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Monday, June 29, 2020

I LIKE IT! MIKEY LIKES IT TOO!

I have no problem with religious art inculturated. Keep in mind that the two on the road to Emmaus did not recognize the Crucified and Risen Lord. If the Risen Lord can look like Bread and Wine, He can look like anyone including a white supermodel or an African in dreglocks.

There is beautiful incultruated pre-Vatican II art that depicts Jesus and the saints of the Church as oriental or other races. I like this artwork from a black artist. My only critique would be that it is a bit too Hollywoodish. Too model-like, too beautiful. For the most part, these are from a glamour magzine and not rank and file looking people. But apart from that, it is a wonderful resource for Catholic art. There are white depictions that are the same way, too Hollywoodish but laity love like these two of Christ:




You can look at all the religious artwork at the ordinal Facebook post HERE.





53 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dreglocks?

Are these security devices that you are putting on the leftovers from a cup of coffee or a bottle of wine?

(dregs: the remnants of a liquid left in a container, together with any sediment or grounds.
"coffee dregs")

Fr. Michael Kavanaugh said...

"Jesus Through the Centuries" is a non-fiction book published in 1985 by the American historian and theologian Jaroslav Pelikan. Each chapter focuses on a different century of the Common Era, tracing the evolution of how Christians and Christian societies viewed Jesus Christ in surprisingly divergent ways. According to Keith Harper, an Associate Professor of Church History at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, “Pelikan captures the complexities of an intriguing and enormously important historical figure, no mean feat in itself, and shows readers how each generation interprets the life and message of Jesus Christ in their own unique way.”

Along with a theological perspective, Pelikan also looks at how the way we depict Jesus has evolved.

ByzRC said...

I too feel that inculturation has its place. However, the depictions within this posting look like illustrations for a children's book or, movie posters. They, to me, do not depict spirituality well.

Anonymous said...

I will stick with the image on the Shroud of Turin.

rcg said...

Without the benefit of historical images or descriptions an artist might represent the Son as he perceives a Hebrew of that time or as his own ethnic heritage. While the latter might be inaccurate physically it might be more accurate theologically if we are, indeed, supposed to be Christ to others. This might be an argument for iconostasis, too. But I think it is more of an opportunity for education.

I have a collection of Asian art and some pieces are of Biblical themes. They are all very Asian in appearance. Again, I think there is a lesson there.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

I really like these photos. There is something very thought provoking and deep about them. Maybe it's the expression on the faces. I really DON'T like the first two of Jesus. In general, I am very turned off by giving Him a look of some modern day jock.

God bless.
Bee





Fr Martin Fox said...

I have no issue with images of our Lord and his mother in various cultural settings, but some artists pull it off, while others do not. This might be a good place to point out that many ancient images go againstvthe BLM narrative. For one, the black Madonna; for another, so much of eastern iconography, which hardly presents the Lord or his saints as "white." For whatvit is worth, I have always been a little put off by depictions of Jesus, especially as a child, that made him look northern European. It always seemed absurd to me.

Vatican Zero said...

I'm with anonymous--I think the Holy Shroud is our best reference point. I think of Jesus as a middle-eastern Jew with a magnificent nose and a tremendous, reserved dignity, so apparent in the negative images of the shroud.

If the hyper-ethnicized depictions of Jesus as black or Chinese or Eskimo or whatever work for you, I won't put it down (but you're right father--that airbrushed perfection is too Hollywoodish) . But let's get real. He IS JEWISH!

Mazel Tov!

TJM said...

Bee,

As always, the voice of commonsense.

Anonymous 2 said...

My issue with the first one is that it looks too much like Robert Redford. But then again, Father MacDonald always looked like Robert Vaughn (and I assume still does). -:)

TJM said...

Anonymous 2,

As a well read person you are aware that Black Lives Matter, according to its co-founder, is a Marxist organization. Does your faculty lounge allow you to dissent and condemn BLM, particularly, since all Popes have condemned Marxism? Or are you hoping the crocodile eats you last?

Paul McCarthy said...

I agree the shroud is our best example but that was after our Lord suffered his brutal passion.

Big Nose said...

There is only ONE RACE which is humankind. I believe what you are talking about is ethnicity.

JR said...

However Jesus is portrayed in art, I assume he wasn't a handsome man but just average. Otherwise being a handsome man might smack of vanity and how could the King of Kings and Lord of Lords ever be vain.

