How to move forward from past wounds?

how do we present the catholic faith to people when the church has such a bad reputation nowadays?

by the actions of individuals, the church now seems to be equated with racism, white supremacy, antisemitism and abuse. especially delicate in Canada is the issue of the residential school. most first nations seem to want nothing to do with the church because we are seen as their oppressors even though those who acted may not have had the intention of doing so.

I know the church is full of sinners but just saying that doesn’t feel like quite enough.

also was it wrong for European discouvers to come here? it’s now historically portrayed that they came and stole the land and none of us have a right to be here

any thoughts? perhaps some of you have first nations background and can give your feelings? or if you’re African American, that seems to be a bigger issue in the united states

Well, I’m just a three-hour drive from Canada, but I have no idea what you are talking about.

In the US, racism is normally associated with the (predominately protestant) southeast. White supremacy has NEVER been a Catholic problem. If you look at the predominant white supremacist group, the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) you will see that they are in opposition to three groups: blacks, Jews, and Catholics. Even in Oregon, my home Parish (Holy Rosary), about 90 years ago, was forced to relocate the entire church building from the “town center” (now known as the Lloyd District) to the outskirts of town (which the “town center” has since swallowed up) because the KKK, in full hooded robes, positioned themselves on the parish steps, blocking entry to Catholics to Mass. The parishioners jacked the church building off of its foundations and rolled it over tree logs (led by many teams of mules) to a “remote” location to avoid harassment by white supremacists.

I’m from Georgia. When the first colony (Georgetown) was established, it had only three prohibitions: No alcohol, no slavery, and no Catholics. Alcohol was the first prohibition to go. Slavery came not long afterwards. But Catholics were not allowed for quite some time later. In the early days of my home state, I (as a Catholic) would have been expelled (or worse).

Regarding antisemitism - I won’t deny that Catholics have historically taken a dim view of Jews and have acted badly towards them, but this is absolutely not a problem today or in anybody’s living memory (and the charges of antisemitism during WW2 are scandalously false). Are you saying this is a problem in the Catholic Church in Canada today? That’s news to me! Can you give me some particulars?

I’m not exactly sure what you mean by “abuse” but I suspect that your subsequent remark about “the issue of the residential school” refers to the recent revelations of priest sexual abuse. This is, indeed, a shameful episode in recent Church history. Fortunately, it seems to have ceased even before the revelations became known - seemingly of its own accord. The Church cannot ever “undo” the damage that has been done, but She has taken substantial measures to prevent it from happening again.

also was it wrong for European discoverers to come here? it’s now historically portrayed that they came and stole the land and none of us have a right to be here

There is not one square centimeter (that’s for you, Canada) of earth on this planet besides the Antarctic Continent that has not changed hands multiple times through use of force. Did the Celts and Jutes “steal” England? They conquered it. Rome conquered it. France reclaimed land that the English had conquered (thanks to St. Joan of Arc). Is there even such a thing as an “indigenous” Englishman? Or an “indigenous” Frenchman? Germany conquered most of France (twice), and German soldiers very much liked bedding Frenchwomen. How many times has France changed hands? Or Spain (especially in the Napoleonic Wars)?

The Holy Land has been conquered and re-conquered more times than I can count (how many Crusades were there? Nine?). Most (if not all) of the Jews in Israel are actually descended from refugees of other countries (notably Russia and Germany). Is there, anywhere on the face of this earth, any person who can claim to be an “indigenous” Israelite? That would be a neat trick, since Israel did not exist between Biblical times until post-WWW2. Is there such a thing an “indigenous” Isrealite? If so. this ancestor must have once been part of the Ottoman Empire (which was conquered in WWW1), because the Holy Lands were under Ottoman (Muslim) control for many centuries.

perhaps some of you have first nations background and can give your feelings?

Are there really any first nations people in the Americas? Indian nations waged war upon each other just like European nations (and every other nation - African, Asian, etc). Indian nations conquered territory and assimilated populations. The Aztecs would put Alexander the Great to shame!

By “first nation,” do you mean whatever nation these people had conquered or had been conquered by (who knows how many times) prior to the arrival of Europeans? Do you really mean to say “most recent pre-European nations?”

Because I don’t think there are any “first nation” people on the face of the earth.

