As a society, we have been fed the idea that being Catholic is a "white people thing." This couldn't be further from the truth. The word "Catholic" means "universal," and the Catholic Church has over one billion members of all races and cultures around the globe. This includes a rich history of African saints and African-American Catholic holy men and women, such as Saint Josephine Bakhita, Pope Victor, Pope
Miltiades, Pope Gelasius, Daniel Rudd, Sister Thea Bowman, Venerable Pierre Toussaint, Mother Theodore William, Mother Mary Lange, St. Katharine Drexel, Venerable Henriette Delille, and thousands upon thousands of holy men and women.
It is important to acknowledge that racism and white supremacy have unfortunately been present in the Catholic Church, leading to the limited portrayal of Christ as a white man. However, this does not change the fact that Christianity has roots in Africa, dating back to the flight of the holy family into Egypt and the establishment of Christian communities through the teachings of Egypt. Black people have been experiencing Jesus long before Europeans came to Africa. Let me re-write in caps
lock for people in the back reading: BLACK PEOPLE HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCING JESUS LONG BEFORE EUROPEANS TO AFRICA.
It is time for the "real Christianity" to stand up and debunk the myth that being Catholic is a white people thing. In essence, Christianity is about forgiving love and merciful love, and not about fueling divisions. The Church is a hospital for sinners, and we should strive to see Christ in each other, regardless of faith traditions.
As Peter Kreeft said, "Christianity is God’s marriage to the soul." Let's not be swayed by the distortions of history, but rather, let's celebrate the rich and diverse history of the Catholic Church, and remember that being Catholic is truly a Jesus thing.
In the United States, the history of Black Catholics dates back to the early 17th century with the arrival of enslaved Africans. Despite facing discrimination and marginalization within the Church, Black Catholics formed their own communities and religious practices, such as "Black Catholicism" which incorporated African cultural elements into their worship.
During the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and 1970s, Black Catholics became more vocal and active in advocating for their rights within the Church and society. They formed organizations such as the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus and the National Black Sisters Conference to address issues of racism and discrimination within the Church.
It is important to note that the history of Black Catholics in the United States is not separate from the larger history of Black Americans. They have faced and continue to face the same systemic racism and discrimination that affects all Black Americans. However, their faith has been a source of strength and resilience for them.
In conclusion, the history of Black Catholics in the United States is a testament to the perseverance and faith of a marginalized community. Despite facing discrimination and marginalization within the Church, they formed their own communities and religious practices. It is important to acknowledge and celebrate their contributions to the Catholic Church and to society as a whole. We must continue to work towards a Church and a society that is inclusive, just, and truly universal.
Let's all strive to be in solidarity with our Black Catholic brothers and sisters, and to actively work towards dismantling the systems of racism and discrimination that affects them and all Black Americans. Together, we can build a Church and a society that truly lives up to its universal name, Catholic as for me,
I am AUTHENTICALLY BLACK, TRULY CATHOLIC. ....HOLLER IF YOU HEAR ME!