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Joseph Butsch
Catholics and the Negro
From The Journal of Negro History 2, no. 4 (October 1917), 393-410. Lancaster, Pa; Washington, D. C.: The Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, Inc., 1917.


In this article written for the Journal of Negro History, Butsch describes the relationship between African Americans and the Roman Catholic Church. He relates the early efforts of Catholics to educate and emancipate the slaves of America, and shows examples of the Church's continuing struggle to fight for equal rights and against lynching.

According to Butsch, to understand the influence of the Roman Catholic Church on slaves in America, one must explore the influence of the Church on slavery in general. He contends that the severe treatment of slaves by the ancient Greeks and Romans is reflected in his own day in non-Christian cultures. In the old world, Butsch argues, it was only due to the influence of the Church that one saw a gradual move towards the emancipation of slaves. In the new world, he continues, from Spanish and French missionaries to Catholic schools in Washington and Baltimore, the Catholic Church has continued to struggle and succeed in its mission to educate and redeem the slaves of America.

Brent Kinser

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