|Colombia||Maria Isabel Gil Espinosa|
|Puerto Rico||Jorge José Ferrer|
|United States||Ramón Luzárraga||The Naivete behind the Federal Government Shutdown|
|Kenya||Teresia Hinga||Kwanzaa’s Nguzo Saba. A Timely And Much Needed Retrieval Of Afro Ubuntu Ethics For Enhanced Flourishing In The African Diaspora And Beyond|
|Indonesia||Dionius B. Mahamboro||Indonesia’s Winding Road to Democracy: Facing Fake News and Hoaxes|
|Spain||Diego Alonso-Lasheras||New Challenges to Religious Freedom|
|South Africa||Anthony Egan||A Conversation in Eternity: A Christmas Contemplation|
|Australia||Caroline Ong||Update on the Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Act, Australia|
|United States||Ramón Luzárraga||La lucha de los Estados Unidos contra la xenofobia anti-inmigrante|
|United States||Alexandre Martins||End of the Year: Teaching Evaluations|
|Germany||Katharina Klöcker||The "Geneticization" of Our Society|
|United States||Mary Jo Iozzio||Amidst the Tragedies and Violence that Mark Human History, Peace to All|
|Argentina||Pablo Blanco||50 Years of Medellin: A Crucial Event for the Whole church to be Updated|
|Myanmar||Peter Pojol||The Disturbing Stance of Aung San Suu Kyi|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||Child Protection- Still a Long Way to Go|
|Hungary||Gusztáv Kovács||From the Sacristy to the School: The Challenge of Religious Education in Hungary|
|United States||Mary M. Doyle Roche||Open Wide Our Hearts|
|Philippines||Kristine Meneses||Christmas: A Reminder to Include and be in Communion with the Other and Another-Other|
|Características del liderazgo político necesario para enfrentar la crisis mundial|
Alexandre A. Martins
|Democracy, Economic System, Hate and Fear: Elections in Brazil|
|Standing in Healing Solidarity with Lumo Sinai (and Thousands Like Her): Acknowledging One Man Who Does|
|Ingeborg Gabriel||Time to Renew the Church's Commitment to Women|
|Thomas Massaro||The "Wound of the Border"|
|Peter Knox||New Debt Crisis|
|Land - The Moral Dilemma|
Hoa Trung Dinh
|Protests against Special Economic Zones in Vietnam|
|Ellen van Stichel||Sarajevo: through the eyes of a 7-year old boy|
|Claudia Leal Luna||El dolor y la esperanza de la Iglesia chilena|
|Shawnee M. Daniels-Sykes||Building Bridges, not Walls, for the Future|
Anne Celestine Achieng Oyier Ondigo,
Alexandre A. Martins
|Good News: Junior Scholars Column on the CTEWC Forum|
|Remembering and Honoring Professor Sr. Anne Nasimiyu Wasike: A Concerned, Socially Engaged and (not so) Little Sr. of St Francis|
|Marianne Heimbach-Steins||Christian Social Ethics and its Theological Relevance through the Lens of Veritatis Gaudium|
|Ramon Luzarraga and Mary Jo Iozzio||Arguments Catholic Ethicists Must Refute on the US Immigration Crisis|
|Mary Yuen||China's New Global Initiative and Authentic Development|
|Emilce Cuda||GUERRA DE DIOSES: Posverdad o fin del Secularismo|
|Gaudete et Exsultate and the Unfinished Agenda of Vatican II|
Mary Jo Iozzio
|Raising Consciousness and Forming Consciences: Strategic Disruptive Nonviolence|
|Breaking the Nyaope addiction in South Africa: Is it possible?|
|Anibal Torres||Ante nuevos â€œvientos de doctrina, el lenguaje de los gestos|
|Stanislaus Alla||Life in India: Spaces Destroyed and Processes Disrupted|
|Pablo A. Blanco||Decriminalization of Abortion in Argentina: The Debate No One Expected;|
|Thomas Massaro||Opioid Addiction: A National Crisis in Slow Motion|
|Phillipines||Agnes Brazal||Migrant Workers and Modern Slavery|
|Brazil||Alexandre A. Martins||Fraternity and The Challenge of Overcoming Violence|
|United Kingdom||Tina Beattie||Who Represents the Church?|
|United States||Mary M. Doyle Roche||The Pace of the Children|
|Mary Jo Iozzio||Not Washed in the Blood of the Lamb: Another Bloodbath Against the Vulnerable|
|Anthonia Bolanle Ojo||Care for the Earth: A Call to Responsible Stewardship|
|Miguel Ángel Sánchez Carlos||Saber “Tomar el Pulso Social”|
|Ingeborg Gabriel||The Challenge of Peace Today – Secular and Ecclesial Engagement in Dialogue|
|Osamu Takeuchi||Life and Beauty in Oikonomia|
Anthonia Bolanle Ojo
|A Life of Dignity for All: The Foundation of Sustainable Development|
|Hoa Trung Dinh||Australia's Postal Survey on Same-Sex Marriage|
|Petr Stica||Dialogue with "People on the Borders" and "Beyond the Walls" and Theological Ethics|
|Ramón Luzárraga||El Peligro del Populismo|
|Ramón Luzárraga||The Peril of Populism|
|Tobias Winright||What Are the Implications of the "Very Possession" of Nuclear Weapons Being "Firmly Condemned"?|
|What is at Stake in an Ecological Theology of Creation|
|Mary Mee-Yin Yuen||Who Should Decide Who I Am|
|Marianne Heimbach-Steins||Civil Status Law, Gender and Identity, and Catholic Ethics|
|Claudia Leal||Francisco en Chile: Recta Final de los Preparativos Para la Visita de 2018|
|Shawnee M Daniels-Sykes||More Loud Voices, More Loud Silences: Gun or Firearm Control and Active Euthanasia and Mercy Killing|
|Why is Africa Allergic to Elections?|
|Agnes Brazal||Complicity in the Summary Executions in Duterte's Drug War|
|Aníbal Torres||La Pregunta de Lutero y sus Implicancias Para la Ética Social|
|Thomas Massaro||At Stake: The Soul of the Nation|
|Tina Beattie||No Fences Left to Sit On|
|Stanislaus Alla||Democracy at Crossroads in India!|
|Emilce Cuda||El Endeudamiento de la Ética Teológica Aplicada|
|United States||Mary Doyle Roche||An American Horror Story|
|South Africa||Anthony Egan||Augustine our Interlocutor|
|Phillipines||Eric Genilo||Anti-Discrimination Legislation for LGBT Persons|
|Austria||Ingeborg Gabriel||"So Sorry!" - Reflections on the Moral Importance of an Everyday Word|
|Puerto Rico||Jorge José Ferrer||La Vacunación Pediátrica Obligatoria: El Caso de la Vacuna del VPH|
|United States||Michael Jaycox||Moving from Words to Action After Charlottesville|
|Nigeria||Anthonia Bolanle Ojo||Religious Intolerance in Nigeria: An Abuse of Human Rights|
|Japan||Osamu Takeuchi||A Path Towards the Building of Peace|
|Brazil||Alexandre Martins||Are Brazilians Cordial People? - Intolerance and A Camillian Physician, a Sign of Hope|
|United States||Ramón Luzárraga||Access to Public Transportation Should Be Made (More) Explicit in Catholic Social Teaching|
|United States||MT Dávila||To Set the Captives Free: Justice for Black and Brown Communities in an Era of Mass Detention and Incarceration|
|South Africa||Anthony Egan||Standing for the Truth - Again!|
|Malaysia||Sharon Bong||Asia's Diversity and Gender Diversity|
|Hungary||Tamás Ragadics and Gusztáv Kovács||Are you In, or Out? - Public Service in Hungary|
|Mexico||Miguel Ángel Sánchez Carlos||Hoy en México el Periodismo es Profetismo|
|United States||Shawnee Daniels-Sykes||Dream Maker Reviving our Peace: Our Current Reality and the Story of Joseph|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||Airbrushing Reality Airbrushing Reality|
|Australia||Hoa Trung Dinh||Assisted Dying Bill in Victoria Must Be Rejected|
|Argentina||Pablo Blanco||Laudato Sí - Care of Creation as the New Social Issue|
|United States||Mary M. Doyle Roche||Solvitur Ambulando - It Is Solved by Walking|
|Kenya||Teresia Hinga||Left to Tell, Left to Heal (each other) through Story and Testimony: Her-Stories of African Women's Quest for Justice and Healing in Contexts of Transition|
|Hong Kong||Mary Mee-Yin Yuen||Small-Circle Election in Hong Kong|
|Argentina||Augusto Zampini||Laudato Si' and Catholic Dialogue on Integral Ecology|
|Chile||Claudia Leal Luna||Quien No Conoce el Bosque Chileno, No Conoce Este Planeta|
|Brazil||Alexandre Martins||Public Dialogue and the Role of Media: Examples from Brazil and the USA|
|UnitedStates||Mary Jo Iozzio||Reconciliation in Ordinary and Extraordinary Times|
|United States||Thomas Shannon||The Lasting Legacy of Amoris Laetitia|
|South Africa||Anthony Egan||The Moral Implication of Protest|
|Phillippines||Agnes Brazal||Fake News, Facebook, and "Ethics in Internet"|
|United Kingdom||Tina Beattie||It Stops With Me!|
|Argentina||Anibal Torres||El Papa Francisco y la "ética de la solidaridad" en las relaciones internacionales|
|United States||Thomas Massaro||Ethicists and President Trump: Providing Moral Leadership for Vigilance and Resistance|
|Cameroon||Solange Ngah||The Practice of Healing Ministry in Africa: What is the Christian Contribution Today?|
|India||Stanislaus Alla||Reconciling Peoples|
|Austria||Ingeborg Gabriel||It's the Morals, Stupid! On the Importance of Ethics in the Post-Truth Age|
|Puerto Rico||Jorge Jose Ferrer|
|United States||Michael Jaycox||What is Truth?|
|Nigeria||Anthonia Bolanle Ojo||The Challenges of Economic Recession on the Dignity of Nigeria Citizens|
|Phillipines||Eric Genilo||The Marcos Burial|
|United States||Ramón Luzárraga||¿Están Las Américas verdaderamente convirtiéndose en un Hemisferio de Paz?|
|United States||Nichole Flores and Mary Jo Iozzio||Mercy and the Failure to Form Moral Imagination|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||HIV-vaccine launch hype|
|Japan||Osamu Takeuchi||A Carpenter in the Reign of God|
|Germany||PetrStica||,Crisis of democracy' - Challenges for theological ethics / Impulses of theological ethics|
|Mexico||Jutta Battenberg Galindo||Reflexiones en torno a la carta apostólica "Misericordia et Misera"|
|USA||Mary Doyle Roche||"The Nightmare Before Christmas"|
|Malaysia||Sharon Bong||'What's gender got to do with climate justice?'|
|Germany||Marianne Heimbach-Steins||The Jubilee of Mercy - Social ethical reflections|
|Argentina||EmilceCuda||Francisco y el Trabajo|
|Mexico||Miguel Angel Sanchez Carlos||Choque moral en México|
|United States||Michael Jaycox||VSED: Is the Practice both Respectful and Compassionate?|
|Uganda||Margaret Ssebunya||Of violent protests in South African universities: Where is the Church in South Africa?|
|Vietnam||Hoa Trung Dinh||CHURCH LEADER CALLS FOR ACTION AGAINST MARINE POLLUTION IN VIETNAM|
|United Kingdom||Julie Clague||Structural injustice revisited|
|United States||Mary Jo Iozzio||The US Affordable Care Act: Modest Success|
|Margaret Ssebunya||Examining the 2016 municipal elections in South Africa in light of the social teaching of the church on political authority and the common good: An outsider’s observation|
|Mary Mee-Yin Yuen||Wisdom, Courage and Conscience in Resistance|
|Tina Beattie||Who speaks for the Catholic Church? Women, abortion and theological ethics|
