BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. has announced that it plans to remove its stained glass windows that depict Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
“These windows will be deconsecrated, removed, conserved and stored until we can determine a more appropriate future for them,” according to a Wednesday press release from church leaders. “The window openings and stone work in the Lee-Jackson Bay will be covered over until we determine what will go in their place.”
According to the release, the conversation surrounding their removal began two years ago, when Dylann Roof shot and killed nine black worshipers at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015.
“At that time, we began a process to engage this community in deep questions of racial justice, the legacy of slavery and God’s call to us in the 21st century,” the release says. “Over the past two years, we have heard from deeply passionate voices who have engaged with us and held us accountable to this process, and we thank them.”
The Cathedral Chapter voted on the matter Tuesday.
“The Chapter believes that these windows are not only inconsistent with our current mission to serve as a house of prayer for all people, but also a barrier to our important work on racial justice and racial reconciliation. Their association with racial oppression, human subjugation and white supremacy does not belong in the sacred fabric of this Cathedral.”
The windows in question were installed at the cathedral in 1953.