Appleton, WI

June 30: Day by Day with Father Bill


From an interview of Fr Bryan Massingale, who is black, by Regina Munch that took place in early June:

Fr Bryan: In my book Racial Justice and the Catholic Church, there’s one sentence that goes something like this: What makes the Church white and racist is the pervasive belief that European aesthetics, European music, European theology, and European persons, and only these, are standard, normative, universal, and truly Catholic.  In other words, when we talk about what makes something Catholic, the default is always to the products that reflect a white cultural aesthetic. Everything else is seen as Catholic by exception, or Catholic by toleration.

Fr Byran goes on to recount a true story of what he experienced when he showed up at a Catholic parish in Milwaukee to fill in for the pastor, a friend of his, who was away.

Fr Bryan: I asked the usher to direct me to the sacristy. He looked at me and he wanted to know why I wanted to know. So I explained the situation, thinking that the Roman collar that I was wearing would make it kind of obvious why I would like to know where the sacristy was. And he said, “You’re a priest? Who sent you?” I explained the situation again. Then he said, “Well, next time, I hope he sends us a real priest.”

I would say that this kind of insensitivity cuts deep into the heart of another human being. Sadly, Fr Bryan is used to this treatment.  Oh, how many hearts there are that still need to become tabernacles of Jesus from which sensitivity, compassion and respect flow upon all people!

BTW, I am reading Fr Bryan’s book! Excellent!

Father Bill+