|Brazil||Alexandre A. Martins||Political Power, Intolerance and Lack of Dialogue|
|United States||Nichole M. Flores||A case for a globally-engaged perspective: A US Latina Perspective on Bogotá|
|Uganda||Margaret Ssebunya||Strengthening a pastoral response to the ecological crisis through existing spaces within the Church|
|Philippines||Agnes M. Brazal||Theological Ethics in Asia after Padova|
|Puerto Rico||Jorge José Ferrer||A diez años del encuentro de Padua: Tareas pendientes para la teología moral|
Thomas Massaro and Mary Jo Iozzio
|Padova: Ten Years Later and …|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||Business and Environment|
|India||Stanilaus Alla||Movements, Momentum and Metanoia|
|Belgium||Ellen van Stichel||125 years after Rerum novarum|
|Argentina||Emilce Cuda||Los eticistas de América Latina y el Caribe tiene algo para testimoniar.|
|Puerto Rico||MT Davila||¡Una ética atrevida!|
|United States||Mary Doyle Roche||"Dear Colleague"|
|Kenya||Elias Omondi Opongo||At the brink of extinction! Poaching of Elephants and Rhinos in Africa|
|South Africa||Anthony Egan||AMORIS LAETITIA: A CHALLENGE TO THE CHURCH IN AFRICA – AND ELSEWHERE|
|Philippines||Eric Genilo||Restoring the Death Penalty|
|Germany||Petr Štica||How can Christians contribute to the integration of refugees?|
|Italy/Austria||Martin Lintner||The notion of conscience in Amoris Laetitia and its significance for the divorced and remarried|
|Argentina||Pablo Blanco González||“Bogotá 2016 Conference: A Date with History”|
|United States||Mary Jo Iozzio||Poppies and Memorializing the Dead|
|Cameroon||Solange Ngah||The burning topic of education and responsibility in the heart of the African family|
|Cameroon||Solange Ngah||La question actuelle de l’éducation et de la responsabilité au sein de la famille africaine|
|Japan||Osamu Takeuchi||Spirituality Informed by Faith|
|Germany||Marianne Heimbach-Steins||New nationalisms in Europe and the ambivalent role of religion|
|Mexico||Jutta Battenberg Galindo||La Cruz: Misterio de Revelación.|
|United States||Nichole M. Flores||Human Trafficking: A Lacuna in Catholic Ethics|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||Teaching Environmental Ethics in Africa|
|Malaysia||Sharon Bong||‘Caring for our common home’|
|United Kingdom||Julie Clague||Number crunching: Catholics and same-sex unions|
|Mexico||Miguel Ángel Sánchez||LA VISITA DEL PAPA FRANCISCO A MÉXICO: UN VIRAJE ALENTADOR PARA LA ÉTICA|
|United States||Michael Jaycox||Dangerous Memories, Dangerous Movements: Christian Freedom in the Empire|
|Vietnam||Hoa Dinh||MELBOURNE DOCTORS REFUSING TO RETURN CHILDREN TO DETENTION|
|Brazil||Alexandre Martins||Zika Virus and Other Mosquito-Borne Virus: The Failure of Modern Healthcare|
|Puerto Rico||Jorge José Ferrer||Neurociencia, libre albedrío y teología moral|
|United States||Thomas Massaro||On Economic Inequality|
|Hong Kong||Mary Mee-Yin Yuen||Internet for Communication or Persecution?|
|Czech Republic||Jaroslav Lorman||Saying yes to the sin?|
|United States||Mary Doyle Roche||“Hold fast to dreams” Langston Hughes|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||Pope Francis and the land issue in Africa|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||A Ray of Hope from the World of Art and Literature|
|Belgium||Yves De Maeseneer||Towards a European Theological Ethics of Migration and its Implications for Catholic Social Thought|
|Argentina||Pablo Blanco Gonzalez||Argentina’s Presidential elections of 2015: The challenge of governance and unity|
|Brazil||Alexandre Martins||Mariana: Tragedy of Market Fundamentalism Against the Earth and the Poor|
|United States||Angela Senander||Faithful Citizenship: Papal Visit and Episcopal Statement|
|Philippines||Eric Genilo||Protecting the Lumads of the Philippines|
|Germany||Marianne Heimbach-Steins||A short comment on the Synod from Germany (November)|
|Puerto Rico||MT Davila||“Francisco en CUBA y EE.UU.: Teología de los gestos y culture wars”|
|UnitedStates||Meghan Clark||Some Thoughts on Baby Elephants|
|United States||Mary Jo Iozzio||An Opportunity [Lost] to Hear Catholic Women and Men Speak|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||Thoughts From Africa|
|Japan||Osamu Takeuchi||Passing Japan's Security-related Bills—the Breakdown of the Constitutional Law, of Democracy, and of Pacifism|
|Germany||Petr Štica||Stranger within your gates – Some notes on the current "European refugee crisis"|
|Mexico||Jutta Battenberg Galindo||¡La muerte del justo… la muerte del inocente… la vida de todos!|
|Canada||Carolyn Chau||Syrian Refugee Crisis –A Local Canadian Response|
|South Africa||Anthony Egan||ON SNAKES, FUNDAMENTALISM AND RELIGIOUS ABUSE|
|Malaysia||Sharon Bong||‘Citizens’ call out’|
|Belgium/United States||Joe Selling||If not ‘gender’ … then certainly ‘women’s rights’|
|Mexico||Miguel Ángel Sánchez||Diplomacia y utopía|
|United States||Mary Doyle Roche||“Go, set a watchman, let him announce what he sees.” Isaiah 21:6|
|Nigeria||Ojo Bolanle Bimbo||GLOBALISATION, INEQUALITY AND POVERTY IN NIGERIA: ADVOCACY FOR GLOBAL JUSTICE|
|Fr. Don Bosco Onyalla||African Catholic Scholars Discuss Challenges and Opportunities of the African Church Ahead of Synod on Family|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||One Road Accident Death Every Four Minutes!|
|United Kingdom||Gillian Paterson||LOST IN TRANSLATION: Is SDG 5 a problem for religion?|
|Argentina||EmilceCuda||Fin de la luna de miel entre Francisco y la prensa hegemónica|
|United States||Nichole M. Flores||The GOP’s Latina/o Strategy: A Mirror for Catholic Social Ethics|
|Kenya||Carine Umutoniwase||The Unforgettable Black Day|
|Philippines||Eric Genilo||A Safe Haven|
|Austria||Ingeborg Gabriel||Ukraine at the Crossroads: Political and ethical reflections|
|Puerto Rico||Jorge José Ferrer||Justicia cordial para la bioética del siglo XX|
|United States||Mary Jo Iozzio||Proud, Relieved, and Heartened by the Rule of Justice|
|Hong Kong||Charles Chan||A Gift from our Holy Father|
|Brazil||Alexandre Martins||Education, Dialogue and Paulo Freire|
|United States||James Keenan||Grieving at Pentecost|
|United States||James Keenan||Lúcás (Yiu Sing Luke) Chan, S.J.: Bridge-Builder|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||Xenophobic attacks in South Africa|
|Malaysia||Sharon Bong||A poor woman's Dignity|
|CzechRepublic||Jaroslav Lorman||The Slovak Church unfortunately involved in the issue of same-sex partnerships?|
|Argentina||Pablo Blanco Gonzalez||COMMON GOOD, ECONOMY AND POLITICS|
|Canada||Carolyn Chau||Current Canadian 'Culture Debates'|
|Belgium/United States||Joseph Selling||Visiting professor at Hekima College, Nairobi, Kenya|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||Section 66 A of IT Act|
|Belgium||Ellen van Stichel||Strawberries in springtime…|
|Mexico||Jutta Battenberg Galindo||Violencia, redes sociales, conciencia y responsabilidad|
|United States||Nichole M. Flores||When Discourse Breaks Down: Engaging Racial Conflict on Campus|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||Illicit Financial Flows|
|Philippines||Eric Genilo||Lessons from a Papal Visit|
|Germany||Petr Štica||Transnationalität und global governance als Herausforderung für die christliche Sozialethik – Bericht vom Berliner Werkstattgespräch der deutschen Sozialethiker und Sozialethikerinnen (23. bis 25. Februar) (English)|
|Mexico||Miguel Ángel Sánchez||Fundamentalismos allá y aquí|
|Brazil||Alexandre Martins||The Priority of Personal Goods and the Lack of Ethical Virtues: A Looking at Current Brazilian Politics|
|United States||Mary Doyle Roche||To be Seen and Heard: Children, the Synod, and the World Meeting of Families|
|Ken Ogot||Fighting Terrorism or Introducing Dictatorship?|
|Japan||Osamu Takeuchi||Peace and Life|
|Germany||Marianne Heimbach-Steins||Europe after the Terror Attacks in Paris – A Socio-Ethical Reflection|
|Canada||Carolyn Chau||Shootings and Social Responsibility|
|Malaysia||Sharon Bong||‘Religion or rights: The higher moral ground’|
|United Kingdom||Julie Clague||British Catholics and Family Morality: The times they are a-changin’|
|Argentina||EmilceCuda||Francisco: ¿Etica, Política o Teología Pastoral?|
|Argentina||Gustavo Irrazábal||Un sínodo en verdad “extraordinario”|
|Peru||Edwin Vásquez Ghersi||El sínodo sobre la familia: Aires nuevos en la Iglesia|
|United States||Mary Jo Iozzio||The Challenge of Women’s Consent|
|Cameroon||Azetsop Jacquineau||THE EBOLA EPIDEMIC IN WEST AFRICA: AN ISSUE OF JUSTICE?|
|United Kingdom||Tina Beattie||Synod on the Family|
|Mexico||JuttaBatterbergGalindo||Violencia de Género: Un asunto pendiente en la teología moral|
|South Africa||Frances Correia||Crime and Family Life in South Africa|
|Philippines||Eric Genilo||Clean Hands|
|CzechRepublic||Jaroslav Lorman||Visit of Prof. Gerhard Kruip to the Czech Republic|
|Puerto Rico||Jorge José Ferrer||Ética de los ministerios y de las organizaciones eclesiales: ¿Una asignatura pendiente para la teología moral?|
|United States||Angela Senander||Listening to Elizabeth Johnson: The Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith|
|Zimbabwe||Nontando Hadebe||‘The blood of your (sister) cries out to heaven’ A prophetic Trinitarian response to gender-based violence.|
|Japan||Osamu Takeuchi||A Crisis of Peace in Japan|
|Belgium||EllenvanStichel||Developing a Theological Anthropology for the 21st Century: An Introduction to the Anthropos Research Project (Catholic University Leuven)|
|Mexico||Miguel Ángel Sánchez||Condición de migrantes|
|United States||Mary Jo Iozzio||Waiting in Hope for Our Families: The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (October 5-19, 2014)|
|Malaysia||Sharon Bong||‘A home to call one’s own’|
|Poland||Konrad Glombik||Challenges in Research in the field of moral theology in Poland|
|Argentina||Pablo Blanco Gonzalez||“PEACE UNDER FIRE IN GAZA”|
|Puerto Rico||Jorge José Ferrer||Ética de los ministerios y de las organizaciones eclesiales: ¿Una asignatura pendiente para la teología moral?|
|Canada||Carolyn Chau||Euthanasia in Canada – Recent Developments|
|Tanzania||Laurenti Magesa||The Synod on the Family and Africa|
|Philippines||Eric Genilo||Legislating Compassion|
|Germany||Marianne Heimbach-Steins||Reflections on the election of the European Parliament|
