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The Gloria Purvis PodcastNovember 01, 2022
Puzzles depicting slaves in America are pictured in the Staten Island, N.Y., home of Elizabeth Meaders Feb. 2, 2022. (CNS photo/Mike Segar, Reuters)

The Bible has been invoked in defense of slavery and to overthrow it. Some saints have confronted slavery, while others have turned a blind eye, or worse, developed theological arguments to support it. The Catholic Church has a mixed history, especially when it comes to chattel slavery, and its one we should know about.

This week on “The Gloria Purvis Podcast,” Gloria interviews Chris Kellerman, S.J., about his new book, All Oppression Shall Cease: A History of Slavery, Abolitionism and The Catholic Church. Chris brings a deep knowledge of history and a faith that wrestles deeply with the horrors of slavery.

“For every saint that we find out was a slaveholder, for every pope that we find out, you know, did something crazy, there’s another person who was fighting against it,” Father Kellerman says. “There’s a great sense of that hope that there was a change. And a lot of that change came through people speaking up and good Catholics speaking up and saying, ‘Based on my faith I know this isn’t right.’”

Father Kellerman serves as assistant for Justice and Ecology of the Central and Southern Province of the Jesuits.

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