Critical race theory comes to church and my children’s Catholic schools

Why are Catholic schools tossing aside 2000 years of Catholic theological and intellectual tradition for unproven and divisive theories? I wonder: will students begin to think that social-justice activism takes priority over eternal salvation?

(Image: Sarah Noltner/Unsplash.com)

In mid-August, I attended an online presentation by a Catholic nun on “Race and the Catholic Church.” The presenter—I’ll call her “Sister”—was a theology professor who had taught at a nearby Catholic university. I approached the conference with an open mind and heart, but was wary about the pre-event advertising. We were promised we would learn about the “eruption of racial pain after the death of George Floyd.” We were given “A Very Select List of Reading Suggestions,” mainly secular and rooted in what is known in academic circles as “critical race theory”— from authors including Ibram X. Kendi, Robin DiAngelo and Bryan Massingale. Critical race theory—a viewpoint that society is inherently racist and constructed by whites at the expense of people of color—is a dangerous and unjust attempt to divide people.

As a Catholic, I believe its neo-Marxist and deconstructionist principles conflict with the Church’s teachings on human dignity. I hoped the Church wasn’t falling for this nonsense. But I came away from the presentation even more worried that this professor’s campus ideologies are now taking root in Oregon’s Catholic churches and schools. I will return to those broader themes below. But first let me describe the experience of Sister leading the charge against white supremacy during her presentation.

The Church and systemic racism

On the appointed Sunday afternoon, I joined two dozen other parishioners online in a “reflection on racism and the reign of God in light of our Catholic faith and the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.” Sister grounded us in the present day unrest, explaining that “the eruption of racial pain after the death of George Floyd was in response to ongoing white supremacy terrorism.” She lectured on critical race theory and used the terms “systemic racism,” “institutional racism,” white privilege,” “white body privilege,”  “black body trauma,” “white frame,” and “patriarchy.” She referred to Europeans as “conquerors” and to slavery as “our original sin.”

According to Sister—who happens to be white—the Catholic Church is complicit in systemic racism. “The Church is in it,” she said. “We are in it.”

Sister gave several detailed examples of racism. Her Dominican order has a sister community in South Africa. While she was visiting and providing training there this past winter, she said she saw the stark disparities in education and circumstance between blacks and whites. She insisted that the black nuns there continue to be victims of racism and that “apartheid, though illegal, is baked into the country’s fabric.” Then she introduced Professor James H. Cone’s Black Liberation Theology and recommended his book The Cross and the Lynching Tree. In the book, the cross represents the “black life God” while the lynching tree represents “white power and black death.” Sister spoke about the book in the context of the horrific 1955 murder of Emmett Till and the significance of his death to the Civil Rights Movement. While I was grateful for the country insight report and history lesson, I wasn’t sure how these anecdotes justified her views about white supremacy terrorism in America today.

The discussion then shifted to the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ official statements on racism. Sister told us that while the statements were helpful, the bishops did not go far enough because the they “don’t want to make whites uncomfortable.” And she questioned the USCCB’s credibility on this issue given the predominantly white racial makeup of the group. After the presentation, I read through the two most recent pastoral letters. The documents are grounded in Christian teachings of justice, mercy and love. They explain that human persons are created in the image and likeness of God. Racism is sinful—it is a violation of human dignity. But I was surprised that the letters apparently assume that all economic, housing, welfare, and incarceration disparities are caused solely by racism.

The presentation ended with a Q&A session. The other participants’ comments all seemed to support Sister’s views. One parishioner asked how to make liturgy and music more “intercultural” and inclusive. Another attendee asked how police brutality fits in with all of this. Sister did admit that police had been helpful to her home-parish in a challenging Bronx, New York neighborhood. But she insisted that because police are “blue bodies,” they suffer from “body trauma” and engage in misconduct. She cited the example of black parents giving their sons “the talk” about police as proof that systemic police racism exists. Another participant asked how to move forward from “awareness” to “action.” Sister’s response, again, was: “The Church is in it. We are in it.”

Since that Sunday afternoon, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what I’d heard from Sister, and perhaps more importantly what I hadn’t heard from her. I wish the message would have been that sins such as racism are best addressed and overcome through turning toward Jesus Christ, the Gospel, the Church, and Catholic doctrine and practice. Catholicism and its human rights principles are based on authentic universality and supernatural unity, the antidote to the diversity message of chaos espoused in many of the secular resources that Sister was recommending.

Liberation theology is especially concerning. According to a 1984 document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, signed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, it has been used to justify violence and has tendencies toward Marxism, which includes denial of the human person, his liberty and rights. While Marxism, as the document notes, has taken various forms over the decades, to “the extent that they remain fully Marxist, these currents continue to be based on certain fundamental tenets which are not compatible with the Christian conception of humanity and society” (#8). Supporting these sort of deficient and often-subversive ideologies is essentially support for destruction of the traditional family and unjust acts against people, property, and the Church. All of which we have been seeing far too often this year across America, not least here in Portland, Oregon. None of these were mentioned in the presentation I attended.

Are critical theory-inspired views becoming the norm in some Catholic schools?

I also thought about what this means for me personally, and for my family. As a mom, I think about how these messages will impact kids. Do I want kids to grow up believing that skin color is perhaps more important than treating people as individuals? Do I want white kids to be burdened with inescapable guilt? Do I want kids of color to feel the hopelessness that comes with permanent victim status? Some black scholars believe these views are dehumanizing and condescending to their kids. And how should concepts such as “white body privilege” and “white frame” be taught to children? It is reasonable to conclude that these ideas, for young people of any race, could result in unhealthy self-hatred for their immutable characteristics. Body-image issues can be toxic, especially for teens.

And some kids of color already feel they have to be “poster children” in advertisements for their schools and extracurricular organizations. I worry about teaching kids to believe there is a whole class of people that is an enemy—it’s corrosive to their futures, and to their souls.

It appears to me that these messages—in the form of diversity, equity and inclusion lessons—are becoming the de facto religion at my daughter’s Catholic high school in Portland. Over the summer, administrators told parents that “DEI” (diversity, equity, and inclusion) efforts were driving teacher trainings, English, and history department curriculum changes, and the newly scheduled homeroom class period was created so that “diversity, equity, and inclusion can be taught more intentionally.” The first lesson included a video that begins with an image of a raised clenched fist and a discussion in which my daughter’s teacher insisted that “white students at the school have more power and privilege than other students.” At the school’s virtual fall parent evening, the administrator in charge of diversity pointed out the resources available on the school’s website—and they are the same resources Sister had provided to our neighborhood parish.

At school, though, the term “critical race theory” has been replaced with the term “racial literacy.” What student or parent or teacher can argue with “literacy?”

Through its website and daily announcements, the school promoted “How To Be An Antiracist: 2020 Election & Beyond,” a talk to be given on September 10th by Ibram X. Kendi, one of the authors Sister had recommended in her parish presentation. I was curious and registered for the online event hosted by a Catholic university in the Midwest. Perhaps I would find that my concerns about Kendi and these theories were overblown. But I became even more disheartened while listening to Kendi speak—about anti-racism, Angela Davis, and abolishing police, prisons, and even capitalism. Kendi used nonsensical “Kafka trap” logic in saying that the only way to not be racist is to insist we’ll always be racist. He explained that our present-day resistance to the “elimination of police and prisons –that are based on slave-patrols” is just as regressive as pre-Civil-War-era resistance to the immediate emancipation of slaves. And he insisted that we “can’t separate capitalism from racism … they are the conjoined twins.”

I came away from the talk even more concerned. It seemed Kendi was using claims of racism, not in an earnest effort to fight real discrimination, but rather as means to advocate for the unabashed shakedown of America for cash—reparations and redistribution of wealth. And he seemed to be willing to spread radical and toxic views in order to do it.

I was surprised that my daughter’s Catholic school had promoted Kendi’s talk and recommended his books on its website. Why are Catholic schools tossing aside 2000 years of Catholic theological and intellectual tradition—and our Greek, Roman and Jewish heritage—for these unproven and divisive theories? Why are black authors with other viewpoints— John McWhorter, Glenn Loury, Thomas Sowell, Jason Riley, Shelby Steele, and others—being excluded from my daughter’s diversity lessons? Why is her school choosing to teach these topics through a secular lens? I wonder if academic rigor and pursuit of truth and beauty will be crowded out entirely. I wonder: will students begin to think that social-justice activism takes priority over eternal salvation?

