Sor Juana de la Cruz, Prostitution, and Immigration

First off, flying out for an on-campus interview tomorrow, so keep me in your prayers.

More interestingly, and importantly, I heard a wonderful homily last night at the Paulist Center by Fr. Rubén Patiño. The Gospel for the day was the story of the woman caught in adultery, when Christ asks the one without sin to cast the first stone. Now, I've heard many sermons about this that have simply repeated the normal bourgie ethos of "live and let live", of a privatizing tolerance that talks about the need not to judge other people. And, to some extent, that's all well and good. But Rubén brought this to a whole new level by connecting the story with the recent immigration raids in New Bedford, and the need for the church to speak as church for the dignity of immigrants, legal and illegal.

He quoted a poem about prostitution by the 17th century Mexican poet and mystic Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz:

Quién será más de culpar

aunque cualquiera mal haga:
La que peca por la paga,
o el que paga por pecar

Roughly, who is more to blame, the one who sins for pay, or the one who pays for sin? Without denying the fact that illegal immigration is a problem, Rubén talked about how those who we, as a nation, are expelling and punishing, are here because of the poverty in their own countries, and also to maintain us in our cheap clothing, services, and other goods. It reminds me of the words of a confession of sin used in the episcopal church: "We repent of the evil that enslaves us, the evil we have done, and the evil done on our behalf." As an article in the Boston Globe points out today, the evil done on our behalf against immigrants and their families is part of a Homeland Security plan that will grow in strength and impact in the coming years. May God forgive us, and give us the strength to welcome the stranger and speak for her rights.


Notification on Sobrino

is now available. I would comment, but I have a dissertation due...


Yes, I'm Alive; Sobrino in Trouble

So I'm still here, barely...haven't posted in over a month, largely because I've been working my theological tuches off to get my dissertation completed. It looks likely that I'll be defending soon, I'll keep you posted.

But I'm coming out of a brief blog-sabbath because of some disturbing news out of the Vatican, Jon Sobrino, one of the most important liberation theologians from Latin America still writing and teaching today (I taught his book on theodicy in the context of the Salvadoran earthquakes, Where is God?, for class a few years back) is likely to be placed under censure by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, according to El Mundo. Just when BXVI and Levada were getting some kindler, gentler press....

Here's the story from Catholic World News.

Madrid, Mar. 9, 2007 (CWNews.com) - A Jesuit theologian who is a leading exponent of liberation theology will soon be disciplined by the Vatican, according to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

Father Jon Sobrino will be barred from teaching in Catholic schools and instructed not to publish written works, El Mundo reports, citing informed sources at the Vatican. The newspaper claims that the disciplinary measures will be announced by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith within the next two weeks.

Father Sobrino’s work was cited as distorting the role of Jesus in the plan of salvation, the Vatican sources said. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reportedly found that his theological works placed an undue emphasis on the figure of Jesus as a human actor involved in social causes, neglecting his divinity and his unique role in Redemption.

Father Sobrino, a Basque priest, became an influential leader in the school of liberation theology during his years in El Salvador. He taught at the University of Central America, an institution that was caught up in the civil war of the 1980s when 6 Jesuits and 2 staff members were killed by right-wing death squads in 1988.