|Brazil||Alexandre Martins||Fraternity and Human Trafficking|
|United States||Nichole M. Flores||Political Emotion, Religion, and the Pursuit of Racial Justice|
|Kenya||Wilhelmina Tunu||TOWARDS A HOLISTIC UNDERSTANDING OF POVERTY|
|Malaysia||Sharon Bong||‘Not containing trauma and memory in the name of Allah’|
|Europe||Gillian Paterson and Joseph Selling||Catholic Discourses on Population and Development|
|Brazil||Alexandre Martins||Fraternity and Human Trafficking|
|Puerto Rico||Jorge José Ferrer||Liberalización de las drogas: una “questio disputata”|
|Kenya||Marie-Rose Ndimbo||"Ethical Examination of overcrowding in the city of Kinshasa and its related problems."|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||"Development without Compassion for the Aged?"|
|Czech Republic||Jaroslav Lorman||"Challenges of moral theology in the Czech Republic."|
|Mexico||Jutta Battenberg||MEDIOS DE COMUNICACIÓN SOCIAL: LA MIRADA AUSENTE|
|United States||William Mattison||"An Air of Change: Reception of the Eucharist for the Divorced and Civilly Remarried?"|
|South Africa||Anthony Egan||Denis Hurley - Bishop And Public Ethicist|
|Japan||Osamu Takeuchi||Specific Secret Protection Law: What is secret?-that is secret|
|Italy||Vicenzo Viva||The Ecclesial Dimension of Moral Theology between Magisterium and Sensus fidelium.|
|Mexico||Miguel Ángel Sánchez||Indignación ética ante la ausencia del Estado de Derecho|
|United States||Mary Jo Iozzio||International Women's Day (March 8) and (US) Women's History Month|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||Water and oil in Turkana: How will they play out?|
|Philippines||Eric Genilo||Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan|
|Belgium||Ellen Van Stichel||Happy Birth Day?|
|Argentina||EmilceCuda||La teología en Argentina después de Francisco|
|United States||Nichole M. Flores||Synod of Bishops on the Family: Critical Questions from the US|
|Cameroon||Solange Ngah||Changes in Family Life and the Challenges of Contemporary Culture|
|Malaysia||Sharon Bong||‘The Gospel of Families’|
|Italy, Europe||Martin Lintner, The Presidium of the European Society for Catholic Theology||Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in the European Context|
|Argentina||Pablo Blanco Gonzalez||Who Cares?|
|Canada||Carolyn Chau||Secularism and Religious Freedom in Canada: The Quebec Charter of Values|
|United States||Jillian Maxey||From the Trenches: A Reflection on the Preparatory Document on the Synod on Marriage and Family|
|Cameroon||Solange Ngah||On Communication and the Media: Reflections of a Theological Ethicist|
|India||A. Vimal Kumar, MMI, Bala Kiran Vannekuty and Joseph Thambi Gone||The Impact of the Dowry System in Christian Communities|
|Germany||Petr Štica||Human rights in the Catholic Church: Report of the international expert meeting “Benchmark Human Rights. Ambition and Implementation in the Catholic Church” in Münster|
|Brazil||Alexandre Martins||Moral Theology and Youth|
|UnitedStates||Mary Jo Iozzio||Thanksgiving at 150|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Marie-Rose Ndimbo||Kinshasa: A Social Drama for the Poor|
|Japan||Osamu Takeuchi||Olympics or Getting out of the Nuclear Accident|
|Germany||Marianne Heimbach-Steins||A Report from Graz|
|UnitedStates||Bill Mattison||Veritatis splendor at 20|
|Philippines||Eric Genilo||Saying No to Blood Ivory|
|Argentina||Emilce Cuda||Francisco: entre la Teología de la Liberación y la Teología del Pueblo|
|United States||Nichole M. Flores||March on Washington Anniversary: Fannie Lou Hamer and the New Evangelization|
|United Kingdom||Julie Clague||Your mission, if you choose to accept it: A European Project for Catholic Theological Ethics|
|South Africa||Raymond Perrier||Whistleblowing|
|Malaysia||Sharon Bong||Casinos, connections, contestations|
|Mexico||Miguel Ángel Sánchez||Una oportunidad para la ética teológica desde los sujetos emergentes femeninos.|
|United States||Mary Jo Iozzio||U.S. Minimum Wage at 75|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||50 years of the Organisation of African Unity|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||The "Tyranny of Money"|
|United States||William Mattison||Hope and Pope Francis: A Reflection from the US|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||Wage negotiation season returns to South Africa’s Mines|
|Japan||Osamu Takeuchi||Peace or Amendment of the Constitution of Japan?|
|Canada||Mark Miller||Rewarding the Deserving?|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Marie-Rose Ndimbo||Wages in the DRC|
|Kenya||Veronica Rop||Role of Social Media in Kenya: A Threat or Opportunity|
|Philippines||Eric Genilo||Wading into Political Waters|
|Mexico||Miguel Ángel Sánchez||Pope Francisco and some resonances for ecclesiology and Latin American theological ethics: cautious optimism|
|United States||Nichole M. Flores||Institutional Religious Freedom: Broadening the Scope|
|Kenya||Veronica Rop||African Women and Political Participation: A Worrying Trend|
|Malaysia||Sharon Bong||‘What’s in a name?’|
|Argentina||EmilceCuda||Implications of the Resignation of the Pope in the Media (available in English and Spanish)|
|UnitedStates||Mary Jo Iozzio||The US Fails to Ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Marie-Rose Ndimbo||As the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) Face the Elections in the DRC in 2011. Were There Some Recommendations?|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||That Delhi Girl!|
|Mexico||Sebastián Mier||LA ETICA TEOLÓGICA EN EL CONGRESO CONTINENTAL DE TEOLOGÍA LATINOAMERICANA (available in English and Spanish)|
|United States||William Mattison||Boundaries and Protections of Religious Freedom|
|Kenya||Veronica Rop||Escalation of Killings in Kenya: A Call for Respect for Human Life|
|Philippines||Eric Genilo||The Changing Face of HIV/AIDS in the Philippines|
|Canada||Mark Miller||The Media & Physician-Assisted Suicide in Canada|
|Kenya||Veronica Rop||Ushering African Women into the Year of Faith: Reflection on Motu Proprio Data|
|Nigeria||Anne Arabome||Telling Our Own Stories: Seven Women, Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit|
|Japan||Osamu Takeuchi||Another Virtue Ethics|
|United States||Nichole M. Flores||Race and Polarization in the U.S. Church and Public Life|
|Malaysia||Sharon Bong||‘To Cut Or Not To Cut: That Is Not The Question’|
|Mexico||Miguel Ángel Sánchez||La juventud estudiantil refresca el compromiso ético social|
|United States||Mary Jo Iozzio||Threats to Responsible Citizenship in the 2012 US Presidential Election|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Marie-Rose Ndimbo||CTEWC in Africa after Trento: Engaging the African Synod: The First Day|
|Kenya||Veronica Rop||CTEWC in Africa after Trento: Engaging the African Synod: The Second Day|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||CTEWC in Africa after Trento: Engaging the African Synod: The Third Day|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||Human rights! What about Rhino rights?|
|Philippines||Eric Genilo||Freedom of Religion in Government Offices|
|Puerto Rico||MT Davila||¿A dónde vas Occupy?|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||Millions of Missing Girls! Female Foeticide and Ethical Concerns|
|Japan||Osamu Takeuchi||Should we restart nuclear power plants?|
|Cote d'Ivoire||Nathanaël Yaovi Soede||La Syrie après la Libye: les maîtres du monde|
|Argentina||Pablo Blanco Gonzalez||La Crisis Financiera a la Luz De la Doctrina Social de la Iglesia|
|Kenya||Veronica Rop||The African Synod: The Participation of Women in Reconciliation Justice and Peace|
|Malaysia||Sharon Bong||A Second Life|
|South Africa||Anthony Egan||Criminalising Homosexuals in Uganda?|
|Argentina||Emilce Cuda||Relación Iglesia-Estado: Un Debate Ético O Político?|
|Brazil||Marcio Fabri dos Anjos||Nuevas Generaciones y Educación para valores éticos. Apuntes metodológicos|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||"People Power: Take Control of Your Energy"|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||"Over an Ageing Dam"|
|United States||Thomas Massaro||"Labor Justice in Catholic Social Thought and the Occupy Movement"|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||World AIDS Day 2011|
|Philippines||Eric Genilo||"In God's Image"|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||Response to "In God's Image"|
|Argentina||Emilce Cuda||Mistica y Politica en los Nuevos Estilos Democraticos Latinoamericanos|
|Cote d'Ivoire||Nathanaël Yaovi Soede||"The International Community and Democracy in the South"|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||Response to "The International Community and Democracy in the South"|
|Japan||Osamu Takeuchi||"What Can We Learn from the Great East Japan Earthquake?"|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||Response to "What We Can Learn from the Great East Japan Earthquake"|
|Mexico||Miguel Ángel Sánchez||"Ethics in the Areopagus"|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||Response to "Ethics in the Areopagus"|
|Kenya||Veronica Rop||The Challenge Posed by Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem to the African Perspective on the Dignity of Women|
|Malaysia||Sharon Bong||‘Obedient wives, first-class prostitutes and terrorism’|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||Response to "The Challenge Posed by Apostolic Letter Mulieris Dignitatem to the African Perspective on the Dignity of Women"|
|Brazil||Marcio Fabri dos Anjos||Un desafiante Escenario para la Teología Moral Católica en Latinoamérica y el Caribe (English)|
|South Africa||Anthony Egan||Good Governance, Good Grief!|
|Philippines||Eric Genilo||The Challenge of Democratic Dialogue in the Philippines|
|Argentina||EmilceCuda||North-South Dialogue/Dialogo Norte-Sur|
|Kenya||Peter Knox||Mining in South Africa|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||Response to "Mining in South Africa"|
|India||Shaji George Kochuthara||The Transparency Revolution in India|
|Mexico||Miguel Ángel Sánchez||Ethical living: Hope despite everything in an "underground city" of Mexico City|
Keywords: Dignitatis Humanae, religious freedom, globalization, religious diasporas, soft power, international relations, principle of non-intervention.