The urgency of normalcy—and witness—in a time of unrest

I know Sister meant well with her presentation. Catholic teaching calls us to make a preferential option for the poor and marginalized. But the Church is in danger of replacing one form of marginalization with another, and in the process is becoming marginalized. In this year of divisiveness and unrest, our society and culture appear to be drifting even further from the Church and her teachings. And due to the pandemic, many Catholics have had to face these changes without access to Church life, the Mass, and the Eucharist. In September, Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Vatican’s dicastery for liturgy and sacraments, sent a letter to bishops around the world, saying “it is necessary and urgent to return to the normality of Christian life.”

But will that normalcy return? In mid-September we went back to church and my daughter was able to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. But the sweetness of the celebration that evening was made bittersweet by the gravity of the archbishop’s homily message. He spoke aloud all of the worries that have been on my heart this year. He warned that “God was toughening us up for the difficult days ahead” as “the world was moving in a different direction” and that we must “read the signs of the times.”

I am convinced that the unrest we’re seeing in 2020 and responses such as “anti-racism” education—however well-intentioned—have little to do with actually ending discrimination. Rather, they are part of an attack on institutions including the Church and on religious liberty itself. But many Catholics have been afraid to defend our faith—about the goodness of physically attending church or the goodness of our beliefs, our practices, our history—for fear of offending or of being “canceled” socially or professionally. Worries about “religious tests” are real.

As another archbishop recently wrote, “If attacks on belief are an acceptable standard by which to impugn judicial nominees today, then tomorrow they’ll be used on the rest of us who uphold the teachings of our faith.” At Mass that evening, I prayed for the strength I would need to defend my faith as I was called to do at my own Confirmation—to start to speak out. The Church is in it. We are in it. Just not in the way that Sister meant when she lectured to us on that hot August afternoon.


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About Mary Miller 1 Article
Mary Miller Mary Miller is an advocate for faith, families, and education. She consults for several education-related nonprofit organizations in the Portland, Oregon metro area and holds two business degrees from UCLA. Her three children attend Catholic schools.

95 Comments

  1. How we need bishops who will stand up for the perennial Catholic truths, and denounce the preaching of secular ideology as compatible with Church tradition.

  2. It’s generally cheaper to host listening sessions or run woke slogans on a website than to actually do anything meaningful.

    I made a comment elsewhere that our Armed forces could save themselves time and money teaching against racist behavior by buying each recruit a 23 and Me DNA kit. Virtually every black enlisted man or woman will find they have European and possibly other ancestors. And a great many whites will find the reverse.A number of Hispanics will discover European,Jewish and perhaps African ancestors.
    Most Americans are a bit mixed up DNA wise. The longer your family has lived here the more likely that’s going to be.
    Perhaps the diocese can buy one of those DNA kits for Sister and she can move on to better things.
    🙂

    • Yes! The human race is on its way to becoming a “mud puddle”. When the differences in in cultures, Race, national and cultural traditions are obliterated, “Diversity” will be completely erased.

      • Race is really something that’s always been more fluid than we imagine but I don’t know if I’d use the words “mud puddle. ”
        Culture not color is what we should be concerned about preserving.

    • Love the idea. I myself have Neanderthal DNA. Also Irish, with which I was a bit…not excited about. Nothing against the Irish!! We had this tobacco shop in town way back and I crushed on this one red-haired man with the most beautiful Irish accent. I loved going there with my father for pipe tobacco.
      .
      But all growing up people thought I was Irish. No, I’m Danish and Swedish I insisted. And also Irish and English and German and French and Neanderthal.

  3. The Church is becoming too political and decisive. A person should be judged by who they are as a person, not the color of their skin. At Masses too much emphasis on how much money you should donate, God is barely mentioned. The Church should not bring politics to the pulpit. It turns believers away

  4. What did you expect from Portland counterculture?
    This article should go viral in the local Catholic community
    For our sake and the sake of the Chuch

  5. “I know Sister meant well…”

    Boy, have you drunk the Kool-Aid. Quick, move away from the Portland area. It might be wise to sit down as a family and watch the movie Fahrenheit 451.

    • C’mon, Deacon. The author, with charity and clarity, critiques this nonsense, and you insult her? Her point is clear: she thinks the Sister is sincere in her beliefs. But, as Mrs. Miller points out, Sister is also quite wrong.

      As someone who has lived in Portland/Eugene, Oregon, since 1991 (and entered the Church in 1997), I can say without reservation that it takes a bit of courage to make these sort of stands. Not so much with the cheap insults.

      • Gimme a break, Carl. I wasn’t criticizing her. I was more pitying her naivete for falling for this nun’s Catholic Light. I truly feel for these unsuspecting Catholics.

        • Yes! I stumbled over the same statement that firmly suggests the author’s unswerving confidence in “Sister’s” good intentions…?

          Lord have Mercy!

  6. I am very grateful for this very personal and enlightening account of what is going on in some of our Catholic schools. I am hoping that Mary Miller will continue to write on this very important topic. It is even more important when you consider that we are not being educated in our homilies about any of this. And, she is doubly right in saying, as more and more of us are beginning to realize — it is not enough to KNOW about this. It is time for us to speak up and speak out. Ora pro nobis.

  7. In 1996 then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote: The fall of the European governmental systems based on Marxism turned out to be a kind of twilight of the gods for that theology of redeeming political praxis. Precisely in those places where the Marxist, liberating ideology had been applied consistently, a radical lack of freedom had been produced, the horror of which now appeared out in the open before the eyes of world public opinion. The fact is that when politics want to bring redemption, they promise too much. When they presume to do God’s work, they do not become divine but diabolical.” (“The Current Situation of Faith and Theology” presented at Guadalajara, Mexico, 7 May 1996).

    The ideology of what is now known as “Liberation Theology” failed then. Are we doomed to try and fail again?

    May God forbid this.

  8. Mary Miller is an extremely generous person. I am not so sure that “Sister,” and her kind, deserve the benefit of the doubt of having “meant well.”

  9. Right or wrong, it is my impression that since the John F. Kennedy election that a majority of U.S. Catholics stick with Catholicism for secular and political rather than Faith reasons. Recently I found myself sitting at a table with an ordained practising Catholic priest who was swearing, yes swearing, about political conservatives, especially Republicans. I just listened. He felt pressed to convey that he was comfortable with the Catholic Church being in a fight for ‘social justice’, I guess as opposed to evangelizing for repentance and Faith. I guess what bothered me most was that he was very sure that the Church held his position. I confronted him by asking if he believed in the story of the Samaritan. He replied that he did. I then asked if he would himself help such a person by the wayside in similar circumstances. Again he said that he would. Then I asked him if he would help that person if that person was a Republican. He came back with “Are you a priest?”. I replied no and he quickly and decisively got up from his seat and away from me across the room. It was clear that he did not want to be in the presence of a person such as me. Again, as fate would have it, he was the priest serving the Mass I attended the next day. When it came time to give me communion, he hesitated, as if he was doubting that I was worthy enough. Then, I guess because he thought that it would be public embarrassment for him not to give me Communion, he quickly pushed the Eucharist at me as if to imply “There. Now get lost.” I am no longer able to think that this was an extreme case. So many Catholics, including priests, now are owned by a fog of partisanship to the point where it dominates their hearts. Holy Spirit help us.

  10. 1 Teach your children the Faith that’s your job
    2 Division and Diversion are not of God
    3 Pray for our brothers and sisters

  11. We read: “As another archbishop recently wrote, ‘If attacks on belief are an acceptable standard by which to impugn judicial nominees today, then tomorrow they’ll be used on the rest of us who uphold the teachings of our faith.’”

    It’s all about the new theology/idolatry of “intersectionality”, i.e., the intersection between identity politics or now race vs. the world. While, instead, the “teachings of the Faith” are about the intersection between the the world and the Triune Oneness. The latter is the “orientation(!)”, so to speak, of the now-displaced Catholic Social Teaching.

    Sister Simple (and her lemmings), who surely “meant well,” should stand in front of a mirror and read up on Stalin’s “useful idiots”.

  12. This type of stuff is not really new. Going back a few years, I was considering sending my daughter to a Catholic High School in the Chicago NW Suburbs. She was completing 8th grade at a Catholic Grade School. The High School had an open house. As part of this I sat in a discussion with one of the religion teachers. It became apparent this school was not for my daughter. My opinion was that the teacher was going way out of bounds on Catholic Teaching.

