“In 1838, 272 slaves were forced to board ships in America’s capital and sold like cargo to plantations in Louisiana. The sellers were Jesuits, part of the Catholic religious order that helped establish Georgetown University. The enslaved people were men, women, and children whose families would soon be ripped apart so that the college could pay off its debts. Just 178 years later, the current leader of that religious order stood in front of more than 100 descendants of those slaves and repented for his predecessors’ sins. ‘We have greatly sinned, in our thoughts and in our words, in what we have done, and what we have failed to do,’ Rev. Timothy Kesicki, president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States said on Tuesday. ‘We are profoundly sorry — it is our very enslavement of another, our very ownership of another, culminating in the tragic sale of 272 women, men, and children that remains with us to this day, trapping us in a historic truth, for which we implore mercy and justice, hope and healing.’ The formal apology was part of a service of “Remembrance, Contrition and Hope” held on Tuesday at Georgetown University. The service was hosted by the university, the Jesuit order, formally known as the Society of Jesus, and the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington.”

Source: Carol Kuruville. “Georgetown University Formally Apologizes For Role In Slavery.” The Huffington Post. April 19, 2017.  http://huff.to/2pgB6kQ

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