In today’s interview, Catholic author, commentator, and radio host Gloria Purvis is interviewed by McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and James Madison Program Director Robert P. George. They discuss her fascinating conversion to Catholicism, her pro-life advocacy, and her efforts to combat racism within a Catholic framework.

Robert George: Gloria, I’ve been looking forward to our conversation, and to prepare, I had the pleasure of reading a long profile of you in the Human Life Review, that indispensable journal of the pro-life movement. Although we’ve known each other for many years and have worked together arm-in-arm in the pro-life movement, there are still some things I learned about you. I want to begin with one of those, which is that you were born and brought up in South Carolina.

Gloria Purvis: Yes, I’m a Southerner, from Charleston, South Carolina. I spent so much time on the beach while growing up and was exposed to Gullah or Geechee which the people speak down there. Yep. I’m a Southerner at heart and drink sweet tea and everything.

RG: You’re a lot younger than I am, so by the time you were born legal discrimination based on race had been abolished. Brown v. Board of Education had abolished segregation in public schools and the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of the mid-1960s had been enacted. But you grew up in the wake of Jim Crow and segregation. It must mean a lot to you now that in South Carolina—the first state to secede from the union, the very heart of the Confederacy—the people of your home state are represented in the Senate of the United States by an African-American, Tim Scott.

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GP: Yes. It is a historic milestone that Senator Tim Scott is the first African-American Senator from a southern state post-Reconstruction. I spoke at a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of life and the safety of women, as did Senator Scott. I was happy to see a fellow South Carolinian there.

RG: He was elected with the overwhelming support of the white community in South Carolina. That looks to me like a lot of progress. What do you make of it?

GP: Considering the southern white opposition to the freedom of African-Americans before and after Reconstruction, Senator Scott’s reelection heralds enormous change. It is great progress. He wants to do what he thinks is best for the citizens of South Carolina and enough people there apparently believe in him too. Former Governor Nikki Haley appointed him to the seat in 2012 and he was re-elected in 2016. He is up for re-election now. His election to the U.S. Senate is a sign of progress.

RG: I also learned that you are not a cradle Catholic. You are an adult convert to Catholicism. I’d love to hear a bit of your conversion story. I know it involves your Protestant parents sending you to a Catholic school, but what happened?

GP: While I was attending the Cathedral School, we had a little food-fight during lunch. But we were good kids and realized it was not fair for the janitorial staff to have to clean up our mess. So we cleaned up everything, spic and span. But right after lunch, we had religion class with the principal of the school who was a religious sister, Sister Carmelita. And in those days, when an adult entered the room, you had to stand and greet them. So we greeted her, “Good Afternoon, Sister Carmelita” and we sat down. She was not happy. This is when I learned that Catholics believed in public confession because Sister Carmelita called us by our names one-by-one.

And when she got to me, she said, “Gloria!” and I stood up. I answered, “Yes, Sister Carmelita.” She asked, “Did you participate in that food fight? I said, “Yes, Sister Carmelita.” And she said, “Sit down!” She was not happy with my entire class. She marched us over to the Cathedral, to the Crypt Church, where she prayed for the strength to deal with us. We had to sit there quietly while Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was occurring. It was in that silence that I was consumed by flames.

I still remember the sensation. My body was on fire, completely engulfed in flames, but it didn’t hurt. And then I immediately knew that what was in the monstrance was real and alive. The knowing was just immediate. Days later, Sister Carmelita came into the class to gather the Catholics to prepare them for Confirmation. I approached her and told her I think I am supposed to be a Catholic. She said I had to ask for my parents’ permission to become a Catholic. Although I was an obedient child, I did the opposite. I went home and told my parents I was going to become a Catholic. I did not ask.

My Mom said “Okay” and told me that I was going to go to Mass every Sunday, every holy day of obligation, and that I was going to pray the rosary and not eat meat on Fridays. I said, “Okay.” And so Catholicism became the center of my life. I went to Mass by myself as the lone Catholic in the household and did all the things exactly as my mother said, because she understood Catholicism’s obligations in that way. My parents also took me to confession when I said I needed to go. The whole flow of the house changed. My mother was not going to cook twice—so everybody gave up meat on Fridays. They took me to Mass every Sunday and every holy day of obligation. I was twelve years old.

In fact, my Baptist grandmother is the one that taught me my Catholic devotions. She brought me to her bedroom and put the rosary next to her Bible.