Anonymous 2 said...

TJM:

And this is relevant to my comment, how exactly?

John Nolan said...

In a sermon on 23 November 1879, Gerard Manley Hopkins preached on the physical appearance of Jesus Christ, using a number of references, some Scriptural. 'They [putative early accounts] tell us that he was moderately tall, well-built and tender in frame, his features straight and beautiful, his hair inclining to auburn, parted in the midst, curling and clustering about the ears and neck as the leaves of a filbert, so they speak, upon the nut.'

'There is only ONE RACE which is humankind. I believe what you are talking about is ethnicity.' An idiosyncratic and ideological distinction, unsupported by etymology and lexicography, yet presented as an indisputable fact.

Big Nose said...

“Race” is a reified concept based on refuted scientific theory which classified humans into the following groups (a) causcoids, (b) monogloids, and (c) negroids based upon skin colour and assumed facial characteristics. Modern scientific evidence based on DNA and physiological / biological analysis has shown this theory to be entirely false. There are greater differences within each of these groups than between them. We should not be referring to race but ethnicity which is a more accurate description.

TJM said...

Anonymous 2,

Just wanted your great thoughts on the latest cause du jour

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The third one of Jesus with all the locked hair reminds me of the "king" character on the walking dead. I think religious art needs to have a bit of other worldliness.

In terms of inculturation, of course, this is not meant to be an accurate depiction of what the person looked like while on earth, necessarily, although that is allowed. It is the glorified person in heaven and thus could have a variety of images as Christ can.

rcg said...

Today’s masthead is a quote from Mother Angelica about temperance. I respond that it is also Christian to respond vigorously when we would prefer to remain silent. The current flag is that anyone who opposes this madness is a racist. I respond that this is actually an effort to make everyone a fascist. The proponents of defining Christ’s appearance as anything but European step quickly past their seizure of authority to define how we look at Christ. Not content to make the justifiable argument of His appearance consistent with His semitic heritage they feel a need to force their opinion through the destruction of art they cannot replace. So they assume authority to force you to make an image of the True God according to their standards through the threat of undemocratic force. We dare not test that threat under the protection of our governments who have nearly universally signaled their cooperation or have actually capitulated. This is simply The Cultural Revolution come to the West. People must not simply avoid being called a racist, for which there is no effective defense, but must actively lean forward into prosecution of the New Way in hope of avoiding the accusation for as long as possible.

ByzRC said...

Mother Angelica was always uniquely able to get to the point.

TJM said...

Mother Angelica had more guts than the entire US Hierarchy and probably converted more folks than any of them.

John Nolan said...

Big Nose

I would be happy to replace 'racist' with the less loaded term 'ethnocentric'. However, anthropologists see ethnicity as an acquired set of values/characteristics rather than anything biologically determined. There is a parallel here with 'gender' and 'sex', although it is not an exact one, since inherited physical differences in skin colour and facial characteristics can be modified through miscegenation.

Ethnic (from the Greek 'ethnos' meaning 'nation') is not an accurate description. It can refer to birth, nationality, language, culture, ancestry, skin colour and a number of other variables. So when we refer to 'ethnic minorities' what exactly do we mean? Is it simply an example of racial stereotyping in a supposedly good cause?






Anonymous said...

Otherworldliness?

Look at Michaelangelo's Pieta. I don't know that there is a more "worldly" sculpture of a religious scene.

In the image: Death, anguish, hopelessness, questioning, infinitely sorrowful, maternal intimacy fading away...

For the viewer: Heartrending, evocative

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

Does anyone but me find it interesting that the progressive wing of the Catholic Church, including Pope Francis, were appalled and outraged and very vocally against the taking of Pachemama statuettes from a church in Rome and throwing them into the Tiber, but are silent about the pulling down and vandalization of Junipero Serra's statue in California, and the current cry from BLM that statues and paintings of Jesus and Mary that depict them as white are icons of white supremacy, and need to be removed?

I guess what's good for the goose is NOT good for the gander... :-)

God bless.
Bee

Anonymous 2 said...

Rcg:

Instead of seeing this as a superficial confrontation on culturally constructed and culturally freighted (literal) appearances in which we hurl alienating epithets at one another, why can’t we see it as an opportunity for serious dialogue that opens the way to deeper reflection on theological realities?

