Staunch pro-life advocate and radio program host Gloria Purvis said she considers racism as much a sin as abortion.
Any time an affront to human dignity occurs, whether in the Catholic Church or across broader society, Purvis explained, people of faith are called to confront it.
“Racism is demonic. It’s the influence of the evil one to separate the human family,” Purvis told Catholic News Service.
Along the way, Purvis said she knows she has made some people uncomfortable, even angry. She has publicly supported the Black Lives Matter movement and has called for reparations to descendants of enslaved African Americans, which has opened her to significant backlash.
“All I’m doing is explaining the plain truth of our faith,” the host of EWTN Radio’s Morning Glory program said. “That’s all I will continue to do as long as the Lord wants me to, as long as it will lead people to conversion and to Christ.”
A popular speaker who regularly shares Church teaching on life and sexuality, Purvis has garnered a bit more attention in recent weeks as she has addressed racism on the radio program with co-hosts Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Mgr Charles Pope.
Her views have been amplified because of their timing, coming in the aftermath of the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, a Black man who was pinned to the ground under a white Minneapolis police officer’s knee for nearly nine minutes. The death has galvanised calls for racial justice and a reform of police departments in the US.
In her outspokenness, Purvis has not been shy about her public support of the peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations that surged across the country in the wake of Floyd’s death. She has discussed the movement on the radio show and in interviews in recent weeks.
While acknowledging conflicts with Church teaching of segments of the Black Lives Matter platform, Purvis said there is no reason not to work with and support the anti-racism organisation.
“There’s this concrete effort to make Black Lives Matter into a boogie man so that we aren’t involved. It’s almost treated the (movement) as a greater evil than actual police brutality and the murder of citizens, which to me shows there’s something else in effect than that which reflects the hard work of the Gospel,” Purvis said.
“In the pro-life movement, we all the time lock arms with people who are considered heretics to the faith,” she continued. “When there’s a shared goal of trying to protect life in the womb and help mothers in need in difficult pregnancies, we don’t have these purity tests in the pro-life movement. But it seems like we do for Black Lives Matter. It’s a sign of the evil one to keep people separated.”
Picture: Gloria Purvis, a co-host of Morning Glory on EWTN Radio, is seen in this 2017 file photo. (CNS photo/Dave Hrbacek, The Catholic Spirit).