A worldly, political response to racism is not enough. This book is a Catholic Christian response to the epidemic of racism, firmly rooted in the Scriptures, the natural law, the Church’s Tradition, and our identity as children of God.
But what is racism? Is it just "prejudice"? Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers carefully distinguishes the sin of racism from the kind of instinctive bias that marks all fallen mankind, in order to help us find a path to deeper unity.
Building a Civilization of Love takes an honest look at Critical Race Theory, Liberation Theology, and the Black Lives Matter Movement, weighing their merits. Burke-Sivers asks in each case whether there might be anything contained in them that Catholics can use to facilitate the healing and reconciliation of racial division.
A truly Catholic response to racism must begin locally, in our own parishes, towns, and homes, in the here and now. Ameliorating racism will require hard work, humility, vulnerability, sacrifice, and love. But by admitting our own weaknesses and opening ourselves to God's mercy, we can bring Christ's healing grace to our world.
"Pope Leo XIII, when inaugurating modern Catholic Social Teaching, emphasized that the ultimate solution to social problems can be found only in religion. But too many Catholics today look at such problems through an essentially secular lens. In addition to its many other virtues, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers' fine book approaches the problem of racism in a way that takes Pope Leo's crucial insight seriously."
— Edward Feser, Ph.D., Author, All One in Christ: A Catholic Critique of Racism and Critical Race Theory
"A refreshing, clear, easy-to-read and concise analysis of racism grounded in the Catholic Tradition, with keen insights often not found among those writing in this space. What I appreciate most is how, after laying this foundation, he critically applies it to certain secular ideologies of race, aspects of which have crept into some segments of the Church. This book is a must read."
— Deacon Dominic Cerrato, Ph.D., Diaconate Director, Diocese of Joliet; Editor, The Deacon
"A long-needed and tempered discussion on a very important and often contentious topic. Deacon Harold offers sound arguments from faith and reason as to why there is rationale for hope of racial conflict resolution – a hope based on human love and dignity, personal responsibility, and growth in virtue. This book is sure to help diffuse racial tensions."
— Fr. Wade Menezes, CPM, EWTN Author & Global Catholic Radio Host, Open Line Tuesday
“Timely and much needed. Burke-Sivers also showcases the six Black Catholics on the road to sainthood as models for how to rectify the ugliness caused by the sin of racism. I hope this book has a wide audience and is engaged seriously.”
—Michael R. Heinlein, Author, Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood
“Harold writes as a Catholic, critiquing the often strident and absolutist positions of the merely secular and political mindset. The biblical world and the Church are far older than present political realities or theories. Racism will be conquered by a true embrace of Catholic teaching as beautifully set forth in this work.”
—Msgr. Charles Pope, Columnist, Our Sunday Visitor
“Deacon Harold models how to seek and to communicate the truth about such an important topic in dialogical charity. I hope the book will find a wide readership so that we can reflect on what it means to be ‘one Body in Christ’.”
—Roland Millare, Author, A Living Sacrifice: Liturgy and Eschatology in Joseph Ratzinger