Through God’s abundant generosity, all of my sisters became Catholic. Our husbands were Catholic, or after marriage became Catholic, and all the grandchildren are Catholic. So my parents and grandmother then were the lone non-Catholics in the house.

Now that I’m an adult, I have heard of the trouble that others experienced in their families when they converted, and I realize how blessed I am. I didn’t experience resistance at all. And in fact, my Baptist grandmother is the one that taught me my Catholic devotions. She brought me to her bedroom and put the rosary next to her Bible. She put it there to encourage me to pray the rosary. She’s the one that taught me to make the sign of the cross whenever I pass a Catholic Church. “You’re Catholic now, Gloria, and these are the things you need to do.” She is the one who made sure I saw Saint Teresa of Calcutta and St. John Paul II, when each of them came to South Carolina. So I had encouragement from my non-Catholic parents and my non-Catholic grandmother to live my faith.

RG: That’s marvelous and moving, Gloria. Thank you. You really have put a lot of us cradle Catholics to shame! Your dedication to the faith and your work on behalf of the faith are inspiring. Throughout my career, I’ve done a lot of intellectual wrestling with my fellow Catholics who in one way or another thought or think they know better than the Church about this issue or that issue, including some important moral issues. But you have stood boldly with the Church on all the moral issues. On the most controversial moral issues, you’ve gone out there and taken the heat for defending the Church’s positions. And I just have to say how much I admire you for doing it. I’m struck that God really does renew the Church with its adult converts.

So, tell me what has impelled you to go out there, for example, in the pro-life cause, in the cause of defending marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife, defending the Church’s teaching on contraception, on all these issues where so many Catholics have defected from the Church’s teaching. You have been impelled not only to uphold the Church’s teaching, but to go out there and make the case for it. I know you had some personal issues in your life that played a role, but what accounts for it? Give us your own story.

GP: I simply believed what the Church taught and then the Lord let me know that sitting in the pews is not sufficient. He gave me what I could only call a very small chastisement.

I was already married and my husband and I were at the Holy Mass. And here’s the thing we have to remember when we’re at Mass, it’s not just the priest and us. God Himself and the entire celestial court are present. And what we say is of consequence. So during Mass, we recited the Nicene Creed. I said, “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life”, and I heard a voice say, “Are you lying? Are you blaspheming? How can you say you believe in my gift of life?” and then I heard something like “And yet, you’re doing nothing.”

And there were some other things that I experienced at that moment, but all of it was in a fraction of a second. I fell to my knees at Mass and the hunger to know more deeply what the Church taught on issues of human dignity, sexuality, life, all of these things grew in me.

Those words, “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life” are deeper than what we think. We really need to meditate on them. How does the Lord give us life? Well, it’s through the sexual act. What did the Lord say regarding when we should we engage in the sexual act? Within marriage. How did he say marriage needed to be? One man with one woman. How did He create us? He made us male and female. So this sexual act within marriage between one male and one female creates new human life. And this new human life is made in His very image and likeness.

And we are to defend and to protect that human life from the moment of conception until natural death.

I can only say that there was a fire set in me and I said yes to Him. And when you say yes to the Lord, He gives you opportunities. And if you love Him, and I do love Him, then you take those opportunities even when it is deeply uncomfortable, even when it’s frightening, because people are so hostile. You have to trust the Lord. And I do trust Him.

I’ve sometimes received a great deal of hostility from other Catholics. Initially this shocked me. I was naive and assumed other Catholics believed what the Church taught about the human person, just as I did.

For me, it was really a matter of believing in God and trusting Him fundamentally. And then having the Lord sort of hold the mirror up to me and say, “My child, if you love Me, what are you doing?!” And the more I engaged with Scripture, the more I really meditated on what I was hearing at Holy Mass and receiving in the Holy Eucharist, then the more I was willing to say “yes.” I think He just gave me the opportunities. And He saw that I didn’t mind being made a fool for Him. So I kept getting more opportunities.

Sometimes I was afraid, but I think we have the faculty of reason to help us. You may feel a thing emotionally, but reason helps prevail over those emotions and passion. And, then you just act. That is the only way I could describe it.

RG: In hearing you tell the story, I can’t help but recall from scripture the story of God sending His angel to our Blessed Mother to give her the news that she would be the Mother of the Savior. And of course she gives her assent. She says, “let it be done unto me, according to thy word.” She must have been afraid. She was a human being like other human beings. She couldn’t have known what it all meant and yet she gave her assent. And here, you gave your assent when you heard, and took to heart, the meaning of those words we say in the Nicene Creed, “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life.”

