Metro-East News

Belleville bishop discusses race and the Catholic Church on EWTN

Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Ill., is pictured at the Pontifical North American College in Rome on April 5.
Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Ill., is pictured at the Pontifical North American College in Rome on April 5. CNS/Robert Duncan

Edward K. Braxton, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Belleville, was a guest on the cable network EWTN Thursday night, discussing race relations and the Catholic Church.

Braxton appeared on the program “The World Over,” hosted by Raymond Arroyo, who interviewed the bishop via satellite from Washington, D.C.

Despite there being 2.9 million black Catholics in the United States, now surpassing the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Braxton said he is not optimistic about the future of blacks in the church.

“I am not enthusiastic about a significant and dramatic growth of African Americans in the Catholic Church,” Braxton said. He noted that of the 36 million African Americans, less than 5 percent are Catholic, compared with up to 80 percent who identify with mainline protestant denominations.

Braxton has written extensively on the subject of race in the United States.

The program will be repeated at 6 p.m. Sunday and 9 a.m. Monday, or can be seen on YouTube.

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