Author: Emily Reimer-Barry

Remembering Our Past, Securing a Just Future: On Confederate Graveyards and the Wisdom of Christian Ethicists

In June I had the opportunity to visit a confederate cemetery in Point Clear, Alabama. I was there to honor Lillie A. Smith (1875-1947), a woman who meant a great deal to my extended family. But since her grave is very close to the confederate cemetery, we also toured that portion of the property. I had mixed feelings on our visit. On the one hand, it is a beautiful property with old oak trees, magnolia trees with Spanish moss, and exudes a peaceful atmosphere for remembering the dead and considering one’s own eventual death. On the other hand, I...

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White Christians in a Racist Country: Rupert Mayer, Pray for Us

Last summer I had the opportunity to visit the tomb of Rupert Mayer, a Jesuit priest who was a leader in the Catholic resistance movement against Nazism in Munich, Germany. Fr. Mayer’s early ministries were among the poor, especially immigrants. He also served as a military chaplain during the first world war, sustaining a serious injury to his leg. Fr. Mayer was an outspoken critic of Nazism, regularly condemning Nazism from the pulpit. In 1923 he was invited to address a Nazi gathering on the theme “Can a Catholic be a National Socialist?”” As he rose to address them, the...

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The Keepers, Ecclesiology, and Ethics

The Netflix miniseries The Keepers, directed by Ryan White, should come with trigger warnings. “May trigger painful memories for survivors of child abuse.” “May make you reconsider your belonging to the Catholic faith community.” The series begins by investigating the cold case murder of Sister Cathy Cesnik, SSND, in Baltimore in 1969. The investigation of her murder by Abbie Schaub and Gemma Hoskins leads to speculation that perhaps Sister Cathy was murdered because she knew of clerical sexual abuse at Archbishop Keough High School. Sister Cathy’s murder remains unsolved. Survivors of sexual abuse by clergy tell their stories on...

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A Summer Social Justice Playlist

I wanna run I want to hide I want to tear down the walls that hold me inside I want to reach out and touch the flame Where the streets have no name. These are tough times for social justice folks. No matter the social justice issue you care most deeply about– food security for the poor, migrant justice, the Syrian refugee crisis, climate change, health care access, LGBTQ equality, transparency in campaign finance, and on and on– there seem to be daily news stories about how we are taking steps backwards on these issues. You may want to...

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No Wall. Let’s Aim Higher: Justice.

Francis Makes Migration a Key Issue Pope Francis is not the first pontiff to advocate for migrant rights, but it is an issue that he has made a priority in his papacy. In July 2013 Francis kicked off his papacy by traveling to Lampedusa, Italy, an island about 70 miles off the coast of Africa in the Mediterranean Sea. Lampedusa is known as a waypoint for migrants; the pope went there to highlight the perilous journey that so many migrants face, a journey faced by Jesus as an infant, a journey that has led to death for over 46,000...

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