Big Nose said...

John Nolan - race is. IT biologically determined, it’s a fallacy - that’s the whole point of my comment.

Anonymous said...


I don't like the drawings at all. There are artists who have a gift in creating religious depictions and iconography (and this has been true down through the centuries). When one sees and appreciates what those who have this gift have done, it is not difficult to perceive those depictions that miss the mark.

As for the photographs? You cannot just go out and find a human being who resembles the image on the Shroud of Turin, take the person's photograph, and get the same effect that a painting of Jesus would produce. A photograph is an image of someone who is a human being no different from any of us and who we see as such. While it is true Jesus was a human being, we of faith also acknowledge him as a Divine being as well. When we look on a religious painting or sculpture, our perception is formed and informed by our faith and we are able to "see" beyond just what is there on the canvas or the statue. The problem with photographs is that they can inspire us to have thoughts that take us out of the realm of spiritual piety and reverence altogether.


rcg said...

Anon 2, because that is exactly what it is not. Having a discussion on what Christ might, or even probably, looked like is completely different than inciting mobs to tear down images they do not like. As Catholics we should understand that we do not worship images of any sort. So an image of Christ as a black man is encouraging to me if the artist is also a black man trying to portray Christ in heart and not some pathetic white man condescending to an audience to inflate his ego. So the depiction is irrelevant to Faith, but it is everything to the directors of these mobs.

John Nolan said...

Big Nose

Some observations.

1. Your last comment is incoherent. Would you consider retyping it so that it makes sense?

2. You talk of 'assumed facial characteristics'. Most of us have the facial characteristics we inherited (this explains the protruberant proboscis of your synonym). The only way we can assume different ones is through fairly drastic cosmetic surgery. Or do you mean that the obvious difference between (say) an east Asian and a black African has nothing to do with genetics?

3. If there is only one race (the human race), which is something of a tired cliché, it would make no sense to describe anyone as being of 'mixed race', yet the term is still in use, having replaced the (supposedly offensive) 'half-caste'.

4. Many Americans use the term 'Hispanic' and contrast it with 'Euro'. This makes no sense to a European since Spain and its culture are clearly European. It seems to imply racial discrimination since the Spanish in central and south America interbred with the indigenous peoples whereas the north Americans kept themselves 'pure'. Ironically, the idea of racial purity (limpieza de sangre) originated in fifteenth-century Spain.

5. From a linguistic point of view 'racial' and 'ethnic' are virtually synonymous (latest editions of Chambers, Oxford and Merriam-Webster confirm this). Altering the language at will to suit one's ideological agenda is a feature of totalitarian regimes (cf Orwell's 'newspeak'). To tell people what they should or should not say is arrogant and impertinent and to suggest that science has a right to control semantics is elevating jargon to an absurd degree. A chemist knows what he means by a 'solution' but he cannot patent the word or deny that it can also mean the answer to a crossword puzzle.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

John you are right about the Spanish colonizers intermarrying with natives in the “new world.” Or at least producing progeny with them. I know in Louisiana, the southern part which is more Catholic ad unique in the USA with a truly Catholic culture, i.e. New Orleans, mixed race people are or at least were called “malado”. I am not sure if today this terms is politically correct. It was not seen as derogatory even a decade ago.

English colonizers, especially the Puritans, would not have produced mixed race progeny as far as I know.

In terms of Louisiana which indeed has a French heritage to this day, including its state laws, I am not sure if the French were inclined to mixed relationships.

I have had parishioners from Louisiana who consider themselves black but can pass for white very easily. They live in predominantly black neighborhoods and culturally are black in this next of the wood. A black person with blue eyes is very common and they are quite striking in looks to say the least.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Of course, it was not unknown that slave owners in the south, many of English heritage, did produce progeny with their slaves and there is that aspect in the black south today, blacks who are light skin or “brown” because of their slave heritage. Of course there was an power differential in this progeny production and we are not sure from history if pregnancies black slave had with white owners or whiles in general were consensual or not, if there were in fact forbidden love affairs.

In the south, though, there is a bit of racism or prejudice in the black community. Light skin blacks look down upon dark skin blacks. And in the black community in the south, it is very common for blacks to use the “N” word with each other. But of course, it is one thing for a black to use it against another black and a white person using it.

