A new national forum for black Catholics

April 27, 2021 |

Unknown photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Led by Thomas Wyatt Turner, the Committee for the Advancement of Colored Catholics forms during World War I to care for Black Catholic servicemen neglected by both the Knights of Columbus and the black YMCA. After the war, the group broadens its focus. Its advocacy gives birth to a new national forum for Black Catholics. The U.S. bishops, despite requests from Rome to act on behalf of Blacks during the race riots and lynchings of 1919, avoid the topic at their first annual meeting. In response, the committee publicly urges the bishops to denounce discrimination and consult with Black Catholics, saying “at present we are neither a part of the colored world (Protestant), nor are we treated as full-fledged Catholics.”

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