Slavery and the Catholic Church: It’s time to correct the historical record

February 16, 2023 | America Magazine

By Christopher J. Kellerman | America Magazine
Photo from the Library of Congress |

It was the morning of May 24, 1888, and a large, ethnically diverse crowd waited in the Sala Ducale of the Apostolic Palace in Rome for the pope to arrive. Led by Cardinal Charles Lavigerie, the French missionary archbishop of Algiers, the group had traveled to Rome on a double pilgrimage from North Africa and from the Diocese of Lyon, France. The pilgrims had earlier entered St. Peter’s Square with camels and a special gift for the pope: a pair of gazelles wearing silver collars inscribed with Latin verse.

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