I had a very mixed race parish in Augusta. I was shocked when I heard some of the blacks using the “N” word with each other and they tried to explain to me that yes indeed they do this but that a white cannot do this without push back.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

One final comment. When we came to America in 1957, Atlanta, GA, the polite term that blacks liked for their race was “colored.” Then as the desegregation movement took on steam, their preference was Negro, which in the 50’s they didn’t like because of it being turned into the “N” word. Then Negro was out and black came in, which earlier was seen as derogatory especially toward light skin “blacks.” Then “African American” was the politically correct term. It still is, although “black” is still acceptable. There was an attempt, though, to change it to “people of color” but that is a bit of a mouthful, but “colored” still isn’t PC!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Of course shortly after we came over from Italy, the different terms for the races was more pronounced here. I did not understand why we were called “white” because i considered myself “beige” not white. And yes I have my mother’s Italian skin and tan extremely easily and well and if you saw me right now with my luscious tan, you would say I am black or at least very dark brown, which I am. Maybe African heritage on my mother’s side???????

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

This is the last comment. My dad of English heritage, from Canada it definitely white. I would not say that of my mother or her progeny since we all got her skin and thank God for that!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Of course Americans describe Italian skin as “olive”. But we do not refer to Hispanics as white which many are! Go figure!

John Nolan said...

Fr Allan

I think we ought to examine loaded terms like 'colonialism' and 'imperialism'. Human pre-history has always been about the migration of peoples and this has carried on into history which is simply the written record. When the Romans conquered Britain after AD 43 they were not subjugating an indigenous people; the Celtic tribes of Britannia were themselves invaders and colonizers, as the result of technological superiority in metallurgy.

The British colonized north America both before and after the American Revolution. They also tranported negroes from west Africa who effectively colonized the Caribbean. Again, a movement of people which was unique in that it was accomplished by sea, rather than overland. But the result was the same.

The American myth is that that they (the US) were victims of colonialism rather than the main beneficiaries if it. They went on to colonize an entire continent but chose to redefine it as 'manifest destiny'.

Aside from north America British and Irish settlers colonized Australia and New Zealand, and to a certain extent South Africa. Yet India was not colonized as such; the small number of administrators and soldiers did not settle there. And Japan after 1850 embraced western technology and culture without significant European penetration.


Without movement of peoples, ideas and technology there could have been no human progress.

Fr. Michael Kavanaugh said...

"Human pre-history has always been about the migration of peoples and this has carried on into history which is simply the written record."

I would suggest that history is rarely "simply the written record."

Inaccurately attributed to winston Churchill, the phrase "History Is Written by the Victors," has a much longer record. One form comes from Senator George Graham Vest in 1891: "In all revolutions the vanquished are the ones who are guilty of treason, even by the historians,for history is written by the victors and framed according to the prejudices and bias existing on their side.”

Some years ago the National Geographic magazine cover story was "America's Forgotten Century." Because the English dominated the scene in North America following the departure of the Spanish, much of what the Spanish accomplished was, in many ways, forgotten. Although they had arrived here more than one hundred years before the English, and although settlements had been established from Florida to the western tip of what is now Texas, that part of the history of our continent was largely overlooked, if not forgotten, by many historians.

Yesterday, Belgian King Phillipe sent a letter to President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo expressing profound regret for Belgium's colonial past and the horrors carried out in that country under King Leopold II, Phillipe's predecessor in office. Altough Leopold is seen by some Belgians as the “roi bâtisseur” — a benefactor who brought education and faith to the Congo, as well as enormous wealth to Belgium," the manner in which the "movement of peoples, ideas and technology" took place in the Congo, as well as in India, the Caribbean, and other locations is nothing to be proud of.

John Nolan said...

Fr K

Either I have expressed myself badly or you have misunderstood me. I was making the point that the history of mankind, i.e. the written record, is merely the tip of the iceberg, and movement of peoples is an inescapable part of human development. Nor was I making value judgements, which would be a pointless exercise in the context of my argument. There was a howler, however - no prizes for spotting it.*

Strictly speaking the Belgian Congo was not a colony but part of the personal estate of the Belgian king. The revelation of atrocities committed there shocked the world. Instrumental in exposing them was the Irishman Sir Roger Casement, hanged in 1916 for collaborating with the Germans during the Great War.

