Episcopal Diocese of New York formally apologizes for the church’s participation in slavery

The Episcopal Diocese of New York issued a formal apology for its participation in the transatlantic slave trade in a service held at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine on Saturday.

“The apology being offered here today is offered by the Diocese of New York as an entity. Maybe as a family,” said the Right Rev. Andrew M.L. Dietsche, the bishop of the New York diocese. “Make an apology for the things we did corporately to further the suffering of others under slavery.”

The service included a video address by the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, who is the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. Curry, who is also the first Black person to hold that position, called the apology “the outward and visible sign of the inward and spiritual work that has been done, and that continues.”

“Now some might say that apology is not enough, and to be sure, by itself it’s not,” Curry said. “But you have been engaged in the work of unearthing our history, unearthing our story, telling stories that had not been told, telling of pain that has been borne sometimes in silence.”

A resolution adopted by the Episcopal Church’s leadership in 2006 declared the institution of slavery a “sin” and mandated that the church acknowledge and express regret for its role. It also called on churches to examine how they benefited from slavery.

In 2019, the New York diocese set aside $1.1 million from its endowment for a future reparations project. Discussions on the specific form reparations will take are still underway, but providing college scholarships, health care and housing have been put forth as potential ideas.

The Episcopal Diocese of New York encompasses approximately 50,000 members in nearly 200 parishes spread across Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, as well as Orange, Dutchess, Westchester, and other suburban counties. The U.S. Episcopal Church boasts 1.6 million members.

Source : https://gothamist.com/news/episcopal-diocese-of-new-york-formally-apologizes-for-the-churchs-participation-in-slavery

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