The question of religious freedom has gone beyond the boundaries of nations and states, the framework within which Dignitatis Humanae (DH) declared the right to religious freedom. We need to develop the doctrine of DH taking into account the new situations of religious freedom, as an issue of international relations, and not just as an intra-state question.
DH was one of the most discussed documents of Vatican II, because it reformulated Church doctrine on the issues of Church-State relations, freedom of worship and religious tolerance. It did so by declaring “that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power” (DH, 2).
Since Leo XIII, the questions referring to religious freedom had been framed through the polarity of Church-State relations, which begged, at least, two further questions, regarding freedom of worship and religious tolerance. In this way the question entered the Council, as Chapter 9 of the earlier draft version of the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church. One of the remarkable features of the declaration is the fact that it never uses the word state. The question of religious freedom was not framed using the polarity Church-State, but in terms of the polarity Church-Society, a polarity that can also be observed in Gaudium et Spes. The term society is used 23 times in the declaration. In one case the term refers to the family “a society in its own original right” (DH. 5). In two cases, it refers to the Church, as a society of men. In three cases, it is used as human society, leaving a certain ambiguity, but in most of the other cases, it is used in the sense of the state, or society as a political body. The term is used as “civil society”, the “constitutional order of society”, “the constitutional law whereby society is governed”, “the organization of society”, “the common welfare of society”, “the usages of society.” It also appears close to expressions like public order or the right of society to defend itself. Although the bipolarity has changed from Church-State to Church-Society, the question of religious freedom is still framed within the context of a single society, or a state. It could not be otherwise, for this was the problem that laid before the Council Fathers.
Some of the questions about religious freedom have not particularly changed. Many men and women see their religious freedom denied by the state in which they live. Sometimes the state forbids or tightly controls any religious expression. In other cases, an official or dominant religion restrains freedom of worship or other religious expressions.
Yet, there is a new problem originated by globalization, growing religious diasporas and the emergence of religion as a force of international relations. Until recently, international law provided a certain religious tolerance for small religious diasporas. These diasporas were, usually, so small that they were insignificant, and were not perceived as a problem in the receiving societies. These small groups could always gather in embassies and other diplomatic representations, or worship in private houses. However, globalization has changed and enriched the casuistry. Religious diasporas have grown. In some countries they represent significant groups, and in some others, quite big ones. This fact couples with the emergence of religion as a factor of international relations. This has become particularly problematic with the “discovery” that religion as soft power can be used in international relations.
The concept of “soft power” was introduced by Joseph Nye in the field of international relations in 1990 in an article in Foreign Policy. If power is the capacity to affect other people’s behavior, Nye contended that beyond stick and carrot, threat or payment, which he conceptualized as hard power, there was a case to talk about soft power, the power of attraction. In his article he particularly developed the concept of soft power applied to the USA. The idea that religion can act as soft power in international relations came later. There are different examples of how it can work. Russia or Turkey are good examples of the use of religion as soft power.
In Russia, Vladimir Putin, has resorted to religion as a source of soft power. Putin, a former KGB agent, has presented himself in public as a devout Orthodox Christian, and has supported the Russian Orthodox Church in the country. The Russian government has also explored the ways of religion as soft power beyond its frontiers. The opening of a new Orthodox Cathedral in Paris in 2016 was seen as more than just a religious act. The Cathedral, completely funded by the Kremlin, was for many the expression of a spiritually strong and resurgent Russia.
Turkey, as well, has explored these avenues. A recent official visit of President Erdogan to Germany ended with the inauguration of a new central mosque in Cologne built by DITIB (the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, a large umbrella organization that manages 900 mosques in Germany). DITIB is linked to Diyanet, a state agency established in 1924 regarding Islamic faith and practices.
The two cases show the ambivalent use of religion. In France and Germany some have raised their voices against what they see as a breach of the principle of non-intervention. In exercising religious freedom in the new international scenarios, DH’s doctrine needs to develop, and the document itself contains elements for this development. DH argues for religious freedom to proceed along two tracks, one grounded in Revelation, and one grounded in reason. The declaration affirms that “the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself.” This double track can allow us to develop some of the arguments of reason in favor of religious freedom, to assure this right in the new international scenario.
The council opted to define religious freedom as a freedom from coercion: “in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits” (DH, 2). In these new international scenarios, a balance has to be found between a freedom from coercion of the hosting country –that should assure freedom in matters religious for the new diasporas— while also assuring the freedom from coercion that could come from the country of origin of the diasporas, that under the disguise of support of the religious freedom of its citizens and their descendants, might in fact coerce in matters religious.
In this sense the “just demands of public order” of which the declaration talks, have to be understood, not just as the public order of a particular country, which has the right to request contextually specific ways of exercising religious freedom, but also as respect for the just demands of the international public order, of which the principle of non-intervention is a fundamental principle.
In that sense re-reading DH we can propose a certain development in the context of a globalized world and the rise of religion in international relations.
I began to write this article as Indonesia faces the national election in April 17, 2019, in which the president, the vice president, and members of the parliament will be elected on the same day. Over 190 million Indonesian are eligible to vote. After 73 years of independence, the citizens of Indonesia still have to learn how to build a democratic society. A democratic society requires not only a good government, but also mutual trust between the government and its people. Unfortunately, the trust is threatened by fake news and hoaxes which are spread rapidly through social media. In times of high political tensions, especially during presidential elections, fake news and hoaxes have been used and will continue to be used to create mistrust against the current government in order to destabilize the country.
One recent example of fake news was a report about six containers from China at Jakarta port that supposedly contained ballots with votes in support of President Joko Widodo a.k.a. Jokowi (57), who is running for re-election, along with his running mate, Ma’aruf Amin (75), a former leader of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), one of the biggest Islamic organization in Indonesia. After the police inspected the port, no such containers were found. The General Election Commission stated that the ballots have not yet been printed.
Surely that is bad news for democracy in Indonesia. The fake news about the six containers is seen as an attempt to delegitimize Indonesia’s 2019 presidential election. The fake ballots are used to form opinions that the elections will be unfair to the opposition candidate against Joko Widodo, Prabowo Subianto (67), and that he might lose the election. When watching the first presidential debate between Jokowi and Prabowo on January 17, 2019, I found the same pattern of presenting false data by the opposition. For instance, he stated that the salary of the current governor of Middle Java Province is low, although he leads a province which is larger than Malaysia. In reality, the province is one tenth of Malaysia. Such statement was used to dramatize the situation, as if public officers were lowly paid. In many occasions, aggressive rhetoric and social media manipulation were shown by the campaign team of the challenger.
Hoaxes are considered as the biggest threat for democracy in Indonesia. It is a real threat if I consider that Indonesia has an enormous number of social media users, yet most of them have only low media literacy. The lack of critical thought causes the rapid spreading of false news for political purposes. This method is proven to be effective especially in countries with a relatively short experience of democracy and great inequalities like Indonesia.
Since 1997, before every election, the Indonesian Bishops’ Conference publishes a pastoral letter regarding elections and reminds Catholics to use their right to participate in elections. The letter of the bishops also gives advice that voters have to choose a candidate who has moral integrity and wants to serve for the common good. Thus the Catholic voters need to learn about the track record of the candidate. The invitation to be a “smart voter” is a realization of Christian virtues in a democracy. In a society threatened by potential conflicts due to fake news like Indonesia nowadays, the faithful need to practice the virtues of prudence and temperance.
26th December was the beginning of the seven days of Kwanzaa, a week long celebration that ends on January 1st .
For those not familiar with Kwanzaa, the term Kwanza is a Swahili word meaning “First” and it is shorthand for the concept behind Kwanzaa, a symbolic celebration “first fruits.“ The celebration is reminiscent of “new harvest” festivals in Africa. Founded by Maulana Karenga in 1966, Kwanzaa is a Pan -African event celebrated by many particularly in the US.
Kwanzaa festival resonates with me partly because the concept is articulated in Kiswahili (with suitable and creative adaptations) a language which I speak and I am most familiar. Secondly, Kwanzaa resonates with me since it invokes African ethics and values revolving around the African concept of Ubuntu, a concept which speaks to the very essence of what it means to be human in community . Through its Nguzo Saba (7 Principles) Kwanzaa invites all to live a life inspired by Ubuntu afro ethics for enhanced flourishing .
The Nguzo are reminiscent of the African notions of the person well captured by the term Ubuntu: As Bishop Tutu explains, “a person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed, or treated as if they were less than who they are.” A person with Ubuntu recognizes that "My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in yours and that we “all belong in a bundle of life”. An Ubuntu inspired person knows that "A person is a person through other persons." 
This Ubuntu ethos palpably permeates the whole notion of Kwanzaa as imagined by its founder . .The 7 Nguzo (/principles or pillars are values and virtues that constitute ,express and prop up Ubuntu as defined by Tutu. These are
struggles for justice and enhanced flourishing , but faith , in people and their capacity for good, confidence in the viability of relationships built on and Ubuntu , and commitment to affirm each others contribution to the flourishing of all . Imani calls for all to recognize and build on the wisdom of ubuntu inspired leadership regardless .
