Jesuits Offer $100 Million in Slavery Reparations

The Catholic Society of Jesus (Jesuits) are putting up an astounding $100 million to be paid in the form of reparations for the slaves the religious order once owned.  The “settlement” involves the descendants of slaves the Jesuits sold in 1838.  At the time of the sale, the Jesuits had relied on slave labor for more than 100 years – buying and selling in the slave markets as was the practice at the time.

Slaves were used in virtually all aspects of religious life – from attending to clergy, day-to-day church operations and construction of facilities.  Slaves were used in constructing the initial buildings for the first Catholic institution of higher learning in America – Georgetown University.

Slavery in the Church had some unique aspects.  Slaves were to follow Catholic doctrine – their children baptized, and their marriages blessed.  But the Jesuits did follow some of the more traditional elements of slavery – summary punishment, including whipping.  Being married in the Church did not protect families from being separated by the sale of one of the members.

I am usually not supportive of the general reparations concept for a number of reasons – mainly the fact that no one alive today was a direct victim of slavery – or the perpetrators of the evils of slavery.  It seems totally inappropriate for today’s taxpayers to take on an obligation to address harm done by public officials decades and centuries in the past.  Especially when so many of our nation’s Blacks are NOT even descendants of American slaves – or slaves at all. Not long ago, we elected a Black President with no slavery in his family tree.

But the reparations proposed by the Jesuits are a bit different – although still a stretch of the traditional concept of reparations.

First, it is private money.  They are not looking to the general working taxpayer to foot the bill.  If they want to spend it in that manner – rather than have it serve other needs of the Church – so be it. 

They also seem to have maintained a historic connection to the slaves and their descendants.  How they establish that I do not know – and frankly, do not care.  I will accept their statement that this is a deal with real descendants –as opposed to a political give-away to a voting base.

If the Jesuits feel the need to address their past sins and sense of guilt, then there is no reason to deride their decision.

Folks may be surprised that the Jesuits have $100 million dollars to cover their offer. We should not be.  The Catholic Church is an extraordinarily rich institution – and the Jesuits are among the richest orders.  The multi -level school system they operate across the nation – with Georgetown University being the most notable gem in the crown – is a massive moneymaking machine.  It may well be the most profitable school system in America.  A Jesuit education is not cheap.  I know because my youngest son attended a Jesuit high school for four years.

One can legitimately question the wisdom or the necessity of the Jesuit reparations program but not their right to spend their money as they see fit.  I just think that money could do a lot more good for people suffering hardships today.

My only fear is that this gesture will be used by others to encourage taxpayer reparations.

So, there ‘tis.

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13 Thoughts to “Jesuits Offer $100 Million in Slavery Reparations”

  1. MikefromTexas

    Are they going to put up $100,000,000 for white slavery people? Probably not.

  2. Tom

    Use to donate $ from me to the Jesuits but no more. I had NOTHING to do with slavery EXCEPT that my grandparents were slaves in the coal mines and no one ever talks about them.

  3. Richard Franklin

    Affirmative action, reparations, black lives matter, when will this insanity end? Why should we pay for what was done centuries past? This is just perpetuating the racist agenda, when will it stop? What about the Irish immigrants? Or, what about the Asians forced labor or the native americans? Get real and stop this madness!

  4. Blanca Holland

    I they also going to reparation payment to all the indigenous people of the world? I would say not ? As knowing who were slaves the Jesuit priest kept good records. Even birth records were considered true to date.

  5. Casual observer

    They could better use this money to lower tuition at their schools so more could afford them.

  6. Den

    The stupidest thing ever! Dumb. Insane. Nuts.

  7. Den

    Where is ?what I wrote! Stop stopping my opinion!

  8. Den

    No such thing

  9. Larry Gaines

    They are Super Stupid as there is no way to trace who was a slave

  10. C.A.

    I think they should pass the reparations bill! In the current Democrat controlled insane political arena, one where anyone can literally self-identify as anything, ie: boy is girl, girl is boy, man is woman, woman is man, white chick is black, black chick is white, woman is a milking cow, man is a feline….etc. I think all white people should self-identify as the black descendants of slaves! Jus Sayin…

  11. Mary Grohoske

    Why don’t they bring up the black slave owner. He owned more slaves then any one else. He had plantations with at least 500 slaves on each one. Name was Johnson. They gonna make the black pay blacks? No, they won’t mention him, because he is Black. God Bless America.

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