NCR Podcast: Why systemic racism is a pro-life issue

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Worshippers exchange the sign of peace on the second evening of an African-American Catholic revival celebration Feb. 6 at St. Rita's Catholic Church in San Diego. (CNS/David Maung)
Worshippers exchange the sign of peace on the second evening of an African-American Catholic revival celebration Feb. 6 at St. Rita's Catholic Church in San Diego. (CNS/David Maung)

If Catholic leaders are willing to hit the streets, carry banners and lobby lawmakers for the unborn, they should also be pouring out of churches to resist the assault on black and brown bodies, say John Gehring and Jeanné L.L. Isler.

On the show today:

Background reading:

  • As two Catholics — a black woman and a white man — Isler and Gehring found it unacceptable that Catholic bishops were missing in action when white supremacists came to Washington, D.C. That moment sparked their commentary piece for NCR.
  • Georgetown University in 2016 pledged to expand its academic focus in African-American studies and establish a new research center as part of a series of measures to better engage the issue of racial injustice in America — a decision partly fueled by recent campus unrest with its own historical role in slavery.
  • Pope Francis has told the U.S. bishops that they should not close in on themselves but seek to go out and be at service to dialogue and encounter.
  • White sisters seem to be the members of the Catholic Church most open to a process of self-reflection when it comes to racism, and yet anti-blackness has been a defining feature of religious life in the United States, reports Dawn Araujo-Hawkins.

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*In the podcast introduction Isler was introduced as an employee of the National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy. She works for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.


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