Local bishop calls-out Catholic charity leader who said Church is ‘racist’
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SPOKANE, Washington, July 8, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — A Catholic bishop has publicly called-out the President and CEO of Catholic Charities Eastern Washington after he recently declared that the Catholic Church is “racist” because Jesus was ‘white’ in a video now viewed over 40,000 times online.
Bishop John Daly of the Diocese of Spokane, where the charity is based, said that the Catholic community had been “roiled” by the video made by Dr Rob McCann which said that the “hard truth” is that every “white person living in America” is a racist.
“For me as a white person, saying I'm not a racist is like saying fish is not wet,” McCann went on to say. “My Catholic church and my Catholic Charities organization is racist. How could they not be?”
The video is still available to view on the Catholic Charities Eastern Washington YouTube channel.
“While the subject of the video – racism – is certainly appropriate in the aftermath of the horrific and unjustified death of George Floyd, Dr. McCann’s blunt presentation was interpreted by many as levying false accusations against ‘whites’ and the Catholic Church,” Daly wrote in a July 5 open letter to Catholics.
“This was only one of several issues that his video raised. Many faithful Catholics, whose lives evidence a daily commitment to compassion and justice, expressed their disappointment and frustration with Dr. McCann’s message,” he continued.
Daly explains that he met McCann following the publication of the video to address his “concerns over a number of statements he made in his presentation.”
McCann has since posted a set of “clarifications” on the Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington website, which Daly encouraged everyone to read.
But Daly said that while McCann’s letter answers some of his concerns, others remain.
“His support of the Black Lives Matter organization (BLM), albeit now modified, puzzles me,” Daly wrote.
“BLM is in conflict with Church teaching regarding marriage, family and the sanctity of life. Moreover, it is disturbing that BLM has not vocally condemned the recent violence that has torn apart so many cities. Its silence has not gone unheard. One need not stand with BLM to stand for Black lives. I will address this and other issues with Dr. McCann in future meetings.”
In his statement of clarifications, McCann explicitly apologises for not making clear that he was not speaking on behalf of the Catholic Church, Bishop Daly, or the diocese.
“I was not speaking and do not ever speak on behalf of the Catholic Church or the Bishop,” McCann wrote.
“I was wrong for not making that explicitly clear from the beginning. I do not ever speak for the Catholic Church or for the Bishop; only the Bishop speaks for the Diocese. Since the message was one of many regular weekly messages to our staff and clients, my intended audience knew that already. Obviously, the wider audience who viewed my message misunderstood this and that mistake is wholly mine.”
McCann says that while his “intentions may have been good” that there has also been “unfortunate impacts” from the video on “certain members of the Catholic family.”
“Instead of engaging in a discussion about race, I spoke in a way that some heard as a critical rant against the Church. For that, I am deeply and truly sorry,” he wrote.
Daly said that going forward, for at least this year, the Annual Catholic Charities Christmas Collection will either be replaced by or taken in conjunction with the Black and Indian Missions Collection and that he will be asking Catholic Charities to sponsor a series of speakers, approved by himself, to address the subject of Church and Race.
He also said that Catholic Charities will address the issue of abortion and its detrimental effects on the Black community.
“In places such as New York City, more Black babies are aborted each day than are born,” he wrote. “As Catholics, we believe in the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.”
“Let us go forward from this moment and remember that through our baptism we are, ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people’,” Daly concluded.
“If we keep this truth before our eyes daily, and if we breathe that truth into all that we say and do, we may be assured that Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician, will heal any divisions that yet might persist among us.”