Dear Editor: We the professional ministers of the parishes of Deanery Q9 (S.E. Queens) which serves a predominately Black Catholic community wish to express our disappointment that the letter from Gerald De Maio was published in The Tablet (April 2). We found the letter inflammatory, stereotypical and offensive.
That the writer expressed uninformed and un-nuanced assumptions about the Black Catholic community is one thing, that our diocesan newspaper published this without comment is quite another.
Mr. De Maio and The Tablet seem unaware of the great diversity within the Black Catholic community. This includes African-Americans, Afro-Caribbeans and people directly from the continent of Africa. They reflect a variety of cultures, speak numerous languages and maintain different political affiliations. It is regrettable that The Tablet would publish a letter which questions the fidelity of this uncommonly faithful community.
PROFESSIONAL MINISTERS OF DEANERY Q9 , S.E. Queens
(Our Lady of Light, Christ the King, Sacred Heart, St. Bonaventure-St. Benedict the Moor St. Clare, St. Clement Pope, St. Joseph, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Pius V, St. Pius X)
Editor’s Note: Publication of a letter without an editor’s comment does not necessarily mean that The Tablet agrees with it. We prefer to print people’s opinions and then to allow other people to comment on them in order to encourage and sustain a dialogue. Mr. DeMaio’s letter was discussed before it was printed. It was not deemed to be malicious, but simply one parishioner’s viewpoint that certainly would stir up reaction.