    Parents need to be careful on the Catholic School they are considering for their children. Let’s face it there is no one Catholic standard anymore. A lot of people seem to think they are the pope and make up new doctrines or whatever else. This sister mentioned is an example. People like this cite past bad examples, just make up stuff, or take events out of context. The sad thing is satan can dress himself up in many way to slaughter the sheep. Faithful Catholic need to know their faith, be discerning and hardest of all call out the wrong statements made by such individuals. However, when pushing back on this stuff be prepared. No one like criticism, so be careful and forthright and willing to stand your ground.

    • There is a Chesterton Academy that opened this year in Lake County, IL that serves McHenry and Lake Counties. There is another one in the western Chicago suburbs that has been going for a few years. There is another one 3 hours west of Chicago, in Rockford, IL.

  13. Critical race theory, that society is inherently racist and constructed by whites at the expense of people of color is dangerous (Mary Miller). Portlandia [the series both hilarious and depressing] does produce advocates for truth and justice. In Mary a courageous mother and educator in defense of her’s and all children. The series should have been a wakeup call to reality not the prevailing call to wokeness. Archbishop Sample, a more outspoken leader advising Mary and attendees that they need to “toughen up” for the perilous future, should also have refused Critical Race Theory in Catholic schools. Race theory divides and I add to Mary Miller’s assessment destroys. It is a flawed theory not simply because of its prejudiced self serving premises including systemic racism, rather that it is purported to be inherent. Meaning if you’re White you are by nature racist and prone to fascist ideology. The very charges made against Trump, Republicans, of recent note the two Michigan Republican observers who justly refused certification of a county vote count because of a major 71% discrepancy. Not only were they vilified but they and their children openly threatened. Critical Race Theory is itself racist and logically erroneous, a truly vicious lie. If you’re White you’re inherently a White supremacist. A fascist [thus spake Antifa]. If Black you’re oppressed. All Blacks are Victims. The Theory is anti justice, anti humanness, Antichrist by definition. Like Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals its major premise is to irreconcilably divide privileged on one side victims the other with the onus for the privileged to make permanent restitution. If not you will be harmed. As Miller points out a radically dangerous belief system that must be repudiated by all particularly our bishops.

    • How good has the American Catholic Church been with race? As the only true Universal Church, do our parishes reflect the population surrounding them? Do we welcome iconography and statuary of non-European appearing saints? How do we treat non native English speaking priests sent into our parishes because of the vocations gap? Why do our Catholic Charities (CC) posters depict the poor as people of color when the bulk of CC clients are Anglo? Why do most parishes that struggle with the GIA vs. traditional music fight not struggle with inclusion of music from minority cultures? Do you even know how you arrived at your opinions on race? That is, can you trace the development of your personal views to objective truths or do you incorporate experience and assumed knowledge? Have you or your parish ever allowed a person of color to voice the struggles they face in our Church or in your parish? To what extent are you able to answer these questions apart from your socioeconomic and racial background?

      If your answer to most or all of these issues is that there is no problem, you are missing the truth that the poorly constructed critical race theory (crt) is desperately trying to quantify. Our Church does exhibit some systematic racial issues. As an example, refusing to depict a Jewish Jesus, Our Lady and other early Church Saints as nothing other than as mid continent Europeans is a systematic untruth that is perpetuated by indirect actions of the majority culture and the “system” of the Church. Offering “separate but equal” Hispanic activities and Masses and charity-but not inclusion-to Blacks is not God honoring. Refusing to acknowledge or address the panoply of real racial struggles preserves the homogeneity of the American Church over and against a surrounding culture that is becoming more “colorful.”

      The Church itself is not flawed, it is the people within it that exhibit a collective flaw that spring from individual concupiscence. As Gregory Baum suggests, “Personal sin is freely chosen; social sin is collective blindness.”

      Catholics are known for taking the via media and for “baptizing” culture and cultural ideas for the Church’s usage. Perhaps Instead of simply dismissing CRT, let’s dissect it, correct it, learn from it and grow.

      • Problematic with the program as presented is not the issue itself, rather its presentation instilling false guilt and a sense of reparation to minorities that is not charity oriented rather as socialistic compulsion. That is centered on the presumption of inherent systemic prejudice. We are called to charity toward all by Gospel mandate, not prepackaged superficial solvents designed by the presumed intellectual elitists among us.

      • OpenToFullness what is social sin, a sin that is impersonal. Gregory Baum is speaking figuratively I presume. Otherwise he’s wrong. Also as regards Black participation, “Offering ‘separate but equal’ Hispanic activities and Masses and charity-but not inclusion-to Blacks is not God honoring”. That isn’t exclusion at all. Hispanics have a different language and customs. They were in America centuries prior to Blacks. Ever since the Civil Rights movement parishes have made real efforts to be conscious of racial issues, and be inclusive regarding Afro Americans and their culture. Much prior to that in the South priests included Blacks in the liturgy alongside Whites, at summer camps against local ordinance. Some priests were lashed. During my years of experience as a priest in America, Europe, Africa Black Catholics were always included. Pastors I’ve known made exceptional effort to be inclusive. If any Church made efforts to include Blacks in the US it’s the Catholic Church.

        • Fr. Thank you for your comments.

          Gregory Baum is not mistaken. St. John Paul II suggested the same in “Reconciliatio et paenitentia” (1984). “Whenever the church speaks of situations of sin or when the church condemns as social sins certain situations or the collective behavior of certain social groups, big or small, or even whole nations and blocs of nations, she knows and proclaims that such cases of social sin are the result of the accumulation and concentration of many personal sins.” In “Ut unam sint” he further suggests, “Not only personal sin must be forgiven and left behind, but also social sins, which is to say the sinful ‘structures’ themselves which have contributed and can still contribute to division and to the reinforcing of division.” Finally (but not exhaustively) he suggests a recursive effect that arises when structures “…grow stronger, spread, and become the source of other sins, and so influence people’s behaviors.” (Solicitudo rei socialis)

          Benedict XVI suggests that personal sin impacts structures. “The Church’s wisdom has always pointed to the presence of original sin in social conditions and in the structure of society” (Caritas in veritate). Like St. JPII, Benedict suggests a recursive effect. “…being necessary in themselves, (structures) often tend to become fixed and fossilized as mechanisms relatively independent of the human will, thereby paralyzing or distorting social development and causing injustice” Instruction on Freedom, p.74.

          Baum encapsulates these notions and pushes further by suggesting “…sinful economic and political structures tend to create a culture of conformity and passivity” where human freedom is maintained but the individual is lulled to passivity. In all my posts on this page, I am suggesting that passivity is evil.

          You suggest examples of heroic virtue from the past, but that same moxie is needed today to combat passivity. Old paradigms are dated. Even the USCCB suggests that culturally diverse parishes are the fastest growing parishes: https://www.usccb.org/news/2016/new-study-cultural-diversity-displays-catholic-churchs-growing-multicultural-parish Protestant communities noticed this trend as well and have been rapidly reorienting. https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2018/june/multiracial-congregations-triple-protestants-baylor-study.html

          • A well researched response OpenToFullness. Although “suggestion” may suggest fact it’s not. Just a recall to your first response, Let’s not forget perhaps the most famous and beloved image of our Blessed Mother, that of the Native Am Our Lady of Guadalupe [and they’re are many others St Martin de Porres, St Benedict the Moor, St Rose of Lima, St Kateri Tekakwitha and on and on]. And yes I dislike the blond blue eyed depictions of Jesus of Nazareth. Accumulative sins do not necessarily constitute a separate specifically defined sin. Prejudice is such an accumulation that is sinful when manifest in cruelty, contempt that becomes a conscious act and a specified sin. To speak of an inherent sin of White supremacy requires specificity. Klu Klux Klan who tortured and lynched were certainly conscious of their sin. A woman, Mary Miller doesn’t believe she’s guilty by nature because she’s white. Although granted Baum could be correct in his assessment of a form of subconscious accumulative sin when behavior is manifestly sinful. A person with a sense of superiority demeans a servant, or another person believing their behavior is warranted. An example I experienced in Charleston decades past was an quite elderly passerby black man who felt compelled to say, Good day sir. I was young, white, ashamed to be conventionally honored by someone I should have offered the honor of respect. If a white were to passby and accept the honor with smugness, say without acknowledgment of the disparity of justice it is sin. Even if they’re convinced of their superiority and that it’s not sin. Underlying all our moral acts is an inherent knowledge of right and wrong, good and evil. The Natural Law Within, God’s signature on the human soul. A prescient knowledge realized when we act. The ground for moral responsibility despite our rationalizations that it is not. Conscience is not entirely inviolable because conscience is formed by this inherent knowledge regardless of our decision to rationalize it away. We are guilty because of what we should have consciously known. The mistake of an inherent sin, apart from the complexity of a tendency toward sin in Original Sin is the positing of an inherent sin called White Supremacy. Or Systemic Racism due to being White. If Mary Miller treats all including minorities with goodness the real sin is actually accusing her of sin. The reason such an accusation is sin, a severe sin is because it purposely transposes evil where there is good. Similar to Our Lord calling out those who accused him of exorcism by the power of Satan. A sin against the Holy Spirit. Again in the case of Mary Miller a sin against good.