I assume you will spend next Saturday sitting in your study grumbling 'nothing to be proud of'.

*Seaborne migration was not unique and of course did not begin with the 'age of discovery'.

Big Nose said...

John Nolan, my apologies for the incoherent comment due to my phone’s autocorrect spelling function changing the comment as I pressed submit. Here it is for you again...

Race is NOT biologically determined, that’s a fallacy - that was the whole point of my earlier comment.

Big Nose said...

TJM - I don’t know anyone that uses the racist term “mixed race”. I believe “mused heritage” is the preferred and more accurate description in use currently.

Fr MxD - when you refer to slave owners “producing progeny” with their slaves, I presume this is a euphemism for “rape”. Let’s just call it out for what it was.

Fr. Michael Kavanaugh said...

"Either I have expressed myself badly or you have misunderstood me."

I commented on one phrase - "simply the written record."

Now, I know you don't like it when someone comments on a portion of what you post, but that's your issue, not mine.

History is not simply a written record of what happened. History is molded, shaped, distorted, re-written, edited, altered. We cannot read an historical account of colonization written by the colonizers and think that we have read an accurate account of the events that transpired as some European superpower of the day subjugated peoples and decimated cultures. Think "Salt" and "Weaving" under British rule in India.

Stricly speaking, the Belgian Congo is a prime example of the murderous, rapacious behavior of many colonizing forces, wherever their home base may be.

"Human progress" at the expense of human dignity is no progress at all.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Big nose, do you have court records, eye witness accounts or any sort of historical evidence that every slave, male or female, was raped by white masters or whites in general? And that all progeny out of wedlock were a result of rape? Please produce that evidence.

I can say, glibly, without evidence, that perhaps you were a product of rape even though your mom and dad are married. But that would be immoral to say the least to disparage your father for aggressive sexual tendencies with his wife with no evidence whatsoever other than it happens in marriages.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Nasone, "mused heritage" really, that is used? In what part of the world? Never, ever heard it, sounds like amusing heritage! Trying to make light of someone's mixed race? Interesting.

John Nolan said...

Fr K

I don't need a lecture in historiography from you, let alone two of them, in which you simply state the obvious. You stick with your area of expertise, and I'll stick with mine (which happens to be history). Historians study the written record; what came before (pre-history) is the focus of other disciplines.

You know quite well what I meant, but you can't resist nitpicking.

You have an Irish name, speak English, live in a State named after a Hanoverian king of England, and are a functionary of a religion which was brought to the Americas by European colonists. You are a product of colonialism whether you like it or not.

Big Nose said...

I meant to type mixed heritage although it should have been obvious.

Fr McD - there is plenty of testimony of forced sexual relations by slave owners. Try googling it because it’s not my responsibility to educate you.

Having said that, rape is the antithesis of consensual sexual relations. The fact that slaves were bound to do whatever their masters instructed demonstrates that they did not have free will in the matter and therefore were unable to give informed consent so that any sexual intercourse was coercive - ergo by definition RAPE.

Don’t pretend otherwise. This myth that slaves were happy being slaves and were part of a big happy family is total nonsense.... and you know it!

John Nolan said...

Fr Allan

I think that Big Nose's autocorrect function is playing up again. My advice would be to turn the damn thing off and learn to spell. I am still waiting for him to answer the other points I raised. Qui tacet, consentire videtur.

Interesting point about euphemisms and how they change. 'Native American' would apply to anyone born from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska. The term 'native' has long been seen as derogatory: 'Don't forget your revolver, Carruthers. The natives are getting restless.'

If a US citizen decides to settle in Botswana, can he call himself an African American? It used to be said of a plain-speaking man that he 'calls a spade a spade'. Unfortunately, 'spade' is (or was) a slang term for a black man, so the expression is 'racist'.

Joseph Conrad's 1897 novella 'The Nigger of the Narcissus' was retitled by its American publisher 'The Children of the Sea' - not because the word was offensive, but because it was felt that Americans would not buy a book about a black man.

When the Coronavirus struck, we in Britain were told that a disproportionate number of those infected were from the 'BAME community'. This was a new one on most of us. Apparently it stands for Black, Asian and minority ethnic. It's by no means appreciated by those it purports to describe. 'Asian' in a British context usually means someone from the Indian subcontinent, so where does this leave east Asians such as Chinese? And 'minority ethnic' would include Poles, Latvians, Romanians, indeed anyone from the EU. It's so all-embracing as to be meaningless.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

John - I know my Georgia history far, far better than you, so you can keep to yourself any lectures or reminders on that topic.

