“I Belong! And I’m Here to Stay!” u.s. Black Catholics’ Faith and Faithfulness

In: Ecclesial Practices

This study attends closely to the faith and experiences of black Catholics. Two major themes emerged from semi-structured interviews with fifteen black Catholics in a midwestern u.s. city: First, participants experience the Catholic church simultaneously as both a loving home and a significant source of suffering because of racism. Second, participants engage in forgiveness of racism, which involves working for racial transformation of church and society. The analysis suggests a need for corporate conversion in that racism remains a major and pernicious barrier to the u.s. Catholic church’s ability to serve as a sacrament of God’s love.

  • 3

    John J. Carey, ‘Black Theology: An Appraisal of the Internal and External Issues’, Theological Studies 33/4 (December 1972), pp. 684–697.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5

    George Anderson, ‘Theologians and White Supremacy: An Interview with James H. Cone’, America Magazine 195/16 (2006), pp. 10–15. Cone also pointed out white theologians’ silence about Black theology in ‘Theology’s Great Sin: Silence in the Face of White Supremacy’, Black Theology 2/2 (2004), pp.139–152, at p. 151.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6

    Jon Nilson, ‘Confessions of a White Racist Theologian’, Catholic Theological Society of America Presidential Address (2003). Nilson expanded his analysis in Hearing Past the Pain: Why White Catholic Theologians Need Black Catholic Theology (Mahwah, nj: Paulist Press, 2007).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8

    Bryan Massingale, ‘James Cone and Recent Catholic Episcopal Teaching on Racism’, Theological Studies 61/4 (2000), pp. 700–730.

  • 10

    James H. Cone, ‘Theology’s Great Sin: Silence in the Face of White Supremacy’, Black Theology 2/2 (2004), pp. 139–152, at p. 151.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13

    Bryan Massingale, ‘James Cone and Recent Catholic Episcopal Teaching on Racism’, Theological Studies 61/4 (December 2000), pp. 700–730, at p. 729.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19

    David Tracy, ‘African American Thought: The Discovery of Fragments’, in Black Faith and Public Talk, ed. Dwight N. Hopkins (Maryknoll, ny: Orbis Books, 1999), 37–38, quoted in Jon Nilson, ‘Confessions of a White Racist Theologian’, Catholic Theological Society of America Presidential Address, p. 13.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 48 30 7
Full Text Views 173 160 0
PDF Downloads 6 6 0