It seems to me that at the very least Kwanzaa’s Nguzo Saba comprise food for thought as we all consider the global impact of radical individualism coupled with greed and power hunger . A call for Umoja,(unity) sounds like a suitable antidote in a palpably polarized world while Ujamaa ( Cooperative Economics,) sounds like much needed balm in a world torn apart by a predatory global economic system where profit is the primary goal and where everything, including people have a price tag . Nia, is the Nguzo that calls us to make it our lifetime goal or vocation to enhance rather than subvert each others flourishing while Kujichagulia (self determination) reminds us of the imperative responsibly to exercise our moral agency , a defining feature of Ubuntu and to refrain from subverting that of others. Given the complexities and multiple crises facing humanity today, Ujima (collective Work and Responsibility )and , Kuumba (Creativity) are particularly urgent principles as we collectively make efforts to leave our rather vandalized planet better than we inherited it.
None of the above is possible without Imani; Faith in people and their moral agency (Kujichagulia ) resilience and capacity for good.. Imani , is a major antidote to contemporary cynicism that often leads to deadly indifference and apathy and prematurely giving up on the quest for viable solutions .
In concluding these reflections on Kwanzaa, it is my hope that more than African Americans can adopt the spirit of Kwanzaa and its Nguzo Saba.. Even becoming aware of these Nguzo za Ubuntu (Pillars of Ubuntu, authentic humanity ) would , in my humble view , be a step, however lilliputian in the direction of enhanced flourishing, both human flourishing and that of all who call Earth , home.
As I conclude these reflections , I am also aware that similar values are embedded in many of our faith traditions but have been rather forgotten and replaced by values that subvert life in many ways . Perhaps it is time to retrieve , reconstruct and reclaim these forgotten life supporting values as Karenga did in the African- American context or as Pope Francis has done in retrieving Franciscan and biblical virtues of stewardship for earth and solidarity among humans . As Wangari Maathai , speaking of the need to reconstruct and reclaim Afro Ubuntu virtues and values points out , such a retrieval will indeed help “heal ourselves and heal the world ”.
 Whereas in developing the concept of Kwanzaa Karenga uses a language and idiom from among the “Bantu speaking people of East , central and South Africa, elsewhere he taps into the language and idiom of other parts of Africa particularly Ancient Egypt from where he retrieves the ethical notion of Maat as representative of Afro-ethics. For details see: Maulana Karenga : Maat: The Moral Ideal in Ancient Egypt: A study in Classical African Ethics: Routledge 2004
 Desmond Tutu, No Future without Forgiveness: Doubleday 1999:31
 Nguzo in Kiswahili literally means Pillars
 For details of Maathai’s urgent appeal for retrieval of Afro ethics ,see her book: Replenishing the Earth : Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and The World. Doubleday 2010
Keywords: Government Shutdown, Naïvete, Populism, Libertarianism, Resistance
Since 1976, the United States has sustained 21 shutdowns of the Federal Government, including the 2018-19 shutdown which just ended, putting the Federal Government back in operation for at least the next three weeks. The American people’s tolerance for government shutdowns is reflected by how these events do not translate into a major campaign issue as the Congress members primarily responsible for shutdowns are not voted out of office for their support of the action. Insofar as government shutdowns reveal both a wish and a myth in the American political psyche, many wish for a time when the reach and power of the Federal Government was not so pervasive and powerful.
The resistance to government is, in part, rooted in a peculiarly American form of Christianity with roots in the original Thirteen English Colonies. In his Warfare State, historian James T. Sparrow wrote how the United States developed a Christian religious tradition rooted in evangelical and dissenting (to the established colonial Anglican and Congregationalists) churches who actively resisted government authority. This resistance, about which historian William McLoughlin often wrote, became a predominant part of American culture with the Second Great Awakening (1800-1830). This religious revival, begun at Yale University to defend its Calvinist foundation against French Enlightenment thought, rapidly evolved into something very different on the American frontier west of the Appalachian Mountains. There, people confident in their own intellectual and physical abilities did not see themselves needing East Coast institutions or their established churches with their educated clergy. Rather, people on the frontier privileged their individual, subjective, and experiential understandings of the Protestant faith tradition and interpretations of Scripture over any such authority. They relied on themselves for a populism that voluntarily formed communities and shaped their religious practices. This American populism was decisive in bringing about the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828. Since that time, many Americans on the conservative and libertarian right, and to a far lesser degree on the anarchist left, imagined a golden age of the United States where human enterprise was free because the Federal Government’s role was limited. Today’s populists believe that if that government is shrunk to the point that, as tax-concerned political activist Grover Norquist put it, citizens could drown what remained in the bathtub, we could return to that golden age where the people rule themselves and solve problems locally without government experts interfering in matters of local governance.
This anti-government attitude is dangerously naïve on two counts. First, it is based on the assumption that extensive government regulation and the reach of its power is an exclusively modern phenomenon. Second, it assumes that the size of government always grows at the expense of individual human freedom. Colonial New England governments regulated a great deal, from religiously motivated laws forbidding economic and leisure activities on Sunday, to regulating the height of picket fences on one’s front yard. With independence, the Federal Government has always played a major role in encouraging commerce and in bringing order to lands west of the Appalachians. With 19th century westward expansion, Thomas Jefferson sponsored the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase and Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act, and the Morrill Act in 1862, as incentives by the Federal Government to settle those lands and establish institutions, which quickly developed into new states of the Union. The Morrill Act confirmed the national need for an educated citizenry. Private businesses profited from Federal Government contracts to build government and military infrastructure and early generations of engineers received their training at United States military academies. These initiatives were (are) anything but restrictions on individual freedoms.
Beginning with the Civil War, big government is the consequence of the growth of the United States as a continental nation, an urban society, and an industrial economy. In the twentieth century, the Federal Government has had to respond to urban poverty, labor exploitation, business monopolies and corruption, and local government corruption generated by the Industrial Revolution. The Progressive Age gave us the earliest regulations to guarantee food and drug safety, the arbitration of labor disputes, the regulation of workplace hours, safety, and child labor, and the abolition of anti-competitive business monopolies to protect free markets. (Curiously, the protection of free markets, ironically, is something anti-government advocates value.) The national crises of World War One, the Great Depression, World War Two, the Cold War, and the fight for Civil Rights, followed in rapid succession. No decentralized, small national government, no local government, and no religious or secular voluntary social organization could have marshaled the political power and economic resources to adequately grapple with these crises and defeat autocracy, Fascism, Communism, and (overt) race-based discrimination. Historically, the Christian worldview encourages political engagement, support of, and participation in governance to advance a more humane society. While the founders of the colonies and leaders of an independent nation may not recognize these United States, a populist small government belongs to an epoch in history to which we cannot return.
A free citizenry needs a sophisticated governing structure to help negotiate modern, complex individual and social lives and to correct the political and social injustices that local and state governments and civic organizations were and are still unable or unwilling to address. The Christian tradition (perhaps especially the Roman Catholic) does not have an intrinsic bias for small government but to all the government we need, with powers exercised at appropriate levels for the common good. To think we can order our lives with anything less is folly.
Keywords: 10/90 gap, disease burden, global justice
The expression “10/90 gap” (or 90/10) was coined by the Commission on Health Research for Development in a landmark report published in 1990. The Commission, as most readers of The First probably know, was an international private initiative aimed at the improvement of health in the then called “developing countries”. Its work was funded by important international institutions, both public and private, such as the United Nations Development Program, the Word Bank, the Nobel Assembly, and the Rockefeller and Ford foundations, among many others for a total of 16 sponsors. The expression “10/90 gap” refers to the mismatch between disease burden and the financial resources devoted to health research. In other words, only 10% of health research funding is devoted to the study and relief of the disease burden of 90% of the world population. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the undeserved populations, most of them living in low- and middle-income countries, are the ones neglected by such unequal distribution of research dollars.
Of course, many things have changed since 1990. More resources are devoted to research today, and more research (particularly clinical trials) is being carried out in low-and-middle- income nations. It must be added, however, that an increase in the number of clinical trials taking place in a region does not necessarily translate into a greater focus on its health needs. As a matter of fact, the growth of clinical research in impoverished regions has raised concerns about the danger of exploitation of vulnerable persons and communities. This topic has received much attention in journal articles and books in the bioethical literature. We cannot dwell on this important debate in this brief essay, but its relevance must be acknowledged.
As D. P. O’Mathúna (2008) points out, it is possible that the proportion 10/90 is, at the present time, an overstatement. Other authors think that the problem is not one of lack of research. They argue that there are enough drugs to treat most of the diseases affecting the poor: “The issue… is not the unavailability of medicines in the world market. The problem… is that the poor are unable to access the medicines largely because of poverty, inadequate health infrastructure, and overbearing governments” (Vidyasagar, 2006).
Let us suppose, at least for the sake of argument, that both caveats are well taken. Does that mean that the fundamental ethical problem of global health inequities goes away? I do not think so. In my view, there are several issues that need to be considered for a proper understanding of the problem that lies behind the idea of the 10/90 gap in health research. Each one of the considerations that follows would need, of course, further elaboration. In this context, a succinct enumeration of the issues must suffice.
First, I think that it must be admitted that the selection of research topics is largely determined by the availability of funding. We cannot forget that, for the most part, clinical research is funded by the pharmaceutical industry: “The current global health R&D system relies strongly on market incentives. About 60% of all health R&D funding comes from the for-profit private sector… When market incentives drive innovation, R&D that is profitable will be preferred… (Viergever, 2013).” The profit motive works very well in certain areas. It is, however, inadequate to respond to basic human needs, particularly in the case of impoverished individuals and populations. In the area of health, it might even stifle innovations as the increased production of me-too drugs would seem to suggest.
Second, let us suppose that the problem is neither the lack of research nor the dearth of therapeutic interventions to serve the needs of underserved populations. Therefore, it would be a problem of access and distribution. If such were the case, the ethical problem does not go away. On the contrary, it can be argued that the ethical problem is magnified. Vulnerable persons and communities, including children, are suffering and dying of preventable and treatable diseases. The populations in need do not have access to existing and frequently inexpensive therapeutic interventions, which are readily available to the citizens of more affluent societies and to the well off in developing countries. If this were the case, the ethical challenge presented by the idea of the 10/90 gap has not gone away. It has been shifted from the field of basic and clinical research to the area of public health.
Third, it must be added that health research and issues of justice in health are not limited to basic and clinical research. Human health is not determined only, not even mainly, by access to physicians, medications, and health-care facilities. There are social determinants of health. Access to education, adequate nutrition, clean water, and clean air are just as significant, if not more so.
Fourth, there is a need to develop research capacity in impoverished regions, including the training of competent scientists, access to updated scientific literature, and the development of research ethics capacity. Ethical reflection is highly contextual (without denying some universal values). We cannot take for granted that an ethical reflection produced in the context of affluent societies and first world universities adequately responds to the needs of developing nations.