GP: I cannot compare myself in any way to the Blessed Mother. She’s full of grace. She’s amazing. She’s the Mother of God,

RG: Is devotion to Mary important in your spiritual life?

GP: Yes! I made my Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary all the way. The Blessed Mother is my mother. She has helped me. She’s who I went to while we were in the throes of suffering from infertility. I went to Lourdes and bathed in the water there as did my husband. I pleaded with her to intercede for us with her son, Jesus. I truly believe she interceded for me and my husband. That’s why we have our daughter, even though I had been told by doctors that I was permanently infertile.

I had also been told by doctors that IVF was the only way I could ever conceive children. They looked at me like I had things growing out of my face when I informed them that I could not do that because I am Catholic.

When you’re in a doctor’s office, in such an intimate setting, you are vulnerable. After telling my doctor why I will not do IVF, his disdain for me was palpable. It was a Catholic doctor too. That’s the other part that was really shocking for me.

But I can’t say that the temptation wasn’t there. Of course, I felt the temptation. The devil was whispering in my ear: “Who’s going to know? You’re happily married, you’re faithful, and having a child is good!”

The enemy will try to get you to do the right thing the wrong way, you know. Also I think he tries to appeal to our ego because he tried to tempt me with the following thought: “Of all people, you deserve a child.”

And I knew that was a lie. Having a child isn’t a right. A child is a gift.

When I say I love the Lord, I could not go against his design of marriage, family, and sex which all go together. I could not have a child in a way that was against his plan for humanity.


I had to accept that it was God’s will that I would not be receiving that gift. I mean, it was difficult, but I could not do IVF.

When I say I love the Lord, I could not go against his design of marriage, family, and sex which all go together. I could not have a child in a way that was against his plan for humanity.

And so in a very real private way, this infertility was a heavy, heavy cross to carry, but also at the same time, like anyone else, I reminded myself of the truth and beauty of God’s plan and just trusted that the suffering was for some greater good.

And then the Lord heard the Blessed Mother’s intercessory prayer for me and my husband and gave us a child. Something the doctors said was impossible.

So yes, I have a very deep devotion to and a deep relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary. And that is also why we named our daughter Lourdes Grace in honor and gratitude to Our Lady of Lourdes.

RG: So Gloria, you are a very prominent Catholic. You’re a very prominent pro-life Catholic. You’re a very prominent Black Catholic in a country where the vast majority of Black Americans are Protestant. So you’re rather unusual within the African-American community.

Of course, the Church in Africa is enjoying tremendous growth. If you look around the world, there is an enormous—and growing—number of Black Catholics. But it’s a relatively small number here in the United States, at least percentage wise. Can you talk a little about your experience as a Black Catholic?

GP: First of all, no one ever expects me to be Catholic. When I was working in corporate America, no one at my job expected me to be Catholic. And sometimes, people would say the most anti-Catholic things to me or in my presence. It was just astounding.

I used to have these conversations with the Lord. I would say, “Lord, you know I have a mortgage to pay so when I get fired for the faith, you handle it.” I had a lot of opportunities to dispel erroneous thinking about the Catholic Church, about the Holy Father, and about what we Catholics believe.

Also, I had wonderful opportunities to share my faith with my extended family, who were Protestant. I can recall explaining to them the biblical basis for what we believe about the Eucharist, and the differentiation of sin as either venial or mortal.

While I may be different because of my Catholicism, my Blackness is a source of commonality with other Black people who are not Catholic or even believers. From that common experience of Blackness, I have been able to discuss with other Black people Catholicism and its implications for how we should live in the world.

People aren’t necessarily going to agree because they might have their own interpretation of faith and how to live, but I was willing to deal with the hard questions and sometimes even the uncomfortable questions. Conversely, they were also willing to hear me because of our common racial identity and experience.

I have had an opportunity to work with the National Black Catholic Congress to promote the Church’s teachings about abortion, the definition of marriage, racism, and even to discuss what it means to be male and female. It has been a singular blessing.

RG: You are a very effective exponent of the Church’s teaching, especially her moral teaching. I believe that the foundational principle of Catholic, indeed Christian, indeed biblical moral teaching is the principle of the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of each and every member of the human family. It is presented to us right at the beginning in chapter one of the very first book of the Bible. Genesis says that the human being, though formed from the dust of the earth, is made in the image and likeness of God, the image and likeness of the Divine Creator and Ruler of all that is. An awful lot flows from that: all our teaching about how we treat other people, how we treat ourselves, our teaching about our responsibilities, our pro-life duties, our obligations to combat racism in all forms, and much more. Everything follows from the principle of the profound, inherent and equal dignity of every member of the human family.

