A Catholic bishop just fired back at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) after she disparaged a legendary Catholic saint.
Ocasio-Cortez was slamming various statues at the U.S. Capitol that she claims represent “colonizers and settlers” when she called out St. Damien of Molokai as an example of “white supremacist culture.” She said in part, according to The Blaze:
Even when we select figures to tell the stories of colonized places, it is the colonizers and settlers whose stories are told — and virtually no one else. Check out Hawaii’s statue.
It’s not Queen Lili’uokalani of Hawaii, the only Queen Regnant of Hawaii, who is immortalized and whose story is told. It is Father Damien. This isn’t to litigate each and every individual statue, but to point out the patterns that have emerged among the totality of them in who we are taught to deify in our nation’s Capitol: virtually all men, all white, and mostly both. This is what patriarchy and white supremacist culture looks like! It’s not radical or crazy to understand the influence white supremacist culture has historically had in our overall culture & how it impacts the present day.
Ocasio-Cortez’s comments were odd given the fact that Damien was a 19th century priest from Belgium who gave his life to care for people suffering from leprosy in Hawaii, as he eventually died of the disease himself.
Los Angeles-based bishop Robert Barron fired back at Ocasio-Cortez by calling her comments “so crazy and outrageous.”
“To associate this man, in any way, with colonialism or white supremacy is so ridiculous and insulting, and it shows the superficiality and the simplistic quality of these sort of woke categories,” Barron said. “I can’t help but think: Of all the people that could have been singled out … what is it with this attack on Catholic saints?!”
He went on to point out that a statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, is still in the U.S. Capitol, yet she chose to single out Damien instead.
“It’s time to get beyond these simplistic categories,” Barron added.
In defense of St. Damien of Molokai: Part 2 pic.twitter.com/YYIFZU2DV4
— Bishop Robert Barron (@BishopBarron) July 31, 2020