Truth is black and white

In the face of such bigotry and hatred, I asked myself, "Why didn't Father Augustine Tolton leave the Church?" As I reflected on the life of this noble priest, it became clear to me. Father Tolton was able to discern what many Catholics today who leave the Church fail to perceive and do not fully appreciate: that what the Catholic Church actually teaches is true, good and beautiful despite the hypocrisy and contradiction of Church members who do not actually live the faith they profess. Father Tolton always acknowledged the great gift of his Catholic faith and recognized that personal sin and human weakness are not greater or more powerful than the strength of objective truth found in Catholicism. Father Tolton was a visionary who saw far beyond issues of race and politics, looking inward--into the heart of the Church herself.

This perspective is echoed beautifully in the words of our late Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, who addressed black Catholics in the United States with these words: "It is important to realize that there is no black Church, no white Church, no American Church; but there is and must be, in the one Church of Jesus Christ, a home for blacks, whites, Americans, every culture and race. 'The Church is catholic . . . because she is able to present in every human context the revealed truth, preserved by her intact in its divine content, in such a way as to bring it into contact with the lofty thoughts and just expectations of every individual and every people.'"

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