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James Ritson wrote:

Dear Folks,

In Catechism classes years ago not one mention of race was ever uttered.

  • Is there anything in the Bible that gives any guidance on this important issue?

Cordially,

James Ritson

  { Is there anything in the Bible that gives any guidance on the issue of race? }

Mike replied:

Hi James,

Thanks for the question.

You said:
In Catechism classes years ago not one mention of race was ever uttered.

  • Is there anything in the Bible that gives any guidance on this important issue?

I don’t see why race should be the focus of any Catholic Catechism class. The Church views everyone, no matter what race they are, as equal and loved in God’s Eye (CCC 1935), unlike today modern culture which:

  • discriminates against various groups, or
  • shows favoritism toward other groups based on certain races or genders.

Catechism classes should be focused on what we believe as Catholic Christians, not race issues.

The Bible is a liturgical book, meaning one meant to be used at Mass, our worship service. The Bible was written by Catholics and their ancestors, for Catholics, for use in the Catholic Mass.

Contrary to the Bible, the Catechism is an official book of the teachings of the Catholic faith. While the Bible does have faith issues in them, you have to understand them correctly through the teaching authority of the Catholic Church.

In the Bible, St. Peter states in 1 Peter 2:9

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

This page gives you a list of all the references to race from a Catholic version of the Bible.
The passages that use the word race, the way you are using it, are:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church also mentions race. Check out:

  1. CCC Search Result - Paragraph # 496
    Ignatius of Antioch at the beginning of the second century says: You are firmly convinced about our Lord, who is truly of the race of David according to the flesh, Son of God ...

  2. CCC Search Result - Paragraph # 781
    1 "At all times and in every race, anyone who fears God and does what is right has been ... He therefore chose the Israelite race to be his own people and established a covenant with . . .

  3. CCC Search Result - Paragraph # 786
    that, apart from the particular service of our ministry, all spiritual and rational Christians are recognized as members of this royal race and sharers in Christ's priestly office. ...

  4. CCC Search Result - Paragraph # 803
    3 "You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people" (1 Peter 2:9)

  5. CCC Search Result - Paragraph # 839
    To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the ...

  6. CCC Search Result - Paragraph # 1141
    by the very nature of the liturgy, and to which the Christian people, "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a redeemed people," have a right and an obligation ...

  7. CCC Search Result - Paragraph # 1268
    By Baptism they share in the priesthood of Christ, in his prophetic and royal mission. They are "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, that [they] may ...

  8. CCC Search Result - Paragraph # 1935
    Every form of social or cultural discrimination in fundamental personal rights on the grounds of sex, race, color, social conditions, language, or religion must be curbed and ...

  9. CCC Search Result - Paragraph # 2113
    Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, ...

  10. CCC Search Result - Paragraph # 2361
    You made Adam, and for him you made his wife Eve as a helper and support. From the two of them the race of mankind has sprung. You said, 'It is not good that the man should be ...

I hope this helps,

Mike

John replied:

Hi, James —

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28

While some extreme fundamentalists hold the position that races should not intermarry based on Old Testament Scriptures forbidding the Israelites from the doing so, there is no longer any need for such separation.

In the Old Covenant, Israel was called to keep Herself separate as sign to the other nations and even then, it was to prevent the Israelites from worshiping the gods and idols of other nations. With the coming of Christ and the incorporation of Gentiles into the Church there is no longer justification for such prescriptions.

In addition, certain people twisted certain Scriptures about the descendants of Hem being cursed in order to justify the slave trade of Africans but this was and is heresy. It was condemned by the Church.

The Church has always believed and taught the equality of races. Indeed the word Catholic means universal (Katolicos), originating in the root form of the the Greek word Eklekton where we get the word eclectic meaning diverse.

Hope this helps,

John

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