I know quite well that you like to see colonialism through rose colored as you attempted to do with your comments about the benefits thereof.

Colonialism, with our without benefits, when it involved oppression, theft, murder, etc., was brutal. No, the "benefits" don't outweigh the gross injustices visited upon the "savages" of any place or in any time in the name of progress.

John Nolan said...

Fr K

You keep to your prejudices, and I'll keep to my balanced historical analysis. Tomorrow I shall raise a glass to what is probably the greatest legacy of the British Empire, namely the United States of America.

The best account of British India I have read is Lawrence James's 'Raj' (1997). It neither glorifies nor denigrates, and like all good history does not impose modern-day nostrums upon the past. Niall Ferguson's 'Empire - How Britain made the modern world' (2003) is eminently readable, balanced and perceptive.

I suspect you are one of those people who see history as a pile of brickbats to be hurled at an Aunt Sally of their own construction. Give it a rest.

Anonymous said...


James Augustine Healy was an American Roman Catholic priest and the second bishop of Portland, Maine; he was the first bishop in the United States of any known African descent. Born in Georgia to a mixed-race slave mother and Irish immigrant father, he identified and was accepted as white Irish American, as he was half Irish and majority European ancestry.
Things are not as simple as some would make them out to be.

Maryland was founded by George Calvert, a Catholic convert who sought to provide a religious haven for Catholics persecuted in England.
Catholic slaveholders in Maryland would be an interesting topic to research. How did they reconcile their Catholic faith with owning slaves?

In Maryland, mixed-race children born to white mothers were considered free by the principle of partus sequitur ventrem, by which children took the social status of their mothers, a principle of slave law that was adopted throughout the colonies, following Virginia in 1662. During the colonial era, families of free people of color were formed most often by unions of white women and African men.
[Paul Heinegg. Free African Americans in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware.]

John Nolan said...

'How did they reconcile their Catholic faith with owning slaves?'

Well, the Jesuits had tobacco plantations in Maryland and when they ended slave labour in 1838 they did not free their 272 slaves but sold them on to Louisiana.

I believe that in 1860 Maryland had the highest number of free negroes of any slave state and that many planters had freed their slaves after the Revolutionary War.

I'm sure that somewhere there is a PhD thesis on Catholic slave owners in Maryland and Louisiana, another state with a large Catholic population.

Anonymous said...


The Jesuits of all people! Will the woke mobe be coming after them next? And all the churches they built? And that their order must now be dissolved and disbanded?

Anonymous 2 said...

I frequently learn from the Comments on this Blog. Today it is about the Jesuits and slavery. It prompted me to research the matter, and I found these two illuminating items:

https://jesuitscentralsouthern.org/slavery_history_reconciliation?PAGE=DTN-20180420020120

https://www.cnn.com/2017/04/18/living/georgetown-slavery-service/index.html

The first links to the Jesuit “Slavery, History, Memory and Reconciliation Project.”

The second links to a news report titled “In emotional service, Jesuits and Georgetown repent for slave trading.” The service was held in 2017. Here is a telling passage from the news report:

“‘This isn't just a Maryland issue,’ the Rev. Timothy Kesicki, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, the society's top official in North America, said in an interview after Tuesday's service. ‘In a sense, all Jesuits in the United States are descendants of those Jesuits who made the decisions to hold slaves and, in this case, sell slaves. We don't look at it as their sin; we look at it as our sin.’

In his homily, Kesicki offered a contrite counterpoint to Douglass' denunciation of Christian slaveholders.

‘When we remember that with those 272 souls, we received the same sacraments, read the same Scriptures, said the same prayers, sang the same hymns and praised the same God,’ he said. ‘How did we, the Society of Jesus, fail to see us all as one body in Christ? We betrayed the very name of Jesus for whom our society is named.’

Later on Tuesday, Georgetown held a ceremony renaming campus buildings that once bore the names of Jesuits who supervised the sale of slaves. It will also host a private dialogue with descendants, Jesuits and Georgetown representatives, and hold a ‘libation ritual’ with soil from a former plantation in Louisiana to commemorate the 272 women, men and children sold as slaves.”