WASHINGTON (CNS) — The Black priest who is Pax Christi USA’s “Teacher of Peace” award recipient for 2021 said white nationalism is “the greatest threat to peace in our time, both nationally and even internationally.”
“White nationalism is the existential, visceral conviction that this country — its public spaces, its history, its culture — belong to white people in a way that they do not and should not belong to ‘others,’” Father Bryan Massingale said in remarks accepting the award July 31 during Pax Christi’s national conference… A Milwaukee archdiocesan priest, he is a theology professor at Fordham University in New York and holds the theology department’s James and Nancy Buckman Chair in Applied Christian Ethics.
“The brutal mob violence of Jan. 6 was a clear declaration that many white Americans would rather live in a white dictatorship than in a multiracial democracy. If democracy means sharing power with people of color, and especially Black people, they want no part of it,” Father Massingale said. (The same America that elected a black man President, twice)
White nationalism’s “commitment to racist political and cultural supremacy is obvious, manifested in voter suppression laws, crusades against ‘critical race theory’ — which most of its opponents have never read — and public vitriol,” he added.
“And white nationalism is a threat to global health and stability, through its irresponsible and reckless denigration of mask wearing and vaccination in the face of the greatest health crisis to afflict humankind in over a century,” he said.
“The crises that face us — militarism, racism, ecology and poverty — are interlocking, overlapping and compounded,” he continued… Today, Father Massingale said, “if Pax Christi is to be relevant as a Catholic movement of peacemaking with justice, it must name white nationalism as the greatest threat to peace…” He added, “Genuine peace — the goal, dream and passion of Pax Christi — is impossible without a cultural evolution so profound and far-reaching it is almost impossible to imagine — and perhaps even terrifying to envision.”
“If Jesus were alive today, and witnessed the vitriol on certain Catholic websites, he would add to his list of beatitudes, ‘Blessed are you when they blog about you and post vile slander against you because of me,’” he said.
But “my enslaved ancestors sang, ‘We’ve come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord,’” he noted. “Our hope lies not in what is of our own doing. Our hope stems from a quiet, deep, even if at times dark and obscure, trust that the God of Shalom accompanies us, guides us, and will not abandon us.”