Cincinnati church considers removing Confederate memorials

CINCINNATI (AP) — Leaders of a historic Cincinnati church are considering whether a pair of Confederate memorials should be removed.

Worshippers at the Christ Church Cathedral can still see a stained-glass memorial to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee near the church altar. A plaque dedicated to Confederate general and Episcopal Bishop Leonidas Polk rests in the cathedral’s vestibule. Dean Gail Greenwell recently called for the removal of both, the Cincinnati Enquirer has reported .

Greenwell’s efforts come in the wake of racially motivated violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Her request was submitted to the church’s vestry, which will make a decision.

The parish council has an important choice to make, Greenwell said, noting that the church doesn’t commemorate other key historical figures in this way.

“My challenge to them is to think about what do we want,” she said. “We haven’t honored great heroes of the civil rights movement like Martin Luther King Jr. or Sojourner Truth or Desmond Tutu, who is Anglican.”

One of Lee’s descendants gifted the stained-glass window to the church. Polk was consecrated bishop in the cathedral in 1838 and received the plaque.

Rev. Mark Bomar, who serves as president of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Greater Cincinnati and Vicinity, commends Greenwell’s actions and expressed his disdain for Confederate relics.

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