Villanova Theology Course: Catholic Church ‘Instrument Of White Supremacy’
A Dominican friar on a prayer walk around Indiana University-Bloomington Monday night was mistaken for an armed member of the Ku Klux Klan, sparking a social-media freakout and leading students to confront the poor guy while he was trying to order frozen yogurt.
A resident adviser emailed his residents to warn about the reports of the KKK on campus, saying campus police couldn’t do anything about it because of the Klansman’s “first ammendment [sic] rights,” and advising them to just stay inside for the night or contact him if they feel “unsafe.”
While the KKK has been active in the area in the past, it later became apparent this klansman armed with a whip was actually just a friar of the Dominican order in traditional white robes. The “whip” he was holding may have been his rosary beads.
A Villanova theology course will teach students that the Catholic Church is guilty of operating as an instrument of racial segregation and white supremacy — a problem which can only be fixed by embracing “black theology,” which is “[u]niquely capable of grasping the truth of the Gospel.”
“Racism and the Catholic Church” will be offered to Villanova students starting in the fall of 2016 and counts toward both a major in theology and a minor in “peace and justice.”
A course description offered by the university’s Center for Peace and Justice states that “Although the Catholic Church understands itself as the Body of Christ, the lived history of the church in the United States shows that the church has not been able to bring blacks and whites together as members of one body.”
“This course will explore the way in which the church has operated as an instrument of not racial unity and justice but racial segregation and white supremacy,” the description continues.
The claim that the Church isn’t the the united Body of Christ appears to be a direct contradiction of Church teaching — an explosive position from a university claiming to be “grounded in the wisdom of the Catholic intellectual tradition.”
A course description offered by Villanova’s theology department repeats many of the same charges but adds that the Catholic Church “has participated in white supremacy.” The description briefly concedes that the church “has also been mobilized as an instrument of resistance” to white supremacy but immediately after says that “the church surrendered to white supremacy.”
“Uniquely capable of grasping the truth of the Gospel, black theology makes a vital theological contribution to the global church,” the description states. “Inspired by their example, this course seeks to empower you to supply solutions to the theological problem of white supremacy.”