          • I agree that specific sin and structural sin are two different moral categories. This is why you have read that I am not a fan of CRT. I am making a case based upon the distinction of active SIN and passive PARTICIPATION. This distinction aligns with the papal quotes listed above.

            Participants passively accept structures as immovable and therefore allow the structural ill that these systems engender to be visited upon others within the system. As systems have a recursive impact on those within the system, sinfully influenced systems will have sinful impacts (but not morally attributable sinful acts) on all participants within the system.

            Let me explain what I mean via an example: Consider the number of Black priests in the USA. From the USCCB links I have previously posted, you will see that there are nearly twice as many Black deacons as there are priests. One problem is that Black Catholics are urban and products of less rigorous urban education. Academic entrance into priestly formation is restricted by academic ability. While the Diocese or a formation director is not racist in noting the academic deficiency that may exclude a potential formation candidate, the complex web of decisions that created this disparity is structurally impacting Black vocations. Passivity in this case would sound like “It’s too bad,” or “They need to study ‘harder,'” “these are the rules,” “changing the system is ‘Marxism,'” “they are being racist against Whites by considering Blacks with lesser scores,” or something worse.

            The accumulated sin that causes a structure to have recursive effects on individuals is not a moral agent (and therefore can’t sin) but the created structure visits real ill upon others. This is why I said that “separate but equal” is not God honoring as it presumes an anthropocentric ontology that does not see that the “stranger” may be my teacher. “Separate but equal” also holds that my culture (or system of accumulated decisions) is more important than charity or genuine fraternity with all of God’s family. In short, this stance communicates that “I can’t love my neighbor as myself.” It is also short sighted in that the next generation of socially acculturated children will not find footing in either “separate but equal” community.

            What I speak of is best typified in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The system encouraged passivity on part of the Priest/Levite. Both of these characters had culturally valid (systemic) reasons for seeing the plight of the robed man but not responding to it. The Samaritan entered into the situation, violated norms and fixed it. He was lauded not just because of the morally superior act, but because he did not act passively. I further suggest that not acting passively is the modus of the Trinity itself!

      • Open to fulness,
        I’m not sure where you live but I live in the Deep South and we still have separate black and white churches within each parish. It’s a holdover from segregation days but the real resistance to merge the parish comes from the black congregation. It’s their little church and they run it. The Jesus over their altar is very dark skinned, the hymnals contain black gospel and spirituals, and unlike the white churches choir, the black choir could cut an album. They have their own Creole trail riding association.
        Perhaps you are already aware of the large number of historically black Catholic churches in the South but I just thought I’d mention that.
        Just FYI, before the War Between the States, free Creole people of color also had their own churches. Some were wealthy plantation owners and their slaves sat in the back of the church. Creole people didn’t consider themselves black and were offended when Jim Crow laws came about and affected them in the same way they affected their former slaves.

        • These anecdotal accounts of historical Black/White Catholic Communities do change the fact that they represent a dated mode of the Church. This mode is influenced more by culture than by the nature of the Church. In effect, these modes are cultural concessions and non-normative.

          As I indicated elsewhere, the USCCB and Protestant churches have all discovered that multiethnic/multiracial churches are key. The fact that some communities in certain geographical locations have a particular systemic practice cannot be extrapolated as universally normative. Consider that at one point Catholics had German, Polish, Irish, etc.. communities. These communities blended for a host of systemic reasons and despite local resistance, different language, different customs and norms, and different “many other things.”

          Perhaps, the culture around us is doing this better than the Church is.

      • “Do we welcome iconography and statuary of non-European appearing saints?”

        If the saint in question is “non-European,” of course. If not, not.

        “How do we treat non native English speaking priests sent into our parishes because of the vocations gap?”

        With profound gratitude for their vocation and their courage and charity for leaving their homes and coming to a different country.

        “Why do our Catholic Charities (CC) posters depict the poor as people of color when the bulk of CC clients are Anglo?”

        So, all “people of not-color” are Anglo, then? Not, say Italian or French or Greek or Polish or Russian or Swiss or Swedish or anything? And let’s look at the Spanish – are they “people of color,” unlike the other Europeans from the Mediterranean area? What an utterly loopy way to look at people.

        “Why do most parishes that struggle with the GIA vs. traditional music fight not struggle with inclusion of music from minority cultures?”

        And what music would that “music from minority cultures” be? The point of the GIA vs. “traditional music” is that apart from being, frequently, theologically unsound, the GIA music equally frequently is secular in nature musically – happy-clappy, hippy-dippy, Broadway style. I like this video: https://gloria.tv/post/8a2FBuhYbeBZ3Po9KCMMqevbN So, again, this “music from minority cultures” – do you mean music from minority *secular* culture? Then, no, it shouldn’t be included. If by “music from minority cultures” you mean specifically Catholic hymns from that culture, sure. But just as I doubt that any early Christian hymns were, “Hey, let’s honor our Roman roots by taking a song we sang at the Saturnalia and giving it some new lyrics and using it at Mass!” I don’t think that pre-Christian religious music should be considered.

        “Do you even know how you arrived at your opinions on race? That is, can you trace the development of your personal views to objective truths or do you incorporate experience and assumed knowledge?”

        You mean, do I make a real effort to spend huge amounts of time thinking about me me me me me and psychoanalyzing myself? No. Race is utterly irrelevant – it’s some pigmentation and some physical characteristics. I think you’re confusing race with culture, which can be relevant.

        “Have you or your parish ever allowed a person of color to voice the struggles they face in our Church or in your parish?”

        I haven’t prevented anybody from doing so.

        “To what extent are you able to answer these questions apart from your socioeconomic and racial background?”

        I notice that you ignore our religious background. Mine is Catholic – the universal Church – and I don’t spend massive amounts of time parsing who is physically or economically like me. So, for example, I think that I would get along very well with Cardinal Sarah, who is from a different socioeconomic and racial (not to mention national) background than mine; but I doubt very much that I would get along with Fr. James Martin, who is.

        “As an example, refusing to depict a Jewish Jesus, Our Lady and other early Church Saints as nothing other than as mid continent Europeans is a systematic untruth that is perpetuated by indirect actions of the majority culture and the “system” of the Church.”

        You mean like the images of Jesus that are clearly based on the Shroud of Turin? Are they insufficiently “Jewish” for you? They don’t look particularly “mid continent European.” Or Our Lady of Guadalupe, with her darker skin, who chose to appear that way? Or the Vilnius image of Divine Mercy, to which Jesus gave His approval?

        Your reasoning appears to be that people feel unwelcome and uncomfortable where images of the Lord and His saints don’t look the way those particular people do, and so are driven away from the Church. By your own logic, putting up images of non-white Jesus and His saints would make the white members of the congregation feel unwelcome and uncomfortable and drive them away from the Church. Is that what you want? Tell me, if a church in, say, Africa, had images of a black Jesus and Mary and the early saints, and had a minority of white parishioners, would you be indignant that the church wasn’t providing images of a white Jesus?

        I don’t think any problems there may be are going to be solved by your approach.

        • Leslie,
          Thank you for your response. My questions and my argumentation center on how our assumptions and the influence of systemic structures create lenses through which we fail to see fully.

          As reductio ad absurdum argumentation cannot lead to a productive end, I encourage you to read the many other posts I have written on this page. They will address many of the issues you detail here. Pax.

          • I see no reason to read them. My statements were not a reductio ad absurbam argument, and telling me that I will become enlightened by wading through more of your posts is not a reply.