Earlier in our conversation, we talked about Senator Tim Scott and the progress toward racial justice his election and reelection in South Carolina represent. But of course, racism has not entirely disappeared. We’ve made tremendous progress. Yet, Senator Scott himself has pointed out that he is too often pulled over by the police when he is driving in cases where he knows that a white driver wouldn’t be pulled over. He tells the story of when he first showed up at the Capitol, he was walking in with two other senators who and a police officer stopped them. The police officer said, “Well, I knew that you and you were senators, but I didn’t know that you (Tim Scott) were a senator.” There was probably nothing deliberately malicious in that comment, but it does reflect the fact that we are still not quite there on race. We’re not where we need to be. And you yourself have not been hesitant to talk about that. And you’ve taken quite a good deal of grief and even abuse for talking about it.

I commend you for handling it with grace and dignity, and not holding grudges against people, but I’d love for you to just talk a bit about how you have managed that. Especially when you’ve spoken out about racism, but then have been falsely accused of believing things that you certainly don’t believe or believing things that are contrary to the Church’s teaching.

I can think of a case when you were accused of being a sympathizer with the Black Lives Matter Global Network which clearly espouses anti-Christian principles. But you were misinterpreted. There are probably some people who still believe that you were sympathizing with the moral—you and I would say immoral–teachings of this organization. Things like abolishing the nuclear family, promoting transgenderism and gender ideology, and so forth.

GP: It’s been surprising to me because I’ve made it clear that one organization does not represent an entire cause—the cause of defeating racism. The Black Lives Matter movement, as distinguished from the organization that goes by that name, is about racial justice. It is about ending police brutality and those kinds of abuses. I support these objectives. Most Catholics do. All Catholics should. It’s a matter of that principle of equal dignity you were talking about.

I supported these objectives before the phrase “Black Lives Matter” became a slogan. Why? Because the Black community has been talking about racial justice and police brutality for the better part of a hundred years. And in fact, in my own family, I remember as a child, we—my parents and siblings—were sitting in downtown Charleston in our car outside the Charleston library when a White man walked up to our car.

He was not in uniform. He flashed his badge and demanded that my father get out of the car. He tried to humiliate my father in front of his wife and children. I was very young, maybe 4 or 5, but I remember that. I remember the perverse look of satisfaction on the man’s face. It was so jarring to see my father, a lawabiding, good husband and father, and provider for our family, treated in such a way without any provocation. That was one introduction I had, at a young age, to understanding that there are differences in how some people are treated in some parts of society.

So firmly believing in Genesis 1:26 to 1:28, that all of us are made in the image and likeness of God, I see that racism negatively affects all of us. I don’t think a lot of people grasp that fact. The black person experiencing racist treatment is negatively impacted. That child of God is treated as less than who he or she is.

For those of us who believe, for those of us who love the Lord, and for those of us who stand there every Sunday at Mass in the presence of God and say that Creed, we must resist the evil of racism.


Persons engaging in racist behavior are negatively impacted too. Why? Because they are behaving beneath the dignity of who they are. Too often people look at racism as a one-way thing when it’s an all-the-way-round thing because it’s a human family issue. Racism is a rebellion against God’s plan for the human family and for human flourishing. So all are harmed.

We need to realize that and stop making racism only a matter of temporal power, politics or culture. I think people easily dismiss the issue because they don’t grasp that it is a grave sin. Racism is a grave sin against God and His word. And so that is what keeps me rooted and able to bear with the false accusations, outright lies, the hostility, and the death threats.

For those of us who believe, for those of us who love the Lord, and for those of us who stand there every Sunday at Mass in the presence of God and say that Creed, we must resist the evil of racism. We must oppose that evil, even in its mildest forms, because it is repugnant to God. It is destructive of the human family.

From that basis, I believe that I must speak and try to shed light on that evil and invite people to conversion just as I do on other issues of human dignity, like abortion. I invite people to practice the corporal works of mercy—shelter the homeless, visit the imprisoned, feed the hungry—all of these things are ways in which we show we believe in the dignity of the human person. It is all of the same piece. If I say, I love the Lord, it’s not just compartmentalized in one area.

