Netflix’s “Chasing Coral” documents an unseen environmental disaster

Zach Rago plunges into the water from the edge of a motor boat. Clad in full diving gear, he kicks toward the ocean floor until he reaches an intricate and sprawling coral reef. He examines the coral meticulously, measuring distances and angles before positioning a camera adjacent to the reef. For the next several hours, he labors diligently to photograph the coral. Rago is here to observe the transition of the coral from a brilliantly colored living organism to a decaying corpse.

He is here to document the coral’s death.

Netflix’s documentary “Chasing Coral” (2017) recounts the journey of a team of coral scientists determined to unveil a problem hidden beneath the surface of the global climate change debate: the bleaching—and eventual death—of vast stretches of the world’s coral reefs, including the vibrantly captivating and economically crucial ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Read more at America.

When the K.K.K. came to town, Catholics prayed. Now what?

A holy hour against racial hatred is a profound way to begin this urgent mission of the church: rejecting racism in the clearest possible terms at all times and in all places.

But does the Catholic Church in the United States have the courage to stand up to racism before the K.K.K. comes to town? Or after the K.K.K. leaves town? Will our parishes stand in solidarity with those involved in nonviolent direct action in response to racial hatred?

Read more at America.

In Jefferson’s Shadow: Can Catholic theology thrive at a public university?

Moving from Saint Anselm’s college to a public university, I was confronted with questions about how I would teach the Catholic theological tradition in an institution founded, in part, to keep theology on the margins of academic discourse. Thomas Jefferson gave architectural representation to this commitment by replacing the chapel typically located at the center of universities with a library housed inside of the gleaming Rotunda. I faced a barrage of questions from my former colleagues: Why would a Catholic theologian want to work in such an environment? Is it possible to translate the richness of the Catholic tradition without transgressing the boundary between church and state? How can you shed light on the Catholic tradition without stating anything as truth?

I shared their concerns: Could I really teach theology, in its confessional fullness, at a public university?

Read more at America.

The Invisible Woman: Seeing Migrant Women Through the Eyes of Christ

Sexual harassment is an epidemic in the fields of the food we eat. On June 25, PBS and Univision debuted a documentary in the series “Frontline” entitled “Rape in the Fields.” This report exposed the hidden reality of sexual abuse of women who supply American tables with apples, almonds, lettuce and eggs—untold numbers of women and girls subject to sexual abuse and rape by their male bosses and co-workers.

Since harassment is commonplace and takes place in the isolation of the vast agricultural fields, migrant women often refer to camps as the “fields of panties” or the “green motel.” Rendered invisible in U.S. society by a broken immigration system that simultaneously demands cheap migrant labor and criminalizes undocumented persons, migrant women evade contact with the legal authorities responsible for responding to these crimes. Sexual perpetrators exploit this legal and social invisibility to take sexual advantage of them.

Read more in America Magazine.

Nichole Flores in America: Seeing migrant women through the eyes of Christ

Millennial

Millennial writer Nichole Flores has a new article in America that addresses the issue of sexual violence in the agriculture industry, along with other threats to human dignity and rights:

“The rape of migrant women is but one violation of workers’ rights and human dignity common in U.S. agricultural fields. Undocumented women and men are subject to human trafficking and modern day slavery, wage theft, exposure to hazardous pesticides, family separation and other violations of economic, human and legal rights.”

The full article can be read here.

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