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    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    Where are all the Blacks?


    Nearly 500 African-American priests and Catholic laypeople from 20 U.S. dioceses came to Atlanta in August to focus on becoming better evangelizers through prayer, the sacraments and solid formation, and trusting in God's grace and love to overcome any personal limitations.

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    "Don't settle for junk food or fast food when you can have a gourmet meal," Bishop Holley said. "Jesus is serving up the finest spiritual food one can give, as he taught people in the synagogues. Some rejected the finest spiritual food and preferred junk food. Today they are what we might call spinning heads, eyes and ears closed and focused on themselves."

    According to the National Black Catholic Congress Web site, there are 2.3 million to 3 million African-American Catholics in the United States. Worldwide the church includes 270 million Catholics of African descent out of more than 1 billion Catholics.

    A rough cut calculation would give us about 60,000 per State. Way low! I am
    sure that to the typical Black in America's culture, a Catholic Church on Sunday
    seems like an impossible and foreign place to be.

    The one Black bible pastor I do know, and the radio stations I listen to
    now and then, tell me it is a social Christianity involved in rudimantary
    structures such as escaping drugs and keeping the family together along with
    plenty of prosperity gospel preaching.

    Not that the non-Black cultures are anything to brag about, but the
    division between Blacks and non-Blacks has never been greater or more obvious.
    This is a huge divide, that I have no idea how it will ever be healed.

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