"Racism," Cont'd.So it seems, Memphis Bishop Terry Steib's flag-raiser of "racism" in the church got some brows raised after appearing in last week's edition of the River City's beloved Thursday Visitor.
Given the hubbub -- and after getting told that the Tennessee prelate "doesn't talk to the media" -- Religion News Service's Dan Burke landed a transcript of Steib's original comments courtesy of hometown freelancer Lou Baldwin, who broke the story in the Catholic Standard & Times.
Ergo, via Burke, according to Baldwin, here's the relevant portion:
"I ... know there is a subtle racism that still exists within our Church that leads to a mistrust of the Church among our young African American men and women. (snip)So, there's the script... and as they say "we report, you decide."
"Slowly we are moving away from that mistrust to trust in our Church and thereby trust in the Universal Church. You may ask, 'What do you mean by subtle racism?' Well, recently and particularly because of the awarding of a degree to President Obama at the University of Notre Dame, the question [of] racism among the bishops of the country has been raised. I am only raising it because [retired San Francisco] Archbishop [John] Quinn in an article in the America Magazine said that continuing confrontation with President Obama and his administration sends the message that the bishops are insensitive to the heritage and continued existence of racism in America. Archbishop Quinn said that.
"When President Obama was inaugurated four buses full of African Americans Catholics drove for more than 19 hours to be present for the historic moment. But they felt that their celebration was muted because they had heard that so many of our bishops did not seem to understand the significant moment. They seemed not to understand what the whole world took to heart -- that President Obama's election was creating or beginning a whole new era that rejected racial stereotypes and it was opening the door to more embracing international relationships.
"But many of our Church did not share that jubilation. And this, people, I will admit to you too. Nothing was done during other administrations, nothing was said when other presidents who favored the war in Iraq with its constant killing, or who favored capital punishment were given awards in the name of the Church, even though those presidents were not adhering to Catholic Right to Life principles. Because of his clearly unacceptable stand on abortion many who are leaders in the church are willing to pillory President Obama with direct confrontation rather than with clear moral teaching about abortion and public law."