Racial Justice and the Catholic Church examines the presence of racism and the resources within Catholic teaching and within the black experience, particularly the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. that can combat it and promote reconciliation and justice.
Lamenting that he sometimes feels like a motherless child... a long ways from home in his own church, Massingale, a black priest and moral theologian, levels a strong indictment of the Catholic response to racial injustice in this review and analysis. After answering the question What is racism? at some length, Massingale delves into Catholic history on the issue, taking apart three documents on racial justice from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1958, 1968, and 1979. Although he says the last two improved on the first, which offered nothing in the way of recommendations for action, none was marked by the depth of social analysis found in many of the bishops other social justice documents. To improve Catholic engagement in racial justice, Massingale proposes using such resources of the tradition as the practice of lament, compassion, solidarity, conversion, baptism, and Eucharist. The authors moving personal reflections add a human face to his message, which readers who have a heart for social justice will no doubt find to be prophetic. (Feb.) )Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.