A mass commemorating the 188th anniversary of the abolition of slavery will be celebrated on Wednesday, February 1 at 8:30 a.m. at Saint-Coeur-de-Marie Church in Petite-Rivière. Organized by the Diocesan Committee for February 1st, the theme of this mass will be “300 years of the Black Code: the price to pay yesterday, today and tomorrow”.
This year is the tercentenary of the Code Noir, the law that gave a legal framework to the status of slaves who were at the forefront of the construction of our country, at its very beginning. Father Jean Maurice Labour, president of the diocesan committee February 1, explains this “monstrous” text: “What justified this law was the color of the skin. The slaves paid the price of their human dignity for the construction of our country insofar as the fact of being black qualified them as “movable property” in the law, purchasable and saleable by the masters. This price continues to be paid today because racism and discrimination against those with black skin persist. There is a thought that stigmatizes the black skin, and even today in our expressions, we speak of “nwar touni” “granwar”, of many expressions that stigmatize the color of the skin and degrade the human person. This is why the price to pay was yesterday, the price to pay is still today and we believe that the price to pay will continue tomorrow. The Justice and Truth Commission made this clear in its report.
Cardinal Maurice E. Piat will deliver the homily, which will take the form of a testimony on his personal and pastoral journey on the Creole question since he became bishop.