Prod. By BLACKCATHOLIC – 3: The Great Equalizer: How the Sacraments Make Us All Equal ( For uCatholic)
To kick off this month’s celebration of Black History Month. Here’s a BHM edition of one of my article series, Prod. By BLACKCATHOLIC where I feature an article that I’ve written for another platform and preview it.
I wrote an article last year for uCatholic that is very fitting for this month. I drew in part upon Fr. Tolton in my attempt to show how the Church’s sacraments place us all on level-ground as sinners needing grace.
Here are some excerpts:
“Throughout time the priesthood has been one of the greatest overlooked symbols of equality lived out. Case in point – a valid priest is always a valid priest, if you ordain him properly. In regards to the substance of a man in his humanity, it doesn’t matter what man is receiving Holy Orders; a true priest confects true sacraments.”
“Take Servant of God Fr. Augustus Tolton (1854-1897), the first recognized African American priest in U.S. history, for example. Facing opposition from the beginning of his vocation, Tolton was rejected by seminary after seminary in America. Only with help from his friend and advocate Fr. Peter McGirr, an Irish priest, Tolton was able to go to Rome for his studies where he was ordained in 1886.”
“Fr. Augustus Tolton was a true priest of Jesus Christ in the Catholic Church . . . He was as much of an alter Christus as a White priest was. He could confect the same Eucharist, forgive the same sins, witness the same marriages . . . all not due to his race but rather to the sacrament he received. When he performed his duties he did them in the Person of Christ not in the person of a Black or White man, for the One Priesthood he was ordained into is not a respecter of race. All of this would be true for any other Black man ordained after him.”
“However, notice one important thing. What is not included in the list of elements that compose a valid sacrament? Race, color, ethnicity, nationality, and economic class are all left out.”
Read the rest here.