It impacts my entire life. And it impacts all of my human relationships. I’m trying to love the Lord with all my mind and heart and being. I understand that if He carried the cross, then I’m going to have to carry it too. I’m not saying it’s fun. I’m not saying it’s easy, but I’m saying that love requires it.

One day I pray that I can more immediately fulfill whatever God’s will is, even in the face of danger, hostility, and rejection. And so while I’m not a hundred percent there yet, this is a part of that walk. This is my life’s walk. If I say, I love Him, if I say that I want to follow Him, then that means I’m going to have to carry my cross as well, understanding that I also will have a Resurrection Day.

RG: Amen, Gloria. This sounds to me like “Catholic Doctrine 101” or “Christianity 101.” “Bible 101.”

This is just what we believe as Catholics, as Christians. Our Jewish brothers believe the same thing. As you and I have both said, it’s right there at the beginning—in Genesis 1.

To shift to a related topic, Gloria, you and I have both done a lot of work to build bonds of civil discourse with people who disagree with us on fundamental moral issues. You may be familiar with the work that Cornel West and I do together, which is a great blessing in my life. Despite our disagreements on some important issues, we find that we have an awful lot in common and we certainly have an enormous amount of respect and love for each other, and we try to learn from each other. And I think it’s fair to say we do. I certainly learn from Cornel. And he says that he learns from me.

I’m reminded of the bond between Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. They couldn’t have disagreed more profoundly in politics and in constitutional law and yet they had enormous respect for each other. They engaged each other in an intensely serious, but civil manner. They learned from each other, and they supported each other. They recognized each other’s virtues, even in disagreeing with each other. It really did go both ways.

I think we need to do that, and I know you have tried to do that, but you’ve gotten into controversy, just as I have sometimes gotten into controversy, for doing it. I know that not long ago you made the point that then Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson was qualified by the ordinary criteria of judicial selection for the judiciary and for the Supreme Court of the United States. She certainly has very distinguished academic credentials. She’s a highly intelligent woman. She has those qualities that we have in mind when we refer to “a judicial temperament.” Now, I don’t agree with her politics or judicial philosophy, nor do you, yet you made the point that she was qualified by the normal criteria by which we’re supposed to assess judicial nominees, which are not ideological criteria, and yet that caused you to be misunderstood.

Some people thought that you were endorsing everything she believed and that you were selling out the pro-life cause, which is a cause that you have devoted your entire life to sacrificially. So how do we deal with it? Is that just another cross people like you and I have to bear?

GP: Unfortunately, sometimes people misunderstand us, but we try to clarify what they misunderstand. The purpose of language is to convey truth. And what I said about her qualifications is true. I believe we have to affirm what is true when falsehoods abound.

Before President Joe Biden announced Justice Jackson as the nominee he said the next nominee would be “someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity, and that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court.”

More than a few people were outraged that President Biden was nominating a Black woman and, in my opinion, some resorted to talking points that are reminiscent of the racist myths about Black inferiority. Without a shred of evidence or knowledge of who the nominee would be, some people started asserting that she could not be qualified or the most qualified. All they knew was the nominee would be a Black woman. They responded to the announcement by saying she could not be qualified despite President Biden’s explicit statement that she would have extraordinary qualifications.

Smearing the yet unnamed nominee and, by implication Justice Jackson as unqualified, in my opinion, was a fruit of racist conditioning that has long plagued our country. So I spoke to counter a false narrative that only served, in my opinion, to feed the demon of racism.

I hope people of good will do not give comfort or aid or affirmation to the lie that I am not a faithful Catholic or truly pro-life because of my remarks about Justice Jackson or because of my racial justice ministry.

RG: I think some of Justice Jackson’s critics were tempted to get a little revenge here because of what was done to Clarence Thomas, for example, and what was done to Brett Kavanaugh. I think the majority of her critics did not do that. But it was a temptation that some experience and it’s always wrong. It was wrong to do it to those men.

Now, I don’t think there’s any explaining the selection by President George H. W. Bush of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas that does not take into account that then-Judge Thomas happened to be a very distinguished black jurist being appointed to fill the seat vacated by the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court justice.

I think the mistake, if I can venture into this issue, that President Biden made was to pledge to appoint a Black woman. I think, by doing that, he put an asterisk next to Justice Jackson’s name that shouldn’t be there. It’s not fair to her to do that. It left people with the impression that he was going to overlook quality and just look at race. He didn’t mean that, of course. Right? He did try to indicate that he was going to appoint a person of the highest quality. The whole thing I think was very, very unfortunate.