  14. Racism is no more systemic than any other sin. Its use is simply another tool of the revolution seeking to dislodge the traditional understanding of justice. The term “Social Justice” is inventive and restrictive. All justice is and always has been social.

  15. ‘ I haven’t been able to stop thinking ..’ – the focal point , in the battle of the wills , as thoughts – as mentioned in the Psalms as well , which gives us the occasion to make sacrifices of an ongoing nature , of the self will , its thoughts and lies , to make room for the Divine Will ; agree with most of the concerns in the article as well as the needed answers .

    Saying things such as ‘white children have more power ‘ in itself can lead to the same ‘ non stop ‘ thinking , to serve as a source of pride , envy , fear and despair
    unless all involved have been ‘vaccinated ‘ with the powerful preventive – such as the endearing and powerful truth of the role and love of the Blessed Mother for each of us , even from the very moment of her own Conception as narrated in an exceptional manner , for our times , so much afflicted by the ‘death spirits .

    Those authors whose books have spread like the mustard seeds that can cover mountains , in evil thoughts like the enemy attacks that the psalms are blessing us to fight against – from not having taken efforts to fill the hearts and minds with enough praise and gratitude to The Father , united in His Will – thank God that The Father , having foreseen these times , have given us the remedy early enough for enough to have come across same and hopefully , for many more .

    With Thanksgiving around , well acclaimed books on the Divine Will can be given as gifts to many , to also make good use of the money that would not be spent on travel by the families .

    https://www.blancpublishing.com/

    Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will and Hours of Passion – esp. well acclaimed and may be The Bishops / schools can advise that those who desire to address race issues / teachings on sexuality and such are to be well familiar with the above so that the
    ? the hidden agenda of subtle lies to use race as a means to inject hatred and contempt towards The Church would be washed away in the merits of The Crowning of thorns and so on ..

    The Divine Will as pure light , giving us the means to love God with the Will and Love with which He loves us , regardless of race , age – hope there would be no one who would want to reject such a Truth .

  16. This is very alarming. Critical race theory is divisive, founded upon reverse racism and Neo Marxist ideology. This is not an isolated incident. A well known liberation theologian Leonardo Boff is speaking at a Vatican-sponsored economic conference. Neither Marxism or racism are at all compatible with the Catholic Church. The attempted association must be stopped. https://www.ncregister.com/blog/leonardo-boff-keynote

  17. Its upsetting that our Catholic schools are infected with these pernicious diabolical ideas. And in many cases, these ideas are championed by the parent body. Is there nowhere parents can educate their children while avoiding them?

  18. Thank you, Mrs. Miller for writing this excellent piece. I wish it could be said that these antics are new or limited to the West Coast. Variations of this Marxist garbage have been present in Catholic schools nationwide for the last fifty years. History and literature, my favorite subjects, were far too often classes that had to be endured instead of enjoyed at my Catholic high school in the 1980s. Coming from a solidly conservative and very politically and religiously well-informed family, I was immune to the propaganda, but so many of classmates were affected by it, even if subconsciously. Some of them are voters today. The question in this case is why is it happening in Archbishop Sample’s diocese?

  19. Thank you Mary for sharing this story.
    Unfortunately the Vatican/Pope/Bishops have lost sight of the true Mission, Salvation through Christ, and they are more concerned about secular society.

  20. “I wonder: will students begin to think that social-justice activism takes priority over eternal salvation?” Pope Francis has been preaching this error for seven years now.

  21. Many thanks to Mary Miller for an important perspective on most unfortunate trends in Catholic Education (and, one suspects, in many seminaries and convents).

    It is not just in the USA. After I (an Aussie academic) had given my invited key-note opening address, in Kenya, at an international conference on Ethics; with a low-key Christian motif (free on web: “Ethical Ontology Harmonizes Science & Revelation: .”), the local Catholic Priest – a distinguished African philosopher – severely questioned why I had not given greater emphasis to Marxist theory, with its dismissal of the possibility of godly ethical values.

    Quite a shock: in place of a strong Catholic affirmation, he gave me a back-hander across the face! God is merciful: a number of eminent African Protestant academics strongly complemented me on the address.

    Mary’s article, together with my experience, suggest that we lay people need to get far more involved in finding out exactly what is being taught in Church schools, seminaries, colleges, and convents. After all, they only exist because of our giving and that of our faithful forbears. As matters stand, we are being robbed blind.

  22. Mrs Miller tried to explain her fears of extremism teaching, discounts 20th century reports, but says we must continue with those from 2000 years ago. It would be great if she offered options but none are offered. As a grandparent of biracial school age grandchildren living in a very White state who continously are verbally and in some cases physically attacked, I live in a different world and if many White people would visit outside their bubble they might see what others live with on a daily basis. My daughter left the church because of the racist actions against her children and I cannot blame her even though it broke my heart. One final thing, “Sister,” traveled outside your safe world Mrs Miller and was exposed to things that you could never imagine, but you don’t have to travel outside the country, just visit very diverse cities and you might understand others views, which might help you to offer positive changes and or views, may God bless you in your life and your enlightenment to unity within our faith!

    • “Mrs Miller tried to explain her fears of extremism teaching, discounts 20th century reports, but says we must continue with those from 2000 years ago.”

      That’s a strange summary of the essay. Did we read the same thing? She certainly doesn’t discount the reality of racism (far from it), she just doesn’t believe that jettisoning a Christian anthropology in favor of warmed-over Marxist drivel is going to cut it when it comes to offering real hope and authentic truth. And, really, since when does critical race theory, which is essentially a form of post-modern racism, help people of different races and ethnicities get along and understand one another better? (Answer: never, ever.)

    • John Paul,
      Do you consider the Portland, OR metro area where the author works a “safe world”?? And do you know what racial mix her children might be?
      I hear you regarding your grandchildren’s experiences, but don’t think we should be make assumptions about others.

  23. The fringe on the left continues to have their way because nobody pushes BACK against their absurd accusations and notions. Racism against whites is STILL racism, no matter what any leftist claims. Its not OK to be racists to people simply because the new victims are white. Many of us are also tired of being blamed for the racial ills of the last century, which we took no part in making happen and for which we dont owe anyone a THING. Sometimes your own failure to advance is indeed YOUR own failure. I personally would never allow my children to be subjected to the smug self serving nonsense regarding race coming out of many of these schools. If the catholic church tries to follow down this road they will soon find themselves bereft of funds, as the church’s majority white base takes their dollars elsewhere. MY advice to anyone who is being subjected to this sort of racial hatred and disparity: Make your displeasure known loud and clear and let the chips fall where they may. Racism is NOT ok just because one has good intentions. Dont condone it by your silence.

  24. According to Critical Race Theory just about everything causes systemic racism. It reminds me of Charles Manson and the days of “Helter Skelter.” You can probably throw in Jim Jones of Guyana Kool-Aid infamy as well.

    • I saw an article in Mother Jones where sustainable family farms are now considered a racist proposition. Because they only work well for white colonial/settler people who’ve inherited the land, etc.
      Seriously…
      When the woke crowd cancels organic farming as racist you know they’re getting ready to turn on each other. Eventually there won’t be anyone else left to attack. Then maybe we can go on with our lives again.

      • What you describe sounds like cargo cult thinking. For those reading this comment who are unfamiliar with cargo cults Wikepedia says:
        *
        “A cargo cult is a millenarian belief system in which adherents practice rituals which they believe will cause a more technologically advanced society to deliver goods. These cults were first described in Melanesia in the wake of contact with Western military forces during the Second World War.”
        *
        This also has application in fields like science, engineering, computer programming, and management where people mimic the practices of successful people without understanding the underlying reason for why these practices work.

        • Funny you should mention that Greg because the Mother Jones article highlighted someone who couldn’t make a go of farming and wanted to blame that on systemic racism rather than on what every other farmer knows which is farming is very hard work, long hours,
          low pay and risky returns.
          Mimicking organic farming practices you saw in a magazine without understanding how, where, and why they work, not to mention having no prior farming experience is not a recipe for success.
          When that fails it’s always easier to blame it on systemic racism. Or whatever.
          I remember reading about cargo culture. Thank you for reminding me.

  25. So called “Critical Race Theory” is a poison. It is itself racism on steroids. It defines individuals by race, all the while decrying racial stereotypes and caricatures.

    It’s immaterial for example if one is Catholic, of Eastern European origin, Irish, Italian etc., with a long cherished family and personal history. No, all that matters is skin color; i.e. “whiteness” which is presumed without the slightest doubt to be somehow prima facie proof of “privilege”.