It helps to put things in their proper perspective and to tackle things head-on. Take an honest look at these things and honestly explore them.
-“Where is the “racism” in the Church that is being purported?”
-“Where is this supposed “white supremecy”? Let’s take a look at it.”
-“Let’s honestly look at the abuse crisis in the WORLD (not just the Church) and see what is being done about it.”

by the actions of individuals, the church now seems to be equated with racism, white supremacy, antisemitism and abuse

I would argue that this has less* to do with actions of individual Catholics and more to do with an anti-Catholic mind-set that seeks out every possible dark spot, focuses solely on that, and completely ignores everything else.

*That’s not to say there aren’t racists or supremacists or abusers in the Church; but to try to link those things with the Church as being “Catholic” things, and acquit all other organizations (religious or otherwise) of having the exact same failings is hypocrisy. It would also be ignorant.


No person alive cannot be held responsible for the stupid things people did before them. What we can do is conduct ourselves as Jesus would have us do.
This is our task. Learn from the past. And move on.

tic toc tic toc

I grew up in the American Southwest. Everyone gets along and respects one another.
I had plenty of friends on the rez, Mexican friends, and pueblo friends. No one I ever met was troubled by anything n the past. Adults and children take you at face value. I myself am descended from the Conquistadors. No one EVER in my life said anything other than “hey that’s cool”. I never stole anything from anybody. Once, jokingly, I said to a Navajo woman that I was feeling sheepish about some of the history…her response?
“are you kidding? We’re way over that. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” And we proceeded to have a lovely chat about home.
People who like to throw up these things are trying to stir the pot. I don’t engage them, likely because they are either misinformed or have an inaccurate/incomplete view of history.

Angel, you’ve posted about this SO MANY TIMES. Someone in your college is hounding you with this stuff. Time to take a stand. You are not responsible fro anyone other than yourself. It’s ok to say that.

How to move forward? Love. Isn’t that what Christ taught us?

ok, let me explain better. in Canada we had what they called indian residential schools, run by different organization. a large portion were run by catholic parishes and religious groups.

it has recently come to light that there was a lot of abuse in those schools and claims of trying to kill the indian in the cild and all that.

in Canada, it’s a big issue. many first nations are bitter, angry and there are a lot of protests. catholics are the ones who are seen as oppressors.

I wouldn’t say all people feel this way but there are a lot. perhaps it wasn’t intentional at the time but it’s being made to look bad now.

also it’s hard to say because history is so distorted but everyone now believes this. and there are many survivors of the schools to give those kinds of testimonies

So your friends are advancing that this is indicative of all Catholics and that Catholics preach this stuff?
Wow. And I thought the American press was biased.
Hand them a Catechism. Ask them to show you here this is Church teaching.
Then ask if there are ever any bad decisions and policies made by any other group around the globe. Then ask how you or they would be personally culpable for said actions.
Once you become as annoying as those who would constantly put you on the spot for these crimes, they will avoid you like the plague.
Which is what you should do when encountering these folks.

Catholic bashing. It’s a sport. Just don’t play.

So, do you mean that these Indians (native people) say that they sent their children to “residential schools” (this is not a term familiar to Americans) which were mostly run by Catholics, and these Catholics who mostly ran these schools (that the Indian parents placed their children in) taught “western” Catholic values (and thus, tried to “kill” the Indian in the child)?

Umm, 'scuse me - but if I put my child in a Catholic school, I expect him to be exposed to Catholic beliefs and practices.

And, in fact, I was once that child. In my early elementary school years, I lived in Savannah, GA. There were race riots in the public schools. Jenkins High School was on the same physical land as the elementary school at which I attended first grade - the schools were about 400 yards apart. The high school students were assaulting each other, and at one point overturned and burned two school buses. I saw the smoke. The National Guard was deployed to keep the peace - that’s how serious it was.

So my protestant parents put me and my brother (who is now a Catholic priest) in a Catholic school. We were exposed to Catholic beliefs. NO DUH!

in Canada, it’s a big issue. many first nations are bitter, angry and there are a lot of protests. catholics are the ones who are seen as oppressors.

Are there any “first nations” in Canada? I am not aware of any “first nations” in the United States.

But, in the United States, the “most recently conquered Indian tribes at the time of the European conquest” don’t have any particular gripe with the Catholic Church, but with the United States government, which made promises it did not keep. The Trail of Tears was not by Catholic design, but a shameful act of the United States government. I find it interesting that Canadian Indians blame the Church instead of the British government. Can you give me an example of an offense such as the Trail of Tears that the Canadian Indians attribute to the Catholic Church rather than the government?

no, I mean many cases of physical or other kinds of abuse by priests and nuns at these schools

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