Letters to the Bishop

Black Like Me

Your Excellency:

I know May is a monster on your calendar, a whirl of confirmations requiring your presence in the backwater outposts of the Faith.  The physical demands alone—the hours in the car, the parish suppers, the compliments and complaints—must weigh heavily, if you’ll pardon the pun.  (Truth to tell, Your Excellency, you could gain a few pounds.  Skinny priests may commend fasting and prayer, but girth gives power to a bishop.)

Confusion regarding Catholic teaching has once again forced me to interrupt your busy schedule.  My current perplexity stems from a recent document published by Catholic Charities USA: “Poverty and Racism: Overlapping Threats to the Common Good.”  It contends that “white privilege” is the foundation of widespread racism and poverty in our country.  The document states that “white privilege shifts the focus from how people of color are harmed by racism to how white Americans derive advantages because of it.”  Catholic Charities also blames whites for the “disproportionate impact of poverty upon groups of color today.”

That prompted me to look up incomes in the 2000 census.  Sure enough, dastardly white folks made more money than either blacks or Hispanics.  The racial group with the largest income, however, were Asian-Americans.

So here’s my question, Your Excellency: Are...

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