Plenary Session 4


“Thoughts on Racism as an Ecclesial Vice”


Kelly Johnson


Presumption seizes control and remakes the world with my own will at the center, denying the existence of what does not fit its program; despair abandons attempts to change.  Hope, by contrast, is the virtue of pilgrims, it’s the virtue of the way of the cross.  It faces uncertainty, incompleteness, a loss of control, and without denying them, it works toward the good.  Hope is about work—knowing that we have to work and knowing that there is reason to think our work will bear fruit, through God’s mercy.  We’re not guaranteed that we can “fix” racism, that I can reconcile all whites and blacks.  But we don’t resign ourselves to silence, misunderstanding, mutual alienation either.  Hope depends on stories of hard, long work that achieve some good.