Finally, it is possible that the 10/90 gap does not have to be taken literally in a strictly statistical sense. But there is no doubt that, whether the problem is one of insufficient research or one of distribution and access, it expresses in very dramatic terms the very real problem of world health disparities. From an ethical viewpoint, we are dealing, in my view, with an extremely serious issue of global justice. The idea of global justice faces serious theoretical challenges from the perspective of traditional western political philosophy. Traditionally, theories of justice, from Plato to Rawls, have been political theories, linked to a theory of the State. However, in a globalized world, we need to accept that strict duties of justice exist beyond the structure of the national State. The growing recognition of human rights, as well as the increased development of international law and courts seem to point in that direction.
Claims of global fairness and justice find an even stronger foundation for those of us who think and try to live within the context of the Christian tradition. Universal brotherhood and sisterhood, based on both creation and redemption, require, at the very least, a commitment to global justice in the field of human health and health related research. I hope that Catholic theological ethicists can engage in this debate enriching it with the insights proper to our tradition. In his message to the participants in the 32nd International Conference on Addressing Global Health Inequities, on November 2017, Pope Francis quoted number 92 of the New Charter for Healthcare Workers. The protection of intellectual property and a fair profit to support innovation are legitimate interests that cannot be denied. However, “ways must be found to combine these adequately with the right to access to basic or necessary treatments, or both, especially in underdeveloped countries, and especially in the cases of so-called rare and neglected diseases, which are accompanied by the notion of orphan drugs.”
Ferrer J. J., El VIH/SIDA: ¿Un problema de justicia global?, en DE LA TORRE J. (Ed.), 30 años de VIH-SIDA. Balance y nuevas perspectivas, Madrid, Universidad Pontificia Comillas, 2013, 33-50.
Id., Research as a Restorative Practice: Catholic Social Teaching and the Ethics of Biomedical Research, in Lysaught M. T. & McCarthy M. (Eds.), Catholic Bioethics and Social Justice, Collegeville, Liturgical Press Academic, 2018, 363-375.
Macklin R, Double Standards in Medical Research in Developing Countries, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Mandle J., Global Justice, Malden MA, Polity Press, 2006.
O’ Mathúna D. P., On Global Health Research Inequalities, paper presented at the Global Justice & Human Rights PSA Specialist Group, April 1-3, 2008: https://bioethicsireland.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/omathuna2.pdf, retrieved: January 18, 2019.
Petryna A., When experiments travel. Clinical Trials and the Global Search for Human Subjects, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2011.
Pope Francis, Message to the Participants on the 32nd International Conference on the Theme: “Addressing Global Health Inequalities (16-18 November, 2017): http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/pont-messages/2017/documents/papa-francesco_20171118_conferenza-disparita-salute.html, retrieved: January 21, 2019
Vidyasagar D., Global Notes: The 10/90 Gap Disparities in Global Health Research: Journal of Perinatology 26 (2006) 55-56.
Viergever R. F., The mismatch between the health research and development (R&D) that is needed and the R&D that is undertaken: an overview of the problem, the causes, and solutions: Global Health Action 6 (2013): http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v6i0.22450, retrieved from http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/1273088/, retrieved: January 18, 2019.
Este año 2019 estamos conmemorando los 40 años de la tercera Conferencia general del Episcopado de América Latina, celebrado en Puebla (México) del 27 de enero al 12 de febrero de 1979. Esta Conferencia inspirada en Mt 25 nos señala algunos rasgos de los rostros con los que nuestro Dios Trinitario, encarnado en Cristo Jesús se identifica:
La situación de extrema pobreza generalizada, adquiere en la vida real rostros muy concretos en los que deberíamos reconocer los rasgos sufrientes de Cristo, el Señor, que nos cuestiona e interpela:
En nuestro Continente Latinoamericano todos estos rostros están presentes a lo largo y ancho de nuestras ciudades, pueblos y campos. Pero el rostro que quiero mostrar en este breve escrito es el del refugiado, el desplazado y el migrante.
Sólo algunos datos
Colombia, aparece, según la información de Acnur, como el país que tiene la segunda mayor población desplazada del mundo (7,9 millones), incluido el desplazamiento interno a causa de los conflictos y la violencia.
Centroamérica (Honduras, Guatemala y El Salvador,) es actualmente otro foco muy importante en cuestión de desplazados, refugiados y migrantes. Muchos grupos de personas han viajado hacia el norte esperando encontrar en México y E.U. una oportunidad para mejorar su calidad de vida. Según Acnur en México, hay aproximadamente de 7,000 a 9,000 personas repartidos entre Veracruz y Baja California. Entre ellos se encuentran personas que huyen de la persecución y de la violencia y con necesidades de protección internacional. Muchas son personas vulnerables y con necesidad de asistencia humanitaria, incluyendo mujeres y alrededor de 2,300 niños. Recién nacidos, mujeres embarazadas, ancianos y personas con discapacidades han sido identificados. Muchos están exhaustos, y otros sufren de heridas en los pies. Los grupos, ampliamente referidos como caravanas, están divididos en tres grupos principales y varios grupos pequeños. Y las caravanas siguen llegando.
Venezuela es otro drama. Cada día salen del país aproximadamente 5.000 personas; Es el mayor movimiento de población desplazada, migrantes y refugiados de América Latina en su historia reciente. Tienen que caminar por trochas y carreteras por días soportando las inclemencias del clima, con hambre, con los pies ampollados, cansados, con miedo, sin más equipaje que lo que llevan puesto. Acnur asegura que más de 2,6 millones de venezolanos están desplazados. Y la cantidad de venezolanos en búsqueda del reconocimiento de la condición de refugiado alrededor del mundo ha aumentado 2,000% desde el 2014. La crisis migratoria en Venezuela se puede situar en la escala de Siria. Se estima que 1,6 millones de personas han huido de Venezuela desde 2015, y se espera que otros 1,8 millones se vayan este año.
Hasta el momento, la mayor parte de venezolanos desplazados, migrantes y refugiados han llegado a Colombia; otros han buscado refugio en Ecuador, Perú, Brasil, Chile y Argentina; en México y el Caribe.
Lastimosamente esta realidad va más allá de nuestra América Latina, todos escuchamos casi todos los días noticias sobre los refugiados, desplazados y migrantes que huyendo de las guerras y el hambre llegan a las costas y fronteras de los países europeos. Podemos decir que es un fenómeno mundial.
En el Evangelio Jesús no hace comparaciones, sino que afirma que él se identifica con todos y cada uno de los seres humanos que sufren:
Venid, benditos de mi Padre, recibid la herencia del Reino preparado para vosotros desde la creación del mundo. Porque tuve hambre, y me disteis de comer; tuve sed, y me disteis de beber; era forastero, y me acogisteis; estaba desnudo, y me vestisteis; enfermo, y me visitasteis; en la cárcel, y vinisteis a verme. Entonces los justos le responderán: Señor, ¿cuándo te vimos hambriento, y te dimos de comer; o sediento, y te dimos de beber? ¿Cuándo te vimos forastero, y te acogimos; o desnudo, y te vestimos? ¿Cuándo te vimos enfermo o en la cárcel, y fuimos a verte? Y el Rey les dirá: "En verdad os digo que cuanto hicisteis a unos de estos hermanos míos más pequeños, a mí me lo hicisteis. (Mt 25, 34-40)
El Papa Francisco, en el mensaje para la jornada mundial del migrante y el refugiado (enero 14-2018) que tenía como lema, acoger, proteger, promover e integrar, señalaba:
Cada forastero que llama a nuestra puerta es una ocasión de encuentro con Jesucristo, que se identifica con el extranjero acogido o rechazado en cualquier época de la historia (cf. Mt 25,35.43). A cada ser humano que se ve obligado a dejar su patria en busca de un futuro mejor, el Señor lo confía al amor maternal de la Iglesia. Esta solicitud ha de concretarse en cada etapa de la experiencia migratoria: desde la salida y a lo largo del viaje, desde la llegada hasta el regreso. Es una gran responsabilidad que la Iglesia quiere compartir con todos los creyentes y con todos los hombres y mujeres de buena voluntad, que están llamados a responder con generosidad, diligencia, sabiduría y amplitud de miras - cada uno según sus posibilidades - a los numerosos desafíos planteados por las migraciones contemporáneas.
Todo esto nos indica que no podemos hacer Teología y en especial Teología Moral de espaldas a esta realidad de los refugiados, los desplazados y los migrantes. Porque “En efecto, las migraciones interpelan a todos, no sólo por las dimensiones del fenómeno, sino también «por los problemas sociales, económicos, políticos, culturales y religiosos que suscita, y por los dramáticos desafíos que plantea a las comunidades nacionales y a la comunidad internacional”. Por supuesto, nosotros creyentes, teólogos, también debemos dejarnos interpelar por esta dolorosa realidad. En consecuencia, procurar que nuestra reflexión teológica no se quede encerrado en nuestras oficinas y que sea sólo una fría teología de escritorio.
 Puebla, N° 31-39.
 Papa Francisco, Mensaje para la Jornada mundial del migrante y el refugiado. (2015).
Imagine a Conversation happening just over two thousand years ago. This is of course using our human, all too human, concept of linear time. For the participants this is nonsensical: ‘they’ (another nonsense because Three is One and One is Three, and if I digress any further I will have a nasty headache and will not be able to complete my story) are beyond time itself. And since we have long called them by names from our limited, time-bound and human-centred vocabulary, I shall bow to convention (or orthodoxy, to put it in church jargon) and name them accordingly.
FATHER: Of all my species in all the planets in all the multiverse, and you want to visit them!
SON: No. I want to be one of them.
FATHER: You know they are a dangerous, wild lot, full of pride and anger, greed and violence.
SON: And full of love and passion, generosity and kindness. You had a hand in making them, after all, when you willed matter out of nothing. You’ve watched them and agonised over them as you’ve watched and agonised over all creation.
SPIRIT: He’s right you know. And despite your decision to give free will to what you created you have always been there. With them in that little corner of the universe, you have always had a kind of bond. Not least because of the way their consciousness evolved into thinking beings. We have always been there with them, always hoping they would grow into something even better.
FATHER: Look at the mess they’ve made!
SON: Come on, we all know that in all that mess you have just loved them even more. An angry god would have destroyed them long ago. And you didn’t. You let them struggle on.
SPIRIT: And I have been with them too.
FATHER: But they are dangerous – to themselves, to the creatures and plants that live with them, to the earth itself.
SON: What more reason then that I should visit them? I shall guide them to reach what we see they can be.
