A Catholic bishop calls out Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for advocating for the removal St. Damian which is a Catholic statue.
Bishop Robert Barron stated, “Just taking a couple of minutes out of my day here because I felt the need to respond to something I came across that was just so outrageous. It was a tweet or an Instagram or something from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And she was complaining about the presence of a statue in Statuary Hall in the Capitol building that she thought was, you know, a sign of colonialism and white supremacy. And the statue that she picked out of all the possible ones was of Saint Damien of Molokai.”
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The Catholic bishop thought it was crazy and outraged, he questioned, “And I wonder, did she have any idea who Damien of Molokai was, this Belgian man who becomes a priest, member of a missionary order. He goes, mid 19th century, to Hawaii, works there for several years, and then volunteers to go to the island of Molokai, which the time was a place where lepers were sent. And at the time, they-. You know, there was no treatment. There was no cure. Those who had the disease were simply sent there to spend the rest of their lives and they would die there. Damien went, knowing full well that he would most likely never return from this ministry.”
Bishop Barron continued, “Damien came to the island and right away gave himself utterly to the people. Ministering to them. Yes, preaching to them, but also caring for them in the most direct way. And touching them at a time when even those who were there sometimes wouldn’t touch those who were suffering from the disease. He would. He worked there for 11 years, of course, never returning home. Finally, he contracted the disease himself until it covered his entire body in these in these boils and distortions. And then at the age of 49, he died. Damien of Molokai is reverenced by the people of Hawaii.”
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