Georgetown University was in a financial bind back during the slave era. The Jesuit brothers who owned it saw an opportunity to fix their financial problems. It was selling 272 of their slaves in 1838. Families were broken up and over 100 descendants today know the tragic human events that followed.
The Jesuits deserve credit for owning up to their past and trying to make amends. It would be a stretch, however, to say that the Catholic faith, or most other branches of Christianity, learned a lesson from this terrible mistake. We only need look at how the Corporate Catholic Church handled the child abuse crisis to see that little has changed.
Just as the Jesuits of a previous era did not have the interests of their human brothers and sisters, slaves, at heart, neither did Corporate Catholicism have at heart the interests of children. Its interests were at first about protecting the criminal priests. It did this by not turning them over to the government legal authorities.
Later, the Church’s preoccupation was with preserving its real estate empire. This, too, was more important than paying money to offset the damage done to humans under their care. Money was moved around and efforts were made to make put money out of reach from legal charges.
Somehow in all of this the rest of us are to take seriously the Catholic moral imperative against abortion and gays. It leaves one with no hope we will ever see the Church as a moral leader.