"Racial discrimination can in no way be justified": The Vatican and Desegregation in the South, 1946-1968

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Abstract

Although the Vatican pragmatically accepted the establishment of segregated Catholic institutions in the Jim Crow South during the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth, its condemnation of Nazi and fascist racism and espousal of the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ rejected racial distinctions. This article argues that Rome's postwar transnational interest in countering international communism and appealing to the global South also encouraged its support for racial equality, integration and the civil rights movement, and denial of religious legitimacy to segregationists. Yet Catholic desegregation in the South was largely token and one-sided, and closed many black institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-34
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of American Studies
Early online date26 Jul 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Jul 2022

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