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Showing posts from June, 2020

Catholic history & racism

Guest columnist John Chuchman thought a bit about Catholic Church history.
In the 15th century,  the Catholic Church became the first global institution  to declare that Black lives did not matter.

 In a series of papal bulls  beginning with Pope Nicholas V's Dum Diversas (1452)  and including Pope Alexander VI's Inter Caetera (1493),  the church not only authorized the perpetual enslavement of Africans  and the seizure of non-Christian lands,  but morally sanctioned the development of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. 

This trade forcibly transported  at least 12.5 million enslaved African men, women and children  to the Americas and Europe  to enrich European and Catholic coffers. 

It also caused the deaths of tens of millions of Africans and Native Americans over nearly four centuries.

In the land area that became the United States,  the Catholic Church introduced African slavery in the 16th century

George Floyd

I’m running errands, knowing the memorial for George Floyd is happening. When I get back to my car, I hear the announcer’s voice ending and then silence. More silence. Then the announcer saying people are standing for 8 minutes, 46 seconds. Immediately I think, "That’s too long! If I were there I would have to sit down."
I can’t stand for long. When I was a little girl, everything around me turned black during long-standing portions of the Mass. Always I was saved by the congregation shifting positions before I fell in a faint. 
The radio announcer comes on again and explains the silence is how long the cop’s knee was on George Floyd’s neck. Ohhh. Tears of sudden understanding fill my eyes as I drive on. The image of Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck returns—staying for a long time!
Other moments of sudden tears happened that weekend. At home I studied Chauvin’s face as he knelt on the neck of a Black man. No fear. Rather a look of victory. He looked secure in h…