    Critical Race Theory is a virulent form of Marxism, and that many of our parishes, schools, bishops and priests are falling for it is disheartening. It should be condemned and opposed. Firmly. It is evil.

  26. No doubt, the new bishops’ committee on racism will ensure that any curriculum in Catholic schools dealing with “racism” (illustrating, or perhaps displacing moral theology?) will report:

    That slaves imported into the colonies and early United States were purchased from African BLACK SLAVE TRADERS,

    That the Constitution counting of each slave as 3/5ths of a PERSON (for purposes of state representation in the House) was a provision imposed on the Southern states in place of counting them more fully as a measure of “wealth” (property!), precisely because of the debasement they suffered (James Madison, Federalist Paper #54: “Let the compromising expedient of the Constitution be mutually adopted which regards them as inhabitants, but as debased by servitude below the equal level of free inhabitants, which regards the ‘slave’ as divested of two fifths of the ‘man.’),

    That the 359,528 Union soldiers killed (and 275,175), ultimately to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, were WHITE (also 2,700 Blacks who joined from the South),

    That, in the global culture of past centuries, 95 percent of slaves brought to the Americas did NOT come to the future United States domain (e.g., researcher Robert Lewis Gates, who also was vilified by today’s Establishment for exposing the problematic nature of any discussion of reparations),

    That the DEMOCRATIC PARTY supplied 91 of the 126 Nay votes in the House and 21 of the 27 Nay votes in the Senate for passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act,
    That family poverty is correlated LESS with race THAN WITH single parent families, and that the acceleration in single-parent families among Blacks traces back largely to the 1960s big-government/Great Society binge, e.g., family-dissolving subsidies for children born out of wedlock (now 70 percent of Black births, and 40 percent of White),

    NO DOUBT, the curriculum—possibly developed/offered/mandated for Catholic schools? —of the Black experience in our complex, morally flawed/imperfect and yet exceptional history will be “inclusive”(!) of the above.

    • Whereas some slaves were purchased from Black slave traders, Americans did trade the descendants of those slaves and the descendants of the children they had with these slaves. It was American slave holders who sold, beat, lynched, mistreated, “Jim Crowed,” and rapped generations of slaves and their descendants. Using your logic, the responsibility for today’s despicable sex trade should rest on the sellers, not the users.

      And while the numbers of Union deaths are staggering and worthy of all respect, the number alone cannot be primarily attributed to emancipation as other issues were at stake.

      All your examples aim at tying to indicate that race struggles are a thing of the past. If you purchased a home in early 1970’s in the northern states, your purchase ability was controlled by race. That was only 50 years ago and many of these homes remain segregated. GI bill from WWII? Blacks fought but were ineligible after the war. The actions from that living generation are still with us.

      Your comparison of children born out of wedlock misses the reality that although 70% of Black children may be born out of wedlock (here the CDC disagrees with your numbers), because Blacks represent a smaller population percentage, Whites actually have a higher total number of children born out of wedlock. Whites also represent the largest group of impoverished people in America.

      By the way, both the Democrats and Republicans are guilty of racial bias. According to all current measures, more Whites use illegal drugs (as a total and of each kind of drug except crack), but more total number of blacks get arrested for drug usage. Both Democrats and Republicans created this problem and this problem leads to fatherless-ness among Whites and Blacks. For buried in the statistic you referenced regarding fatherless children is this reality of incarceration and its cyclical impoverishment.

      Using Fatherless-ness as proof of your argument is dangerous as the trend is showing problematic for all population groups. According to the most recent CDC numbers, over a half a million White children live without fathers while over a third of a million Black children live without a father and the percentage of White fatherless-ness is growing as Black Fatherless-ness is stable. (https://www.cdc.gov/nmhs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_13-508.pdf See page 25)

      I am done drinking the Coolaid of both parties and I look to the Church to help me understand my humanity and my responsibility to my neighbor.

      • OpenToFullness, you say…”All your examples aim at tying to indicate that race struggles are a thing of the past.”

        Nonsense.I excluded none of what you reference, and on which we agree. Instead, I conclude: “NO DOUBT, the curriculum—possibly developed/offered/mandated for Catholic schools? —of the Black experience in our complex, morally flawed/imperfect and yet exceptional history will be “inclusive”(!) of the above.”

      • “Using your logic, the responsibility for today’s despicable sex trade should rest on the sellers, not the users.”
        **********
        Well yes, the greater responsibility lies in the pimps, kidnappers & brutal traffickers but for sure it’s shared also by those who solicit prostitutes or use pornography.

      • Actually, the issue of fatherlessness is not problematic. The FBI in doing a survey of prisoners found that across the board – meaning all races, the number one common factor was the absence of a father in the home. And the Marxist demand currently to defund the police flies in the face of reality. Every peer reviewed study of policing shows that crime is reduced by having more police on the streets, not fewer. As to Black fatherlessness, in 1965 25% of Black children were born out of wedlock; by 2015 it was 70%, and currently it is 77%; in short, we have witnessed the destruction, for whatever multiple causes, of Black families. You might want to check the CDC numbers as the White fatherlessness is far more a factor of divorce than it is of unmarried women giving birth.

        • Tim, you advised me to look at the CDC numbers and you wrote:
          “You might want to check the CDC numbers as the White fatherlessness is far more a factor of divorce than it is of unmarried women giving birth.”
          *******
          You are incorrect in asserting divorce as the cause of White fatherless homes. The CDC numbers I quoted are from the chart “Table 9. Births and percentage of births to unmarried women, by age and race and Hispanic origin of mother: United States, 2018” (Page 25). https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_13-508.pdf
          My assertion stands: Total White fatherless-ness is greater than that of Blacks and the number of White fatherless children is growing rapidly. As to your assertion regarding divorce being the cause of White fatherlessness, I can only speculate that divorce would further disproportionately increase the number of White children living in fatherless homes.

          Selective filtering (or softening) of objective data in favor of one group over another is the very issue CRT is poorly trying to address. Naming and addressing objective truths is not Marxism, just as a preference for maintaining traditionally understood systems is not racism or fascism. Facing truth, not unrealities, is the first step in developing curative solutions for all groups of people in this nation. Finding truth should be the work of the Church.

        • Reviewing the CDC numbers on “Table 9. Births and percentage of births to unmarried women, by age and race and Hispanic origin of mother: United States, 2018,” my numbers are correct. Whites have more fatherless children than blacks by birth. Divorce would be an additive factor increasing the total number of White children living in fatherless homes. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr68/nvsr68_13-508.pdf

          Here, I am reminded of the words of Pope Benedict XVI “The acute need for radical reforms of the structures which conceal poverty and which are themselves forms of violence, should not let us lose sight of the fact that the source of injustice is in the hearts of men” (J. Ratzinger. Instruction on Certain Aspects of the ‘Theology of Liberation’ IV, no. 15, Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, august 6, 1984)

      • Don’t you think growing up in a home with both a father and mother present is beneficial to all children regardless of ethnicity?
        It’s true that the percentages of children living in fatherless homes has increased across the board. “White ” folks are catching up quickly.
        Sadly, federal assisted housing rules incentivize fatherless homes. As a taxpayer I understand the reasoning behind that but it still works against the children living in Section 8 housing.

        • Yes, my comment mentioned that fatherless-ness is a problem across the board.

          But to clarify, Whites are not “catching up” as you suggest, Whites have surpassed blacks in total fatherless-ness are are still increasing this number. As I further suggested, knowing this truth, we are not misled to only see the errors of others.

          • Illegitimacy and homes without a father have been increasing across the board in every population. I don’t know if there will be a point in the future where we all hold the same percentages, it’s certainly not a contest to win.
            We’re all part of the same society and as Christians, members of the Body of Christ. When one member suffers, we all share the pain.

          • Mrscracker,
            How did we get to this point? Previous post by others pointed to CRT as Marxist drivel that intendeds to negatively shift culture. I agreed that the theory was poorly constructed. However, I argued that some truth can be mined from the theory. Others pointed the 69.4% rate of fatherless-ness among newborns in the Black community as a prime example for Black poverty, crime, etc. I asserted that the issue is more complex than just one issue and being open to see the problem as it is and not as we assume it to be, only then could we be open to truth. In this case, the truth was that White fatherless-ness was not being addressed because of the assumptions regarding Black fatherlessness. When CDC data proved that another poster’s assertion that White fatherlessness was due to divorce as a false assertion and that total White fatherless is greater, then the conversation shifted to “hey, we all have this problem” and other words of unity. However, that is not how this argument began.