FATHER: What about my rule of non-intervention? What about their free will? You come in all our glory, you dazzle them with our might, you’ll scare the crap out of them, make them believe, force them to grow as we would have them grow. You can’t force them to be free…
SON: Actually I have an idea. I become one of them, fully one of them. No divine power. No dramatic world-changing actions. Just a man born of a woman, born into a culture at a particular time, with all human limitations. Not even a man born into wealth and power, but one born poor into a community on the fringes of a great empire to a powerless people living under an occupying power.
No dramatic arrival. Perhaps even born away from the home I’ll grow up in. In a place like a stable. Seen only by the most ignored and outcast of people, like shepherds. I’ll grow up in obscurity, so much so that people may have to invent details about my early life later – even perhaps arbitrarily assigning a date to my birth because there’s no official birth certificate. I will live among them and I will try to teach them to be more human, to embrace love over laws, to see us in those their world sees as nobodies.
SPIRIT: It’s going to be tough. As you know, the powers that rule over them take no opposition. They’ll come after you. I have seen this time and again in their history.
FATHER: We all have. Standing outside their concept of time we have seen all the horrors, what this scribe recording this calls history – and the future which he cannot see.
SON: Indeed, we have seen. From our state of being outside of time, I have seen too what I will become in time. And what their scribes will say of me.
FATHER: And what they will do to you.
FATHER: And yet you are determined to proceed.
SON: I am. In their time, I already have. In our eternity I am eternally being sent, incarnating, dying, resurrected and waiting for them at the end of time. In their time I am waiting to be born.
FATHER: I have known this too.
SPIRIT: And I too.
SON: Some of their theologians will say I am born to save their sins. Indeed, that too. But above all I choose this – in their terms it’s chose, I suppose – because I am so totally drawn to them that I cannot but become one of them.
FATHER: Sounds like my Son is in love.
SON: Funny you should say that Dad. So are you.
SPIRIT: So are we all.
In May 2015, the Legislative Council in Victoria, Australia, commissioned the Legal and Social Issues Committee to undergo an Inquiry into End of Life Choices. Many believed that this inquiry was instigated following a renewed call for the legalisation of euthanasia and assisted suicide (EAS). Whatever the reasons, following 1037 submissions and 154 public hearings, the Committee made 49 recommendations. 29 of which called for significant improvement in the quality, accessibility and the integration of community palliative care services. It recognised that the demand for good quality palliative care, especially that of community palliative care, significantly exceeded the current capacity of palliative care services. These 29 recommendations included improving many aspects of palliative care. They also highlighted the lack of clarity amongst the medical profession on what constitutes futile treatment and the lack of data on continuous palliative sedation. A further 19 recommendations recognised the need to significantly improve advance care planning including education about this for both the healthcare sector and the community. In recommending the 49th action of legalising assisted dying in Victoria, the Committee stated “While several submissions suggested that all pain and suffering can be alleviated through the provision of better palliative care, the Committee heard from health practitioners that not all pain can be alleviated. Palliative care cannot always be the solution to managing pain and suffering at the end of life.” 
Reading and listening to the submissions and the debates that followed, it became obvious that there were many people who did not receive adequate and timely palliative care, and an even greater number of people who perhaps are still suffering the distress of watching another person suffer at the end of their life. The opportunity to heal such suffering for the many who shared painful stories, seemed to be lost in the political urgency to legislate EAS.
Such suffering may also be one of the factors that underlie the desire to legislate a form of VAD in New South Wales (2017; voted down by 1 vote), Western Australia (the state government will introduce a bill in the second half of 2019) and Queensland (the Premier has launched an inquiry into end of life care which includes the possibility of legalising EAS).
In the framework proposed for the 49th recommendation the need to care for those who would be negatively impacted in their provision of assisted dying to patients was highlighted by the recommendation that counselling be made available to these practitioners. This was a telling reminder that legalising EAS will likely have an emotional and possibly negative moral impact on some of the health professionals involved, presumably based on what the Committee had gleaned from the submissions. Following on from this it would seem that improved bereavement services should also be made available to address the short and long term impact of EAS on the families and loved ones of those who choose VAD.
It could be said that legalising EAS without first ensuring the provision of excellent and timely palliative care to all who are dying, would be the proverbial “putting the cart before the horse,” given the possible negative impact on those involved and the ripple effect of this on the community. The Victorian government has however, alongside legalising EAS, committed to improving palliative services throughout the state. It is hoped that this commitment will be ongoing and enough to meet the increasing demands for palliative care.
The Victorian Voluntary Assisted Dying (VAD) Legislation was passed by the Victorian Parliament on the 29th November 2017, after a 28-hour marathon debate followed by a conscience vote. Emotions ran high during the debate with unrelenting stories of the suffering of people seeking to hasten their own death in the terminal phases of life. The question as to whether any rational and/or moral decision could be made in the midst of highly charged emotions remains. Of concern one MP concluded that the emotional imperative far outweighed the moral imperative in the case of EAS. Others argue that 100 hours of parliamentary debate attests to robust discussions, hence sound decision making.
On the 19th of June 2019, the Law will come into effect. The implementation taskforce would have had 18 months to establish policies, protocols and procedures to ensure that there are no loopholes. Hospitals and aged care facilities and other organisations involved have to decide if they will provide the procedures and, if so, how they will manage any negative consequences on their staff as well as staff who conscientiously object to involvement in any procedures. The Victorian VAD law allows for conscientious objection. Catholic organisations have categorically declared that they will not be partaking in any process that prematurely ends a person’s life. They will however continue to care for and accompany persons and their loved ones in the person’s dying, and following the person’s death, will continue to care for families and loved ones in their bereavement. Policies and procedures will also have to be written as to how they can fulfil this role of non-judgemental accompaniment without involvement in VAD.
We live in a pluralistic society. There are those who believe in the value of human life and its dignity per se. This group may or may not follow a particular religious tradition. (Unfortunately, there are those who would dismiss this perspective as “religious” hence not valid in discussions, when its validity is equal to other perspectives within a pluralistic society.) This non-judgemental belief in the value of human life without exception leads organisations which hold this value to serve all in society—including those who are poor, marginalised and vulnerable—and to endeavour to provide excellent quality and equitable access of these services to everyone. This very same core belief in the value of human life would most likely make it impossible for such organisations to intentionally end a life, without violating their own integrity. The belief that human life is a gift from God, which is always lived in relationship with others, adds another nuance to the ethical stance of not ending a life prematurely. For the Church, it is based on a living tradition of almost two milleniae. Its tradition is living as it constantly seeks new expression of its core values for contemporary times. The core values essentially do not change.
This valuing of human life is expressed not just in the non-participating in VAD, but also in an ongoing commitment to care for and accompany another in a non-judgemental way, endeavouring to address concerns and fears both metaphysical and physical, manage symptoms and alleviate various forms of suffering. This follows the principle of the common good which is also part of the expression of the valuing of human life—that we endeavour to provide the social conditions that allow others “to reach their fulfilment more fully and more easily.”
Significant resources have been mobilised in all healthcare sectors endeavouring to ensure as far as is possible, that the moral dilemmas and moral distress that may arise are minimised, and that the VAD legislation is diligently followed.
One positive outcome of the Inquiry into End of Life choices is that it has brought a much-needed focus on death and dying in light of significant advances in medical science and technology and increasing longevity in the community. Another positive outcome is the attention it has brought to the significant lack of resources in and accessibility to excellent and timely palliative care in Victoria.
Now that the VAD legislation is passed, it is hoped that we as a pluralistic society can work together towards the good of all, respecting and honouring each other’s values and beliefs and moral integrity.
 Legal and Social Issues Committee, Inquiry into end of life choices: Final Report, Parliament of Victoria, (Victorian Government Printer, June, 2016), https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/images/stories/committees/SCLSI/EOL_Report/LSIC_58-05_Booklet_Text_WEB.pdf
 Others would prefer the term “proportional palliative sedation”.
Legal and Social Issues Committee, Inquiry, xxvii.
 Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic) n. 61 http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/Domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/PubStatbook.nsf/f932b66241ecf1b7ca256e92000e23be/B320E209775D253CCA2581ED00114C60/$FILE/17-061aa%20authorised.pdf
 As per Pope Francis’ Art of Accompaniment in Evangelii Gaudium.
 Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compedium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, #164.
El debate actual sobre la inmigración en los Estados Unidos es conocido por todos los latinoamericanos que están al tanto de las noticias. Las amenazas hechas por nuestro Presidente Donald Trump de cerrar la frontera con México, el endurecimiento de las restricciones migratorias contra inmigrantes que huyen de la violencia y pandillas de Centroamérica, las escenas de madres e hijos siendo atacados con gases lacrimógenos por la patrulla fronteriza, así como la muerte de los inmigrantes cuando tratan de cruzar la frontera, son las trágicas consecuencias de un triste y recurrente fenómeno en la historia de los Estados Unidos. Es una historia de extremos. Por un lado, está marcada por períodos en los que los Estados Unidos dan la bienvenida a los inmigrantes, incluso hasta el punto de ofrecer amnistía a los que llegan ilegalmente. Ahora, Estados Unidos está en un período descrito por Harry Stout donde muchos norteamericanos, incluyendo nuestros ciudadanos más nuevos, quieren cerrar la puerta a la mayoría de los recién llegados. Comentaristas como Michelle Malkin ofrecen un ejemplo de esta opinión. Afirman que los millones de inmigrantes legales a los que Estados Unidos da la bienvenida cada año son demasiados, porque no pueden asimilarse a la cultura de los Estados Unidos. Perderíamos nuestra cohesión social como nación.
El concepto-idea de que una inmigración a gran escala, haría que perdiéramos nuestra cohesión cultural, civil y política, es un idea antigua que el historial de los Estados Unidos ha desacreditado una y otra vez. Es un concepto basado en el miedo a lo desconocido. Exploremos algunas de las razones por las que esta idea se basa en un error.
Nuestros libros de historia sostienen que los grupos de inmigrantes que se asientan en los Estados Unidos dejan atrás enteramente sus culturas, los idiomas, de sus países de origen, y adoptan el idioma inglés y la cultura norteamericana. Sin embargo, la historia de los Estados Unidos apunta a una realidad más compleja. Timothy Matovina señala, que los Estados Unidos es un país con múltiples orígenes. Este país no comenzó solamente con las trece colonias establecidas por Inglaterra en el siglo XVII (ya que en el siglo XVI había asentamientos Españoles en la Florida). Pero el papel que jugó la población de estas 13 colonias fue decisivo en la fundación del país, sobretodo nuestra sociedad cívica y la forma de gobierno. Pero, culturalmente los ingleses no estaban solos. Los grupos de franceses, españoles e indígenas ayudaron a formar lo que luego se convirtió en los Estados Unidos, y su legado continua en las minorías lingüísticas de este país. Francoparlantes en Luisiana y Nueva Inglaterra, la sobrevivencia de las lenguas y pueblos indígenas en los Estados occidentales, Alaska y Hawái, así como la presencia de hispanohablantes en territorios tan diversos como California, Nuevo México y Puerto Rico, son todos ejemplos. Hay otros. Estos grupos han mantenido sus lenguas ancestrales, y también hablan inglés con fluidez como ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos.
