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In 2016, Bishop Edward K. Braxton, now the retired bishop of Belleville, Illinois, wrote a pastoral letter “The Catholic Church and the Black Lives Matter Movement: The Racial Divide in the United States Revisited,” where he acknowledges the conflict between the church and the Black Lives Matter movement in terms of church teaching on abortion, sexuality, gender identity and more. He stressed in an interview with Catholic News Service that the Second Vatican Council urges dialogue with people and organizations of divergent views. When it comes to Catholic engagement with Black Lives Matter, there’s a consensus among some leaders that distinguishing between the broader movement and problematic organizations that bear the name is a key place to start. Read More
When Joseph Geeter, St. Barbara Council #326, retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and moved to suburban Philadelphia 20 years ago, he attended Mass at a few different Catholic churches with predominately white congregations near his new home and was met with an unwelcoming reception. Read More
Jon Batiste came out on top at the 64th Grammy Awards on Sunday night, taking home five trophies—the most by any artist this year—including the most prestigious, Album of the Year, for his groundbreaking “WE ARE” release. Batiste’s own roots were also on display throughout awards season, as he is a proud New Orleans native and graduate of the Josephites’ St Augustine High, a Black Catholic school whose headline-making marching band was featured on the “WE ARE” album’s title track. Batiste’s religious upbringing is no mystery, with Christian themes sprinkled throughout his music over his 24-year career. He was raised Catholic in one of New Orleans’ most historic jazz families—some of whom were involved with “WE ARE”. They were thanked, alongside God, during his AOTY acceptance speech. Read More
In a new study looking at the spirituality of young Catholics ages 13-25, Springtide Research Institute found that 39% of young Black Catholics say they’re “flourishing a lot” in their faith lives, compared to just 21% of young white Catholics. In fact, young Black Catholics say they’re flourishing in every area of their lives (e.g. mental health, friendships, home, finances) more than their Catholic peers of other racial groups. The study also found young Black Catholics are more traditionally religious than their Catholic peers of other racial groups. They’re more likely to trust organized religion, attend religious services and youth groups, pray daily and study Scripture, consider themselves to be a religious or spiritual person, and carry their spiritual beliefs into their daily lives. Furthermore, young Black Catholics are far more likely than young white or Hispanic Catholics to seek help from their faith community when they are overwhelmed and don’t know what to do about something — and less likely to turn to friends or family. Read More