            CRT poorly attempts to reflect back to us a reality we cloud by our perceptions and emotions. Unfortunately, CRT fails to be fully objective. Yet something that helps us see our faults is needed. This conversation thread proves that by disproportionately pointing to the Black problem, we failed to see the “plank in our own eye.”

  27. Thanks you for the very insightful article. As the father of 3, I face some of the same difficulties with our local “c”atholic schools.

    However, this line from the article is a foundational kernel (among many) of rot within the Church at present:

    “Catholic teaching calls us to make a preferential option for the poor and marginalized.”

    I believe that this should be changed to: “… a preferential option for the FAMILY.” The family is the underpinning of civilization, and these attacks by critical race theorists & inter-sectionalists are on both the “Imago Dei” principle as clearly stated by Mary, but also against the transcendent natural order as created by God. This will only be stopped with strong Catholic families.

    The liberation theology and Marxist elements of the “preferential option for the poor” mindset is a topic worthy of discussion, also.

  28. In all these comments, I’ve not read anything about the fact that, presumably, this occurred in the archdiocese of Archbishop Alexander Sample. Archbishop Sample is known to be quite close to the traditionalist FSSP. So, why would a prelate who appears orthodox in his Faith, who regularly ordains priests of the FSSP and who confirms the children of FSSP faithful allow such a scandalous “event” in his archdiocese?. Am I missing something?

  29. The so called racism today is nothing compared to my generation of pre-WW2 children witnessed. And that was much less then what my parents recounted, when they were young. Ethnic differences were almost on par with racism.

    My dad noted that the Slavic priest had to walk in the street when visiting a different Slavic home. In my time, a Lost Generation product, it was well know that many of Irish father would get very red if asked how he would like his daughter marrying a nice Polish boy.

  30. All human races are God’s creation. Race superiority especially white race superiority is merely man’s devious creation to discriminate and ill treat people of other races. We are in fact directly insulting God and his creation when we proscribe to the theory that any one race is superior to another

  31. For those of us who are parenting now, the mantra growing up was that the local Catholic school was the best education you could get for your children. Many people still think this, but today, our parish schools are being outperformed academically and spiritually, by Catholic homeschool curricula. Catholic homeschoolers choose from among the best curricula in the nation, not just their local area; and yes, most of us CAN teach our own kids, when we’re empowered with excellent tools. After trying to improve my local parish school for a few years and realizing that others had tried and failed before me, I began homeschooling my child. Best thing I ever did. When we do what the Church teaches and take responsibility for educating our own children, a lot of other things in the family fall into place. The textbooks and lesson plans for authentic Catholic teaching already exist because homeschooling companies publish them. Parish schools often say they can’t afford these textbooks, because they can’t use their state subsidies to buy religious textbooks. In many cases, what’s really lacking is the resolve to buy authentically Catholic teaching materials, and to hold teachers accountable for teaching from them. I know there are a lot of working moms these days, and experienced homeschooling vendors agree homeschooling is not for everyone, but I think it is a big factor in the reform of Catholic education that must come. Here is a simplistic outline of Catholic school reform, from me, a non-expert, suburban housewife: Those who can, will take their kids out of Catholic schools and give them an authentically Catholic education with the excellent materials already available… in the short term, this will be hard on the Catholic school system that we loved growing up… many smaller schools will have to close… but the market always wins… the brick-and-mortar schools that survive will finally “discover” the need to reclaim an authentic Catholic branding (because the market forces them to, they can no longer equivocate)… and your local Catholic school will start buying the Catholic textbooks that have been road-tested by Catholic homeschoolers for decades, which will be even more affordable a few years from now as more Catholics homeschool. Voila… reform. Personally, I came to a decision point, and I decided less talk and more action. I consecrated our homeschooling efforts to Mary (key!!!), and she has blessed our family more than I could have asked or expected. I dare anyone to ask Mary’s advice on how to educate their children…

  32. There are priests and religious so inculturated by secular values and concerns one might wonder what the concept ‘Catholic’ signifies to them.
    Critical race theory, so-called, is ‘academese’ for notions many might term functionally racist.
    We should be thankful that most of the literature is stylistically impenetrable, you need the particular ‘gnosis’.

  33. Please, “Critical Race Theory”, like the concept of “Disparate Impact”, is little more than Marxists trying to create a “Racial” wedge in the U.S. with the attendant social unrest, for the specific purpose of undermining the Constitution, and the Republic it created. The ultimate end of their efforts being the Marxist vision of Utopia, which, among other things, requires the total elimination of religion, and specifically the Catholic Church…at least the one that used to prohibit such actions as abortion and homosexual relationships, etc. Thomas Sowell has written a number of books, and essays, which bring a different light to the whole Racial discussion. Other authors to consider would be Ken Hamblin, or Starr Parker.

  34. “It seemed Kendi was using claims of racism, not in an earnest effort to fight real discrimination, but rather as means to advocate for the unabashed shakedown of America for cash—reparations and redistribution of wealth. And he seemed to be willing to spread radical and toxic views in order to do it.”

    Mrs. Miller nailed the entire critical-race-theory right there, in that single paragraph, for the immense con job that it is. At its core it’s a cabal of guilty white elites and black race hustlers — none of whom were ever slaves, or involved with slavery. Their intent is to divide, conquer and extort from the rest of us, who never owned slaves, millions in so-called reparations. And if you fail get past their redistribution purpose to see any racial or social justice don’t be alarmed. That’s your common sense kicking in to identify the whole sorry exercise for the sting that it is.

  35. I wonder if she believes that Jesus Christ was a systemic racist, too, since he never, as far as I am aware, spoke negatively against slaves or racism, if it occurred in his time?

    • God did speak about slavery! Additionally, the inhumane slavery practiced in the Americas was nothing like the slavery in Jesus’ day.

        • Consider what the scriptural deposit tells us:
          Exodus 21:2, Dut 15:12 – Slaves are freed after six years
          Lev 25:40 – Slaves were to be freed during the Jubilee year
          Deut 15:13-14 Slaves receive financial restitution
          Deut 23:16 runaway slaves were not to be returned
          Lev 25:39 Men could sell themselves or family into service to pay a debt
          Ex 21:26 Abused slaves are to be freed.
          Ex 21:20ff Murdered slaves are to be avenged
          Deut 21:10ff Men were prohibited from selling their slave women
          & Female slaves would be treated as a free wife.
          Slaves were also allowed Sabbath and other “time off”
          Of course, slaves taken as plunder lived under other rules.

          Now compare that to the American experience. Can you see the difference?

          • Slavery practices differed between the Jews and the Gentiles it’s true.
            And slavery was practiced differently in different parts of the Americas and among the native cultures as well. Truthfully, it was pretty bloody amongst some tribes.
            I don’t know why colonial slavery is the societal sin de jour currently when it’s been a feature of every culture going back to ancient times. As you have pointed out.
            And even in the American South, it’s never been strictly defined by race. We had a number of very wealthy mixed race plantation owners and thousands of free people of color who owned slaves.
            Goodness, Toussaint Louverure was a former slave who became a slave owner.
            It was more of a status issue than a color issue.

  36. Mrs Mary Miller is to be commended for identifying so clearly and analysing so thoroughly the wolf in sheep’s clothing that “social justice” is becoming. Part of the reason for its popularity is, I suggest, is the rejection of original sin (‘not good for self-esteem’) and its replacement by a Pelagian and utopian insistence on “social justice”(neo-Marxist style, but never advertised as such) – not only as compatible with but also exhaustive of – Christ’s Gospel. Ironically, what the ‘woke’ message capitalises on and promotes is, in fact, a resentful loathing towards oneself and society. Further, The sad thing about “Sister” is that she most likely passionately sincere. All the more reason, I believe, for traditional philosophy – “dead white males” not withstanding – to be a requirement of any theology course and degree taught and conferred by the Catholic Church’s educational institutions, with special attention to its relationship with the faith of the Church and her teachings.

  37. The left is insane. Delusional. Detached from reality.

    And nowhere is that fact clearer than on the topic of race.

    For quite a while now I’ve been keeping a list of things that people on the left have condemned as being racist.

    Every one of these racist items and traits ought to be googlable, since I gleaned each one from an actual news story.

