OUR AUGUST 2020 article “Harboring a Culture of Hate,” by Catholic scholar-activist Eric Martin, contended that since the U.S. Catholic bishops did not explicitly condemn the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate—the bishops’ committee said “some still claim it as a sign of heritage”—some Catholics believe it is acceptable to be both Catholic and a member of white supremacist movements. Some Catholic officials and laypeople called the article misleading, saying it unfairly downplayed the institutional church’s other important anti-racist work, and Sojourners’ president Jim Wallis, who was then also editor-in-chief of our publications, decided to remove the article from our website.
Two weeks later, after some of the most intense and voluminous reaction in our publishing history, we issued a correction and reposted the article—and we’ve made some significant structural changes as well, instituting new policies that establish editorial independence from our organizing work (our new editor-in-chief Sandi Villarreal explains the importance of editorial independence). We’ve received hundreds of responses from our readers—including ordained and lay Catholic leaders, journalists, scholars, and activists—a sampling of which is below. As always, we appreciate your honest and passionate engagement, and we promise to keep listening.