In a video expressing solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement last week, the CEO of Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington denounced his own church and charitable organization as “racist.”
“In America, racism is no longer a question. But rather, it’s the toxic water in which we all swim,” said Rob McCann, president and CEO of the Spokane-based nonprofit. “My Catholic Church and my Catholic Charities organization is racist.”
“For me as a white person, saying I’m not a racist is like saying a fish is not wet,” McCann intoned.
“How could we not be? Our Catholic faith tradition was BUILT on the premise that a baby born in a manger in the Middle East was a white baby,” McCann continued. “So how can we be surprised to know that we are a church that must still fight against this racism even now.”
Earlier this week, Black Lives Matter organizer Shaun King seemed to expand on McCann’s thoughts regarding depictions of “white Jesus” by calling for the destruction of Christian statues, murals and stained glassed windows, calling them “tools of oppression,” racist propaganda,” and “a gross form of white supremacy.”
As American Greatness noted, while Christ has historically been depicted as white by Europeans, he has also been depicted in art as African, Asian, Indigenous and Indian in those cultures. Most Christians are aware that Christ was Jewish and feel no need to apologize for artistic depictions that helped various cultures identify with him.
McCann went on to accuse the Catholic Church of having “a long, terrible history of owning slaves,” operating Native American boarding schools and “unknowingly” being part of institutional racism.
In truth, Catholic Church teaching strongly condemned both slavery and the slave trade in numerous papal encyclicals from 1435 to 1890.
He also condemned Catholic Charities as racist because its leadership team is “mostly white” while most of the people the organization serves are “disproportionately people of color.” He said the group he leads, while well intentioned, is “part of the problem.”
McCann argued that BLM “in its purest nonviolent form” is a “Christlike” movement that honors the church’s teachings.
In a statement of principles, however, the Marxist Black Lives Matter organization espouses a number of objectives that are an anathema to Catholic teaching and values.
For instance, the group seeks to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure” and dismantle what it calls “cisgender privilege” to “uplift” black transgenders. The staunchly pro-abortion organization also claims to be “a queer‐affirming network.”
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Hawk Newsome, Chairman of BLM’s Greater New York chapter, declared a “war on police,” saying the group is “training our people to defend our communities” in Black Panther style armed “patrols.”
McCann stressed that Catholic Charities would continue to defend the sacredness of every human life, but he didn’t have anything to say about the thousands of victims of criminal violence each year.
So far in 2020, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 25 police officers have died from gunfire while in the line of duty. A total of 110 officers have died while in the line of duty so far this year. In 2019, a total ten unarmed black suspects and nineteen unarmed white suspects were killed by police.
“We simply cannot stand outside of something as significant as this movement, even though we know full well there may be a price to pay for walking into it,” said McCann.