María Teresa (MT) Dávila is associate professor of Christian ethics at Andover Newton Theological School and teaches at the intersection of Christian ethics and public theology. Her publications and courses focus on immigration, racism and racial justice, class and inequality, Catholic social teaching and the ethics of the use of force. She is co-editor of Living With(out) Borders: Catholic Theological Ethics and the Movement of Peoples (Orbis Books, 2016). Her current project seeks to develop the preferential option for the poor for U.S. Christians as an antidote to the culture wars in public religious discourse. Dávila is the president of the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS). With her husband and four children, MT is a member of St. Joseph's Parish in Malden, MA.
The summer of 2019 has seen two powerful acts of resistance: the Catholic Day of Action for Immigrant Children and the Puerto Rican protests against Governor Ricky Rosselló. Both actions illustrate the power of movimientos, clamoring for the dignity and human rights of marginalized communities.
We write as the authors of Theology en la Plaza -- en conjunto, united in prophetic rage and graced by the resilience of nuestra gente, paying critical attention to the role of the incendiary language that fueled the latest destructive incarnation of hate in El Paso.
The U.S. bishops' recent pastoral letter against racism, "Open Wide Our Hearts: The Enduring Call to Love," acknowledges that complex histories of violence, exclusion and invisibility continue to impact the life prospects and dignity of African-American, Latinx and Native American communities today — and is a clarion call to actively address racism as a life issue.
Theology en la Plaza: Now that the emotions of the anniversary have waned, my mind turns toward the question of what justice looks like for populations impacted by climate change and environmental catastrophes.