Presiding Bishop Leads Service of Repentance for Sin of Racism, Slavery

Episcopal News Service, April 11, 2011

More than 500 people attended the service, during which Western North Carolina Bishop G. Porter Taylor acknowledged the church’s participation in slavery and the long oppression of Afro-American people. Taylor formally apologized for these sins and asked for forgiveness.

The two-hour-and-twenty minute service was sponsored by the diocese’s Commission to Dismantle Racism.

A massed choir, composed of singers from Trinity, St. Matthias and the Cathedral of All Souls, provided a program of music, while members of the congregation were offered the opportunity to receive an anointing of holy oil and a blessing from clergy and lay ministers, black and white.

The processional banner, chasuble and stoles used in the service are visual representations of the healing and reconciliation the service was aiming for.

On behalf of the diocese, Canon Osondu McPeters presented the presiding bishop with a college of words–feelings originally expressed by people in the diocese after viewing the film “Traces of the Trade,” a film that tells the story of the DeWolf family, the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history and also a prominent part of the Episcopal Church in Rhode Island. James DeWolf Perry was the 18th presiding bishop.

{snip}

General Convention 2006 passed several resolutions on the subject of the church’s complicity in slavery as well as other forms of exploitation and abuse of non-white peoples. The resolutions called on dioceses to explore the history of slavery and its aftermath and to find ways to seek reconciliation and healing.

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  • Anonymous

    The Episcopal Church parted ways with Christianity and concern for lost souls long ago. Today it is all about feeling good about itself by patting itself on the back for apologizing for the sins of others.

    They have forgotten the words of Christ: Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

  • highduke

    African Blacks should be apologizing to the New World Blacks for selling them to Whitey in the first place

  • Tim in Indiana

    It sounds to me like this is nothing less than a repudiation of their whole religious faith. If these sins of “racism” were are all so terrible, then why didn’t their faith/God/whatever keep them from doing it? It sounds like they’re saying that their faith is worthless, at least as far as keeping them from doing the wrong thing goes. And they wonder why there are so many nonbelievers these days. By the way isn’t the Episcopal church one of the organizations that said they would pull out of the Indianapolis convention center if Senate Bill 590 passes?

  • Anonymous

    Gee, I did not know the “sin” of racism was in the Ten Commandants, did you? Guess that will be next to be “revised”.

  • Anonymous

    And of course the blacks will still complain.

  • SF Paul

    Every time I hear of an “apology” for slavery, I always wonder who are people are apologising to? The actual slaves have been dead for about 70 to 80 years. How many generations of blacks has happened since the Civil War? Some day this has to end and blacks will have to take responsibility for themselves and stop blaming whites for everything. Whites also need to get over it. Let’s go to the museum and tell the mammoth how sorry we are for killing all its ancestors.

  • Tactless Old Pedo

    Well, if we can’t say obscenities or insults, can we use medical terminology and say, “Oh, testicles!!!” to the Episcopalians who participated in this farce? I left the Roman Catholic Church because of its blind dedication to social justice, and it looks to me like the descendants of Henry VIII are just as bad, if not worse. Oh, please. Do you realize how many black Haitians would give their eye fangs to live in this country and to be able to get an education, have a career, and be a decent citizen??? American blacks are more concerned with getting something for nothing, like handouts from the guv’m’t because their ancestors were slaves. I say give ’em a mandatory year of living and working in Haiti. THEN maybe they might get willing to appreciate and work with the opportunities that are here. (But, then again, probably not; it’s easier to whine).

  • ned

    I lost “faith” in the church ever since it played major role in miscegenation, due to the fact that it is no longer comprised of a homogeneous race and culture. I hope church leaders are reading this because if you want your flock back, you would do well to promote racial and cultural homogeneity. But since you insist on perpetual apologizing for sins that I have NOT committed, I say good riddance to all churches and clergy until they grow a spine.

  • on the lam from the Thought Police

    Now we need blacks to have a service of repentance for all the crimes they commit and all the illegitimate children they have.

  • Seneca the Younger

    Did they go over how North Carolina had a large number of black and mulatto(as the legal classification at the time)men were slave holders? I bet not.

    Look, if you hate yourself and have been guilted to shame because of your DNA, fine. But don’t try and bring others down with you. I wonder how many, if any, walked out. I would have and never would have went back. Politics should not be in religion, the separation of church and state can work both ways.

    How many of those white people in there even had ancestors that were slave holders? Probably very few. How many actually were slave holders? None.

  • Chicagoan

    Many folks have left various churches and denominations as they’ve been taken over by strange people with their own agendas, combining group therapy with PC activism. They’ll end up making themselves irrelevant to the average person. Perhaps in this case these Christians should get off their knees and stand up straight for once in their life.

  • white advocate – Canada

    Two objections come to mind.

    In the past whites had other reasons for their actions than just religion. Or sometimes religion was the believed reason because the white population wasn’t able to come up other explanations.

    I can think of another apology owing, only this time by the church. Even up to a century ago, it was believed by Christians that they had the true religion. Other religions misled their followers. God expected everyone to be converted to Christianity. This was Church policy and it has easily changed the world. Now, of course, the church doesn’t believe in any superiority of Christianity over the other religions. For cultural displacement alone, how about an apology from the church? How about an endless string of apologies? Do this before you apologize on the behalf of whites.

