Catholic World News

Georgetown addresses past ties to slavery

September 02, 2016

The nation’s oldest Catholic university has issued a report addressing its historic ties to slavery, including profits from the 1838 sale of 272 slaves.

John DeGioia, president of Georgetown University, pledged to hold a Mass of reconciliation, establish an Institute for the Study of Slavery and Its Legacies at Georgetown, rename two buildings, and offer preferential admissions treatment to the slaves’ descendants.

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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Sep. 03, 2016 2:35 AM ET USA

    The Church in Rome roundly condemned slavery in the American South, but the bishops largely ignored it.

  • Posted by: Antonius86 - Sep. 02, 2016 5:14 PM ET USA

    I imagine that, because there was no internet back then, papal documents did not circulate so quickly.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Sep. 02, 2016 10:20 AM ET USA

    The nation's oldest Catholic university must not have had access to the multitude of papal documents condemning the enslavement of peoples, directing Catholics to release their slaves, and upholding the dignity of native peoples as true human beings with the faculties needed to understand God's relationship to man and man's need to worship God according to the teachings of the one true religion which subsists in the Catholic Church. Mindboggling.

  • Posted by: garedawg - Sep. 02, 2016 10:08 AM ET USA

    Wouldn't the Church have considered it a sin to own slaves, especially in the manner in which they were owned in the United States? So, I wonder how the Jesuits got away with it.