Mercy Alive

Listen! Learn! Think! Pray! The Catholic Church and the Racial Divide in the United States by Bishop Edward K. Braxton

While the Bishop’s formal education and writings in systematic theology have led to teaching positions at Harvard Divinity School, the University of Notre Dame, the Catholic University of America, and the Pontifical North American College in Rome, in recent years he has turned his scholarship to the question of racial divide. In 2015, he issued his Pastoral Letter, “The Racial Divide in the United States: A Reflection for the World Day of Peace 2015.” In 2016, he published the companion Pastoral Letter, “The Catholic Church and the Black Lives Matter Movement: The Racial Divide Revisited.” These were followed by “Moral Leadership in Action: All Lives Really Do Matter” and “There are no Minority Voters.” Since their publication, Bishop Braxton has lectured nationally, becoming a leading voice in the Catholic Church on improving race relations. The Bishop’s writings and addresses are intended to invite individuals and groups to enter into conversations about important and sensitive subjects without judging racial divide. On September 21, 2017, he delivered the university address at The Catholic University of America on “The Horizon of Possibilities: The Catholic Church and the Racial Divide in the United States, Old Wounds Reopened.” On February 1, 2018, he delivered the African American History Month Address at the Sheil Catholic Center of Northwestern University. On February 21, 2018, he delivered the 12th Annual Thomas Merton Address on “Thomas Merton’s “Letter to a White Liberal” and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” at Bellarmine University in Louisville Kentucky.


The Bishop’s address (see information below) will examine key elements contributing to the racial divide in the United States and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter Movement from the perspective of the Catholic Church. He will explore the reasons why only a small number of African-Americans are Catholic (2.9 million out of nearly 70 million), the “all lives matter” vs. “Black lives matter” debate, and the negative impact of the erroneous expressions “minorities” and “minority groups.” He will conclude by exploring the question of what can the Catholic Church do to help bridge the racial divide.


Bishop Braxton will speak at the Westerfield Center, Diocese of Baton Rouge on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 7:00 pm. All are welcome and encouraged to attend!



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