  • AWG (Average White Guy)

    Well, I know I feel guilty.

  • Cousin Charlie from TN

    “Commission to Dismantle Racism”

    Is there a Commission to Dismantle Gravity?

    “Racism” is a buzzword of the marxists to describe a human “instinct” that is such old knowledge that it has lost whatever name it used to have.

    All humans for all eternity will be “racists”. For theirs, against others.

    PC communism truly seems to be a hardcore faith-based “religion” for its adherents. Good luck to them in their farcical endeavors! I wish I could check in in 2,000 years to see how their “plan” has worked out.

  • roller

    And this is one of many reasons why I turned my back on the Christian religion. I believe in God, but not in the Christian beliefs. I will not betray my race for some half-wit preacher, bishop, or whatever.

  • Russ in the South

    According to the Old Testament,

    “The sins of the father are visited unto the FOURTH generation.”

    In other words, for ONE HUNDRED YEARS. Wasn’t slavery one hundred and fifty years ago and longer? To God, it’s a dead issue.

    White America has paid for its history of slavery in various ways:

    1. Half a million of us died in the Civil War.

    2. Hundreds of thousands of us died in WWII battling the white racism of Nazism.

    3. 17,000,000 white Americans have been victimized by black crime since 1964 through robbery, rape, and murder.

    4. White Americans have spent a trillion dollars since 1964 in various government handout and welfare programs.

  • Anonymous

    I am a former born again Christian who left Christianity for reasons such as strong disagreement with scripture. Many of the churches, including the church I used to attend, are very liberal. But I did not leave because of the fact that political correctness has infiltrated many churches.

    Nonetheless, I still find the idea churches becoming politically correct to be very disturbing. At my former church, one of the ministers sang a religious song in Spanish under the pretext of celebrating our church’s “multicultural heritage,” even though 99% of the members were white.

    Church is not supposed to be a place to advance a social agenda, liberal or otherwise. Visiting a house of God is about praising God and getting more in touch with religion. So many religious leaders, particularly those with liberal-leaning views, have perverted the meaning of church to suit their own ends.

  • Question Diversity

    Message to Bishop G. Porter Taylor — If you’re feeling that guilty about the Episcopal Church’s past involvement in slavery, I have an idea how you can atone for your “sin” — Renounce the Episcopal Church’s 501-c-x tax exempt status, and start paying taxes.

  • Father Cornelius Todd, Episcopal Priest

    Friends, IF God did not withhold his Only Begotten Son, but yet sent him forth to be crucified and to suffer disgrace, how can we not do likewise for our Black Brethren?

    IF our Lord Himself put on a towel, and washed the feet of his most humble disciples, then how can we not do likewise for our Black Brethren?

    IF our Lord left the glories of Heaven, to assume the lowly form of a Servant, then how can we not do likewise for our Black Brethren?

    IF our Lord Himself became a sin offering on the cross for the most miserable of human beings, stretching back to the time of Adam and Eve, then how can we not become sin offerings for our Black Brethren?

    How can we not become sin offerings, pleading atonement for the sins of our White Brethren, stretching back to the time of Adam and Eve?

    How?

    We must show the fruits of Salvation!

  • John Engelman

    I was born and raised an Episcopalian. Now I am an Anglican, which is to say a traditional Episcopalian using the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.

    For quite a few years the second most famous Episcopalian after George H. W. Bush was Bishop Shelby Spong. After writing a number of books attacking the Bible he admitted he did not believe in God.

    What has happened to the Episcopal Church is an example of late sixties idiocy, and evidence of how deeply the War in Vietnam wounded America. Because seminary students were given draft exemptions unavailable to other graduate students, men went into the clergies of main line denominations who were not appropriate candidates. They were intelligent, concerned, and compassionate, but more suited for secular helping professions like social work, poverty law, and teaching in inner city schools.

  • voter

    Father Cornelius Todd is a perfect example of the self-hating, racial masochists that have taken over and now pervade the major Christian denominations. A more pathetic example cannot be imagined.

  • Alexandra

    I’m a Christian, and one of my uncles is a professing Christian. Last I knew, he thought miscegenation is okay, because we’re all humans. It’s like he (and others) forget that God separated man into the different races for a reason. So many professing Christians don’t know what the Bible says, or they try to wrest Scripture so it fits their ideology.

    I’m sure dog breeders don’t feel the same way about their dogs. I don’t think a breeder would want their poodle to be impregnated by a chihuahua, even though they’re both dogs.

    (What a pretty pass we’ve come to, when we care more about a dog’s pedigree than our own!)

  • Fr. John

    I point out on this forum the FACTS of the Apostasizing of the Episcopal Church in the 1970s, and the plea for awareness that not all of those who claim the unsmirched heritage of the Anglican ethos, are the kooks that run the TEC, which has adopted women on their altars, sodomites as bishops, and the far left political agenda as near- theological dictums, and you don’t post MY comment….

    Yet you post some claptrap from some IDIOT TEC [sic] ‘priest’ who says that the anti-miscegenation clauses in the Bible don’t matter, and that the ‘Black is my brother’?

    Whose side are you on?