Los inmigrantes más nuevos, en general, no se asimilan por completo a la sociedad estadounidense. Muchos de ellos no dominan completamente el inglés, o los hábitos culturales que la mayoría de los norteamericanos comparten. Esto se debe a que están ocupados trabajando para hacer su camino en un nuevo país. No tienen tiempo para tomar cursos de idiomas y asimilarse por completo a la sociedad estadounidense. Su asimilación se limita a obedecer las leyes de los Estados Unidos y cumplir con los requisitos para obtener la residencia permanente y la ciudadanía. Este hecho ha sido demostrado una y otra vez por estudios científicos, que muestran que los inmigrantes, ya sean legales o ilegales, son tan respetuosos de la ley como los ciudadanos de los Estados Unidos. En su lugar, la asimilación es realizada por los hijos y nietos de los inmigrantes, muchos de los cuales mantienen un interés en mantener el idioma de sus antepasados y algunas de sus tradiciones culturales.
Algunos inmigrantes en la historia de los Estados Unidos han sido chivos expiatorios por la violencia de una pequeña minoría. Por ejemplo, el año 1919 vio una oleada de violencia de los anarquistas italianos que detonaron bombas contra instituciones gubernamentales y empresas privadas en ocho ciudades en los Estados Unidos. Los anarquistas son sospechosos del bombardeo de Wall Street en 1920. También, los anarquistas intentaron asesinar a figuras políticas prominentes, y a veces tuvieron éxito. El Presidente William McKinley fue asesinado por un anarquista en 1901. Mientras que el anarquismo en los Estados Unidos fue alimentado por influencias extranjeras, también tiene raíces nativas que se extienden de nuevo a los orígenes del país (por ejemplo: los anarquistas se inspiraron en pensadores norteamericanos como Ralph Waldo Emerson y Henry David Thoreau). Además, los anarquistas de todo tipo, ya sea que recurrieran a la violencia o no para lograr sus objetivos, tenían más probabilidades de ser nativos de los Estados Unidos antes que inmigrantes. A pesar de estos hechos históricos, todos los inmigrantes italianos estaban marcados como un peligro para el país, como si el anarquismo y su violencia estuvieran limitados exclusivamente a ellos. Una caricatura similar de los inmigrantes como fuente de delincuencia existe hoy en los Estados Unidos, alentada por el Presidente Trump, a pesar de que la mayoría de los actos terroristas domésticos han sido cometidos por ciudadanos de este país que también son hombres blancos.
Por último, el argumento de que la cultura de los Estados Unidos se perdería por oleadas de inmigrantes con ideas foráneas olvida un hecho histórico elemental. Hemos "perdido" este país muchas veces. Muchos estadounidenses del siglo XVIII imaginaron un país de europeos protestantes blancos que no se ajustaban a la Iglesia de Inglaterra. Su visión no incluye a los católicos, afroamericanos o miembros de religiones que no sean el cristianismo. A principios del siglo XX, no imaginábamos un país con poblaciones asiáticas sustanciales, con su práctica del budismo, la religión hindú, el taoísmo y el cristianismo. A principios del siglo XX, pocos norteamericanos imaginábamos un país con grandes poblaciones asiáticas, con su práctica del budismo, la religión hindú, el taoísmo y el cristianismo. Hoy, nos estamos acostumbrando a una creciente población musulmana que también es étnicamente diversa. El Islam es ahora la segunda religión más grande en los Estados Unidos. La mayoría de los musulmanes trabajan para integrarse en la sociedad de los Estados Unidos, incluyendo los que sirven en las fuerzas armadas de los Estados Unidos. Su experiencia, del miedo y la resistencia que los musulmanes estadounidenses encuentran en sus conciudadanos, se asemeja a la experiencia de los católicos romanos aquí. En unas pocas décadas, los Estados Unidos, debido a la inmigración, el matrimonio y las tasas de natalidad, ya no serán un país blanco mayoritario. Nuestro maquillaje étnico estará más cerca de Brasil que de un país del norte de Europa. Con cada desarrollo de la población, Estados Unidos sea adapta. Los Estados Unidos sobrevivieron. Los Estados Unidos prosperaron. Esto es porque para convertirse en un norteamericano, uno debe leer la Declaración de Independencia, la Constitución, y la carta de derechos. Si un inmigrante está de acuerdo con los principios que se encuentran dentro de estos documentos, y los practica, puede convertirse en un norteamericano. La cultura de los Estados Unidos es una amalgama de las culturas traídas aquí por la sucesión de inmigrantes. La mayoría de estos grupos, y su contribución, a los Estados Unidos no sólo nos hicieron una nación más fuerte, pero también una nación más dinámica e interesante. Deberíamos preguntarnos si los Estados Unidos solamente hubiesen mantenido las creencias y la composición étnica de la Nueva Inglaterra puritana del siglo XVII, hubieran podido capturar las playas de Normandía, ayudar a liberar a Europa dos veces, o poner un hombre en la luna, todo en un siglo.
A new year is beginning, and I would like to share a personal reflection of the end of the year as a young college teacher who just received the evaluations made by his students on the courses of the second semester of 2018, or Fall semester, as it is known in the USA. But before I continue, and considering that some readers of this Forum are young scholars working in different countries with different education systems, I will briefly explain the USA system of evaluating young/junior scholars working at colleges and universities.
Although it varies with particularities for each institution, US colleges focus on three main areas to evaluate junior professors who are in the tenure-track process: research, teaching, and services. These areas correspond to young scholar development towards excellence in academic production with significant contribution to the field; achievement of effective teaching in both undergraduate and graduate levels; and the responsibility and activities that are exercised for the department, the university, the local community and the academic community. Three examples of materials that are evaluated to check the development on these areas are: publication in peer-reviewed journals, teaching evaluations from students, and being an active member of department committees. Some colleges and universities add other secondary areas to these; others have very specific ways to define the areas to be evaluated in the tenure-process; but the bottom line is that all colleges and universities aim to find evidences that their junior faculty are moving forward in their research, becoming better teachers for students, and serving the institution in administrative and community matters. The weight for each area also varies from one institution to another. For example, a research university might give more weight to research, establishing very high standards for that, than an undergraduate college that will give more weight to teaching, considering its primary mission is educating undergraduate students.
College and universities from other countries certainly have different criterium and areas to evaluate their faculty. But I believe that research, teaching, and service are areas that have relevance. In Brazil, for example, these areas also have an important role in faculty evaluations for promotion.
I see the necessity and the importance of faculty evaluations. Tenure-track processes are an opportunity for young faculty to grow in the career toward their excellence in research and teaching. Many institutions have mentorship programs in which senior faculty help young colleagues to develop and grow in the profession. In my mind, I don’t see why a college would hire a tenure-track faculty if it does not have interest in his/her growth and promotion. Therefore, mentorship and other programs to help junior professors seem very natural. But I know this does not occur in all places. What is very common in most places is pressure, sometimes within overwhelming work in the shoulders of the new faculty: pressure to publish as much as possible, with quantity suppressing quality; pressure to be acclaimed by students as an amazing professor, but at the same time, be seen from the peers as a tough teacher who does not allow grade inflation; and pressure to be a passive servant who will say yes to any work, especially those that senior faculty do not want to do. On the top of that, academic environment is a reality where not very rarely we can find professors with an inflated ego, contributing to shape very competitive atmosphere that double all the pressure said before. (Considering theology departments, I have to add a note that different perspectives on Catholic Church’s ecclesiology and teaching create divisions and a more vicious competition among peers.)
Returning to teaching evaluations, often enough the end of a semester arrives with a bittersweet taste. It is the good feeling of concluding one more semester and having some days to rest and/or work on those projects we didn’t have time before because of courses we were teaching. However, this sweet taste might come with a bitter flavor from your student evaluations because they were not good as you expected. Or, they are not bad overall, but there are two or three individual student commentaries that make you think your entire performance in this course was a disaster.
Junior faculty are those who are more impacted by student evaluations. First, because colleges and universities are more and more using these evaluations as a core measurement to decide whether a faculty is growing toward excellent teaching. In addition, it is not totally clear how tenure-process committees interpret this data. Second, lack of experience and a natural insecurity that almost everyone has at the beginning of a career might be factors that impact junior faculty’s reading and understanding of this data.
For the first impact, I don’t have a brilliant idea of how this data from students can be better used by tenure-process committees. However, they must consider that this data is not the only one to be considered in a process. Also, the weight of this data must be relative to its objectivity. There is a big dilemma here. On the one hand, this data provides objective numbers for those who are in the tenure-process committees, especially those who are from areas other than teaching, such as administrators. They tend to like these objective numbers. On the other hand, the objective numbers are not from objective subjects after consideration of all variables that can interfere in the final result. For example, gender inequality studies have shown that students tend to score lower their female professor, based on the fact they are female, and students have a worse discipline with course led by female teacher than they have with a male. More and more, college and university are considering this data from student evaluations as a key element for promotion, even with no measurement of variables.
Second, junior faculty who are suffering with their student evaluations and/or those mean commentaries must try to understand this data, considering that you are the best person to interpret these evaluations; why? Because you are the only one who will read these evaluations who know the students evaluating you. Be honest to yourself. These evaluations can genuine help you to improve your teaching, range from your methods to access student learning to your sensitive to student individual difficulties. Don’t be blind to the signs behind the numbers. When you are reading and interpreting this data, consider your experience in the classroom, your relationship with your students, their response to your lectures, questions, and requirements, the effort they put in your course and any other elements that you judge important to be considered in order to understand the dynamism of the course. Thus, you can evaluate what worked and what did not work; what was a good experience and is fair to use again, and what was not a good attempt and must be reformulated or eliminated from your course. Those data from your self-evaluation/reflection will put you in a better position to interpret the data originated from student evaluations. Finally, talk to your mentor (if you have one) or a senior faculty whom you trust and recognize as a professional who wants help you. She/he will help you to see what you do not see on your teaching, help you to interpret the data and create goals and a path toward them in order to achieve excellent teaching. Hoping that this relationship will be supported by trust and companionship, a new space of dialogue and learning will be created for your own growth.
In conclusion, junior faculty never forget that you are humans. Therefore, excellence in teaching is always a human excellence, that is, limited, imperfect and vulnerable to failures. After interpreting student evaluations, take a time to have joy during the school break. I believe that good teachers are those who know how to teach as much as they know how to have joy.
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