"As black Catholics, it's like a sense of belonging to see the Church address these issues because .... we worship with our fellow Catholics who are of all races. If you see a race or a certain subset of people that are being hurt as a Christian, as a Catholic, you want to do what you can to try to make sure that person is [welcome]."
He said it was comforting to see the Church's involvement in the Sept. 9 National Day of Prayer of Fasting to End Racism, and the engagement of other Catholic lay organizations like the Knights of Columbus. He expressed the importance for Catholics to view racial equality as a problem relating to the pro-life movement.
"The Knights of Columbus taking a stance on that, it makes me feel good," he said. "I just express my appreciation for them doing something like that, because that's a big step."
"Being pro-birth is awesome, but we also have to look at the whole spectrum of conception to natural death, because if a person has a child or a woman does not choose to have an abortion at a young age, and that child grows up and the child gets killed in the street ... it sparks some concern for that family, but it should also spark some concern for the Catholic Church."
The Knights of Peter Claver was founded in Mobile, Ala., in 1909 and is now headquartered in New Orleans. The order is named for St. Peter Claver, the Jesuit missionary priest who ministered to African slaves in Colombia.
Its membership is historically African-American but is open to all practicing Catholics without regard to race or ethnicity. Many of its members played a role in the U.S. civil rights movement of the mid-20th century.
The organization has a presence in about 39 states and in South America. Its six divisions include a Ladies Auxiliary, two junior divisions for boys and girls, Fourth Degree Knights, and their companion group Ladies of Grace.