Race, Justice, and Catholicism
A discussion with Herschella Conyers (University of Chicago Law School), and Vincent Rougeau (Boston College Law School), moderated by Eduardo Peñalver (Cornell Law School). Cosponsored by America Media, Boston College Law School, the Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage, and the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Chicago. The cry in the streets of “no justice, no peace” echoes the teaching of Popes John XXIII and Paul VI. The recent crises have again brought to the fore the reality that interracial justice has eluded America, despite the promise of the civil rights movement. Slavery, its original sin, has dogged it from its founding. Segregation and mass incarceration continue this shameful legacy. Efforts to call Americans to take responsibility for this often find resistance in an individualistic ideology counter to the Catholic vision. Catholics find themselves on both sides of this history. The Gospel and Catholic social teaching clearly reject racism. Yet up to this moment, Catholic clergy and laity have often not lived up to this teaching, helping to sustain racism, rather than dismantle or reject it. If, as Pope Francis reminds us, we are all connected, then injustice anywhere is not only a threat to justice everywhere—it is injustice everywhere. In this event, a panel of distinguished legal scholars comes together to discuss our current moment and whether Catholicism can move from being part of the problem to becoming part of the solution.