GP: President Ronald Reagan himself said appointments carry enormous symbolic significance and he was right. President Biden’s announcement upended the myth of Black female inferiority just as President Reagan’s announcement upended the myth of women being unsuitable for the highest levels of governance in our society.

President Reagan was fulfilling a campaign promise when he nominated Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. When he specified that he was going to appoint the most qualified woman he could find, most people welcomed her nomination without maligning her as unqualified.

When President Donald Trump similarly specified that he was going to nominate a woman to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, no one batted an eye. No one maligned his nominee, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, as being unqualified.

Like President Regan and President Trump, President Biden specified that his nominee would be qualified and, yet, once he specified that his nominee would be a Black woman, suddenly his assurances about her qualifications were disregarded by a number of people. I think their response reveals how they perceive Black women regardless of their accomplishments.

We should remember those previous instances when President Reagan and President Trump specifically nominated women and reflect about why we did not malign them as unqualified.

When people smear Justice Jackson as unqualified, they should reflect on why they did not respond likewise to President Reagan’s and President Trump’s specification that their nominees would be women.

RG: I just wish presidents would stop making pledges to appoint the first this or the first that.

If we could continue a little bit with these questions of race and racial justice that have bedeviled our nation.

I’d like to recall my friend and your friend, the great Church of God in Christ (COGIC) minister Eugene F. Rivers III. As an African-American pastor, Pastor Rivers said something in my hearing that has always struck me. And I wonder if it strikes you. He said: “You know, when the devil comes for my soul, he’s not going to come dressed in a white hood and a white KKK robe. He’s not going to come dressed as a neo-Nazi with a swastika arm band. He’s going to come looking like me and saying things that will appeal to me and trying to lure me in that way.” Gloria, I had never thought about it that way, but there’s profound wisdom there. I think Pastor Rivers is absolutely right.

I’m going to ask this question too because I really want to hear your reflection on it. I think even our victimization, when we have been victimized, whether it’s on the basis of race or political beliefs or religious beliefs or whatever it is, can be used for evil. If we put it in biblical terms, we would attribute the temptations to Satan, but the resentment and grudges certainly gives Satan something to use. We can feel self-righteous because we’ve been victimized. And, of course, today you can’t help noticing that people will try to weaponize their own victimization. What do you think about that?

GP: I think sometimes evil has a sweet face and that’s why it is so important to remain close to the Lord. Further I think it’s so important to distinguish between righteous anger and vengeful rage and then do what is just. Acting based on a correct understanding of justice, giving something to someone that they are due, is the best response.

Separating ourselves from the faith is how we become unmoored and lost and then respond inappropriately to previous injustices or do unjust things to maintain temporal power. People who are seduced by temporal power then behave in ways that are detestable.

We have to remember that the sin of racism destroys the human family. It deforms the perpetrator and harms the person on the receiving end. So we have to be prudent and be prayerful and humble.


We should pray for guidance from the Lord. I pray that I will not be misled and that the Lord will put a guard on my lips and enable me to discern how He wants me to respond to something. Sometimes He wants me to pray and fast for someone that I do not like. That is not easy! But as soon as I get all testy about it, I remember how repugnant my own sinfulness is in the eyes of the Lord and yet He died for me on the cross. Even while we were enemies of the Lord, He died on the cross for us. Whew!

Also we have that great sacrament of reconciliation by which we can reconcile ourselves with the Lord and the community.

We should defend ourselves from unjust aggressors and we should seek justice. And if we could remember that the Lord died on the cross for us out of love while we were still His enemies, then I think it changes the whole tenor of our response to injustice.

We have to remember that the sin of racism destroys the human family. It deforms the perpetrator and harms the person on the receiving end. So we have to be prudent and be prayerful and humble. We have to keep our eyes on the Lord and ask his help to distinguish between vengeful rage and righteous anger and to resist the allure of evil such as racism.

RG: Well, that’s a very compelling point on which to end our conversation. Gloria, thank you for your powerful witness to the pro-life cause and to the Catholic faith. I very much look forward to continuing to work with you in so many areas.

GP: Thank you. I’m just so, so honored that you are with me. I look forward to learning so much more from you and thank you also for encouraging me in this walk in the faith. You walk it yourself and you’ve been subject to so much tomfoolery as well. I like to say maybe we’re like barnacles on the side of a ship. No storm is to going to shake us loose from this ship of the faith!