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Racial Justice and the Catholic Church Paperback – February 28, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
In addition to an excellent analysis of racism in terms of its institutional and systemic aspects - going beyond the all too common frame of reference of individual acts of prejudice - Fr. Massingale takes it a step further by casting racism in a cultural context - a "set of meanings, values, assumptions, and beliefs." He also addresses white privilege head on and in clear and understandable terms, which is not an easy task. The examination of the bishops' pastoral letters throughout the years is excellent.
Although there is the expected intellectual and thoughtful approach to this book, Fr. Massingale provides a wonderful balance between reason and emotion through his discussion of lament and compassion. I thought the following excerpt captures this well: "We act justly not because we are intellectually convinced, but because we are passionately moved. Compassion moves the will to justice."
Fr. Massingale also opens up and shares his personal challenges as a black Catholic priest and theologian, in addition to providing insights from the perspective of the black experience and "community in struggle." The need for healing is also brought to light, as is the engagement of Catholics and Christians to understand the importance of racial reconciliation, which Fr. Massingale notes "is not concerned with the elimination of racial differences, but rather the elimination of the stigma and privilege associated with race."
In closing, while this book details the major challenges of dismantling racism, it also inspires the reader and offers hope that with God's help the goal is attainable.
For the African peoples of sub-Saharan Africa, this book is a must read. It liberates as it exposes the multifaceted ways we have internalized white supremacy to the point of complacency. We have become a people so easy to be ruled that we have become victims of bad governance, oppression, repression. This is the book that liberates the psyche and gives one reason for self-reflection.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very thought-provoking. There is a lot packed into this little book and makes for a good book club reader.Published 17 months ago by Pamela Taylor
If you're a person of color, you've got to read it ... Especially if you're Catholic!Published 19 months ago by me