On Twitter, I’ve been doing these daily #blackhistorymonth2020 posts about interesting facts about black Catholic history. As a result, I have to publish a lot of dark history of segregation and racism in the American Church. I have received an overwhelming response and I’m glad to see Catholics be educated about American Catholic history.
Yet, a few of my followers have pushed back on my facts suggesting that I’m causing division or highlighting dark eras of the American Church. To me, it seems like these Americans are reluctant to embrace facts regarding history. As terrible as these truths are to digest, these were things that happened in history. We can’t turn a blind eye when Christians dropped the ball.
It almost appears as though these people are afraid to criticize the Church. Similar things happened in American Protestantism too, so it was an epidemic moral fault that shares the guilt.
In my opinion, I think those that have opposed my black history tweets have failed to realize men’s implementation of Christianity has fallen short of Christ’s example.
Jesus demonstrated himself as the “perfect man (CCC, 520).” He showed the perfect love of God and neighbor and gave us countless teachings to obey. When men teach these prescriptions, sometimes they can get distorted. Because of original sin, our wills are weakened and inclined to sin (CCC, 418). With that, man sometimes gets selfish and power-hungry and countless moral abuses follow.
We always need to hold the bad Christians accountable in history because they failed to be a witness and disciple of Jesus faithfully. To attack them isn’t a condemnation of Jesus or his Bride but a failure to allow Holiness to change their lives.
When the sexual abuse from Pennsylvania happened a few years ago, everyone said “you can’t leave Jesus because of Judas” and that’s true. That saying pointed to something true: Jesus wasn’t the culprit but the evil actions of men are. Leave the holiness of the Church and its founder away from accusations, but recognize bad apples when they are noticeable.
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