Faith/Spirituality Forum: Ethnicity/Culture
Ethnicity/Culture QUESTION from Fuzzy on January 6, 2003 Hello,
I was reading some literature on the LDS faith and was very disturbed to find doctrines that supported segregation, prejudice, and supremacy. When inquired about the written newsletter to a friend that is LDS. The answer was yes, but it is different now. Then she replied that my Church ran a parallel with the Mormons. That we supported slavery, segregation, prejudice and equally agreed with no Blacks holding the pristhood. I was shooked. However, in my search I did find that we did not ordain a Black priest until 1962. I would like to know the Church's stand on ethnicity in particular Blacks in the Catholic faith?
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on January 14, 2003 Dear Mrs. Fuzzy:
Both your friend and youself are wrong. The Church has never officially supported slavery or prejudice and the Church has had black priests since the beginning.
St. Moses the Hermit, who lived in the 4th century, is the first Black to be identified as a Catholic priest. He also may or may not have been the first Black saint. Three early popes were Africans -- Victor I (189-l99), Melchiades (311-314) and Gelasius I (492-496) -- and saints as well, but history does not record whether they were Blacks.
The Church teaches that all people of any color, nation, or ethnic background has equal dignity before God. Also, the Church bars no Catholic man of any racial stripe from the offices of the Church, whether installed ministers, priests, bishops, Cardinals, or Pope.
Back to Index Page