    Sorry it’s such a lengthy list. But this is no little delusion we’re dealing with here…

    THINGS THAT ARE RA-A-A-A-A-ACIST

    The nuclear family

    Science

    Chess

    Thinking logically

    WalMart

    Democracy

    Emojis

    Being courteous

    Using good grammar

    Classical music

    Facial recognition technology

    The song ‘Jingle Bells’

    Butter

    Church statues

    The White House

    The Bible

    Vanilla ice cream

    Being decisive

    Capitalism

    Mathematics

    Planning for the future

    Deferred gratification

    Babies

    The expression “no can do”

    “Master” bedrooms

    “The Masters” golf tournament

    Halloween costumes

    Diabetes

    Expressways

    Refusing to rent property to criminals

    Credit scores

    Tax cuts

    Bulletproof glass

    Holding people accountable for their actions

    Denying you are a racist

    Hollywood

    Facial recognition technology

    Objectivity

    The “okay” hand sign

    College football

    Climate change

    The song ‘Dixie’

    The term “thug”

    The term “eenie meenie miney mo”

    The term “hip hip hooray”

    The term “bas baa black sheep”

    The term “mumbo jumbo”

    The term “jock”

    The term “cakewalk”

    The term “blacklist”

    The term “gypsy”

    The term “vandal””

    Canada

    Columbus Day

    Mowing your lawn

    Peanut butter and jelly

    Being extroverted

    Avoiding conflict

    Crime statistics

    Competitiveness

    Flour, salt, white sugar, carbonated soda

    Patriotism

    Electronic music

    Spongebob Squarepants

    Car insurance

    Hoop earrings

    Cultural appropriation (doing things in the style of other cultures)

    Xenophobia (criticizing other cultures)

    The Washington and Jefferson memorials

    The expression “sold down the river“

    The expression “long time no see“

    The Declaration of Independence

    Finding non-white people attractive

    Not finding non-white people attractive

    Finding white people attractive

    Finding men attractive who are intelligent, powerful or wealthy

    Owning pets

    The Constitution of the United States

    Music by Ludwig von Beethoven

    The NBA draft

    Mispronouncing people’s names

    Respect for authority

    Beauty pageants

    Farmers’ markets

    Crosswalk signs

    Descriptions of criminal suspects

    The expression “white lies”

    The term “eskimo”

    The term ”hooligan”

    Pumpkin spice latte

    Books not written by non-whites

    Military camouflage

    Sunshine

    Ice cream trucks that play the song ‘Turkey in the Straw’

    Darth Vader from ‘Star Wars’

    Lucky Charms cereal

    The White Privilege Conference

    The words ‘canoe” and “paddle”

    The term “peanut gallery”

    Native American sports mascots

    The pharmaceutical industry

    Karl Marx

    Voter ID Laws

    Art History

    A large rock on the campus of the University of Wisconsin

    Ketchup

    Police

    The Olympics

    The legal system

    The movie ‘Dumbo’

    The song ‘God Bless America’

    The National Anthem

    The English language

    Republicans

    Democrats

    Democrat voters

    Donald Trump

    Supporters of Donald Trump

    Conservatives

    Liberals

    Standardized testing

    Christianity

    Chopsticks

    The “Don’t Tread On Me” Gadsden Flag

    Cold weather

    The movie ‘Animal House’

    Opposition to illegal immigration

    Rainbows (because all the colors mix to form white)

    Swans

    White dogs and cats

    Zoning laws

    Giving children their own bedrooms

    Mothers’ Day

    All white men

    Any building named after a white man

    The book ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’

    Being punctual

    Expecting others to be punctual

    Gucci

    Prada

    Property taxes

    Camping

    Referring to ethnic foods as “ethnic foods”

    City bicycle rentals

    Makeup

    Dress codes

    Property taxes

    Craft beer

    The retailer Target

    Connecting success with hard work/excellence

    White lab coats

    Tanning

    Boxing matches between white people and non-white people

    Self-driving cars

    The United States of America

    Kellogg’s ‘Corn Pops’ cereal

    The movie ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’

    The U.S. Constitution

    Aunt Jemima products

    Farmers’ markets

    Any television shows or movies without a ‘major’ non-white character

    Fast food

    School discipline

    Milk

    Ads featuring fatherless black families

    Steve Martin’s iconic ‘King Tut’ SNL sketch

    Pornography

    Peter Pan

    Sheep

    The term “black sheep”

    The book or the movie, ‘The Jungle Book’

    Dr. Seuss books

    Liquor stores in majority minority neighborhoods

    Pollution

    The American Flag

    Betsy Ross’s Flag

    Leaving tips for waiters or waitresses

    Being independent

    The term “antebellum”

    The Food Pyramid

    Running a school in which English is the only language spoken

    The Oscars

    Tamarisk trees on a golf course in Palm Springs

    Dogs owned by whites

    Most physicians

    The book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

    Rideshare

    Pronouncing Kamala Harris’ first name the same way she does

    Supporters of Bernie Sanders

    Mashed potatoes

    White people who celebrate Cinco de Mayo

    The term “grandfathered in”

    Artificial intelligence

    Chocolate ducks

    Saying that any non-white is “articulate”

    Abbreviating the word “guacamole”

    Disagreeing with anything President Obama ever did/said/believed

    Being white

    • Per Mother Jones magazine you can add sustainable farming because it requires inherited land which only applies to the white settler class.
      Most of my sugar cane farming neighbors farm rented land but whatever.

    • Fr.,
      Brineyman’s comments are not truthful and might be calumny. The “left” does not believe this list of randomly gathered examples. Only the leftist strawman believes this list.

      This list is as erroneous as the tired accusations that Catholics “worship Mary, idolatrize bread, live unbiblically, practice a Constantinian faith etc…”

      The theological and ontological reality of being in persona Christi should point to truth over falsehood and individual over pigeonholing.

      • I’m sorry, Open.

        Every one of these examples was taken from an actual news story quoting an individual or individuals who stated that the specific item or items was a symptom of or example of racism.

        To deny that simple fact may, I’m afraid, be calumny.

        The only possible quibble you might have is that I stated that “the left” is calling these things racist. When it’s actually “people on the left.”

        And if that’s your argument, I thank you for reinforcing my point about “people on the left” being detached from reality.

        God bless you and protect you!

        • Wait a minute, Open!

          I went back and checked my comment, and I *did* say that “people on the left” condemned those things as being racist!

          So what are you saying? That I made the list up?

          If so, where is your evidence? Because unless you have actual evidence, making the claim that the list is calumny would itself seem to be calumny.

          • No, what I am saying is that this list paints a whole group of people with a broad brush. You then accuse me of being something I am not because I disagree with the uncharitable nature of your post. However, I also acted uncharitably in my reply.

            How will we people of faith achieve greater peace if we are not willing to do be representatives of truth and peace? The secular world is unable to take the lead on this. Moreover, true ideologues are those unwilling to make peace as it threatens their worldview. It also follows that they place ideology over charity. We people of faith place eternal truth and charity (which may lead to suffering) over defensiveness and ideology. That’s my stance.

      • My impression is he’s being humorous as was my response. As to calumny it needs be specific and substantial. Be at peace.

      • You are defending the indefensible, like a true ideologue. If you were a person of authentic faith, you would never embrace, support, or defend a Marxist perspective. Defending Marxism, a political philosophy responsible for the extermination of hundreds of millions of people is morally reprehensible.

        • I have specifically stated in several posts that the theory is poorly constructed, false, etc. I do suggest that there may be some truth to the underlying issues CRT is poorly trying to quantify.

          • The genocidal violence advocated and practiced by Marxism is not “poorly constructed”, it is a profound moral evil. Your support for those ideas makes you complicit in the crimes that are its logical consequences. That isn’t something you should be celebrating.

  38. It’s quite possible that the Archbishop isn’t even aware that this type of thinking/teaching has invaded Catholic schools/parishes. The first act would be to inform him. He overseas about 160 parishes, 10 high schools and 42 elementary schools. He can’t be in the loop at all of these places. I don’t live in Portland, OR. I live in So. California which is only a tad better. Ironically, some Hispanic gangs have been protecting their turf from looting by chasing BLM and AntiFa out of the neighborhood.

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Critical race theory comes to church and my children’s Catholic schools - Catholic Mass Search
  2. FRIDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit
  3. Critical Theory in #Catholic schools – CIA Blog

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