defeat and setback


Chapter IV

USCCB’s first written response on racism, Discrimination and the Christian Conscience (1958)
“Greater recognition of the institutional nature of racism as well as the existence of racism in the Roman Catholic Church and the Church’s complicity in societal racism” (4)
Catholic social teaching on racism “contains little social analysis or deep theological reflection, offers no formal plans for implementing its teaching, does not listen closely enough to the voices of the victims of racism, tends toward paternalism, and is overly optimistic in the face of what the bishops themselves have called a “radical evil” (4).

Chapter II

Massingale’s pressing question, “How can we struggle together against an evil that harms us all, though in different ways” (xiv)?
The “soul” of African American experience is the prevailing struggle to be accepted as a being and the overall feeling that “the system” is more foe than friend (20-21)
The “soul” of white Americans is an unexamined, unreflected presumption of whiteness as normative, dominant, and entitled (24)

Preface and Chapter I

Review by Michael J. Iafrate
Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion

Rev. Bryan N. Massingale, S.T.D.
Orbis Book, 2009

Racial Justice and the Catholic Church

Massingale’s perspective as a black Catholic theologian and priest working within two traditions: African American intellectual community and the community of Catholic theologians:
“complex and complicated religious tradition” in all of its “moral ambiguity” (158-159), listening to the voices of the marginalized and oppressed and drawing out from the tradition strains that offer “good news” to communities-of-struggle (160-161). The “ultimate goal” of the black Catholic theologian “is to help transform the Catholic Christian community into a less imperfect witness to the broad, expansive, and inclusive ‘welcome table’ that is the reign of God” (162).

Chapter V

“Theological pioneering” in an effort to reconcile differences while ensuring the protection of the common good
“Racial reconciliation” in order to strengthen ties between racial groups by ridding of systematic racism and political dominance (90-91)
Affirmative redress” in order to resolve the harms caused by racial inequality and unjust political and societal deprivation (100)
“Rational techniques” in an effort to work with the “pre-rational” and include the Catholic tradition
Commitment to the common good and “autopathy” or a willingness to enter the realm of the other enduring racial injustice and segregation

Chapter III
Full transcript