Episcopalians to Apologize for Slavery Support





COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Episcopal Church is poised to apologize for failing to oppose slavery, but making up for its 19th century inaction won't come without 21st century controversy.

At its national convention beginning June 13, the church is expected to approve a resolution expressing regret for supporting slavery and segregation. But the debate will likely get more heated when a second resolution comes up, calling for a study of possible reparations for black Episcopalians.

The church, already divided over the separate issue of gays' role in the church, is struggling over whether reparations would be a meaningful gesture 141 years after the Civil War ended.

"A lot of times you say, 'I'm not a racist, I didn't have slaves, no one in my family had slaves, I could not possibly be complicit in this,'" said Sharon Denton, a member of the church's National Concerns committee that deals with domestic ministry and mission issues.

"But if you start digging back in the history of things, you find out there were a lot of things that come to you that were built on slave-holding and the slave trade," said Denton, a member of a small, all-white parish in Salina in central Kansas.



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