(October 30, 2020)

The historic appointment of Wilton Gregory as the first Black American Cardinal is an occasion for rejoicing and celebration within the Catholic Church.

However, Crisis Magazine chose to label Cardinal-Elect Gregory a member of the “Deep Church,” an allusion to the “Deep State” conspiracy theory posited by President Donald Trump, Archbishop Viganò, and QAnon supporters as a shadow government seeking to undermine the existing government.

Moreover, rather than highlight the historic appointment that promoted diversity in the Catholic Church, the article’s author, Emily Finley, chose to deplore Gregory’s stance on racial justice and his “left-wing litany of demands on the state including ‘access to health and maternal care, meaningful educational opportunities, prison reforms, restorative justice initiatives, housing anti-discrimination efforts, juvenile justice reforms, and ending the grossly disparate practice of capital punishment.’”

However, all of these stances that Finley decried as “left-wing” are consistent with Church teaching (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1928-1948).

This is not the first Crisis article to militate against calls for racial justice. In July of this year, the publication defended white Jesus.

According to Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, the author of How to be an Antiracist, if one is not antiracist, then one is racist – there is no neutrality in the racism struggle (p. 9).

If Crisis is not supporting racial justice, it is complicit in racial injustice and thereby promotes racism.

In addition to its support for racism, Crisis published an article against women’s suffrage, an important historical event for gender equality. 

Using Kendi’s logic, and substituting racial equality for gender equality, if one is against gender equality then one is promoting misogyny.    

Rather than celebrate two historic events, one supporting racial equality and the other supporting gender equality, Crisis Magazine is protesting these equity-related events. 

Referring back to the Crisis article on Cardinal-Elect Wilton Gregory, the author wrote negatively on the pontificates of John XXIII, Paul VI and Francis, citing a loose claim of secularism and another unfounded conspiracy reference, this time related to freemasonry and the Catholic Church.

Therefore, Crisis Magazine promotes racism, misogyny and anti-papism. All three of these evils are contrary to Catholic teaching.

Church Militant, a Detroit-based right-wing publication that appeals to right-wing Catholics, made a racist reference to then Archbishop Gregory, calling him an “African Queen.”  The Archdiocese of Detroit subsequently condemned Church Militant’s “offensive language” and advised the faithful that the publication is not recommended by the Archdiocese.

While Crisis Magazine claims to be “a voice for the faithful Catholic laity,” in a similar manner to Church Militant, the US bishops ought to condemn Crisis’ racism, misogyny and anti-papism, as well as advise the faithful that the publication is not recommended by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

If the US Bishops do not recommend Crisis, the publication is therefore not a voice for the faithful Catholic laity but a voice for racism, misogyny and anti-papism.

Further, Crisis’ promotion of ideologies contrary to Catholic teaching, especially anti-papism, suggests that the publication is anti-Catholic and heretical.

More by Novena US contributor Matt Kappadakunnel:

By naming Wilton Gregory a cardinal, the Pope is sending a powerful message that Black Lives Matter

Jesus wouldn’t make fun of a person’s name… and neither should we

These Orthodox leaders have no problems standing up to the sin of racism. Why can’t the US Catholic Bishops follow their example?

If the US Bishops can’t denounce Trump and white supremacy then they don’t stand with Christ

Bishop Barron needs to acknowledge his own “abyss”: white privilege

It’s time to clean house: the Church must no longer harbour racists

The priest who proclaimed that Catholics can’t be Democrats failed the test of charity and dishonoured God


Matt Kappadakunnel has a background in investment management and investment banking. Additionally, Matt spent multiple years studying to be a Catholic priest. He is a graduate of Creighton University and is a CFA Charterholder. Matt lives in Los Angeles with his wife and toddler, and they are expecting a newborn in November.