(NCR Online) A standing-room-only crowd of young black Catholics in a frank session that lasted more than two hours told bishops, priests and women religious why they stay in the church, what threatens to drive them away and that they want a stronger voice from church officials for the Black Lives Matter movement.
As the National Black Catholic Congress got underway in Orlando July 6 with more than 2,000 attendees, some 120 participants discussed ways to keep young adult black Catholics engaged in their parishes and the church — and raised criticism of, and an apology for, the church’s silence regarding the movement spawned by the killings of unarmed blacks by police. Among the bishops attending Congress XII was Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Discussion centered on key themes:
Why young black adult Catholics stay in the church;
Why they leave;
How they live out their faith;
How to foster more vocations;
The state of race relations in the U.S.
“How do we respond as people of faith to issues of race that have always been going on in society but especially in light of the Black Lives Matter movement? And in a lot of the police killings, a lot of people feel that the church has been almost silent in its response,” Stacy Allen, one of the facilitators, said toward the end of the session.
“The church is very vocal on a myriad of issues — immigration for instance — which are important,” Allen said. “But specifically on the issues of race, especially from the perspective of a young adult black Catholic, what should the Catholic response be?” [More]