MT Dávila at Theology Salon:
The Occupy Movement has been labeled as having no clear goals or set of demands, or no reasonable platform. And yet, theirs is the clamor of those who find life under threat on many fronts. Many of the statements from the general assemblies highlight how the current economic system in which we participate promote unjust financial relationships that are harmful to the environment, encourage a culture of violence to promote our interests, place the majority (99%) in fragile economic positions, threaten our jobs, lift protections from our homes and other sources of generational wealth, and make it almost impossible to be economically responsible for ourselves and those we love and the generations to come. Deeper still, many have reached the realization that these are not simply economic concerns but questions about the core of our human experience and dignity, about who we are as persons and as a society, and whether we value the common good and promote conditions that respect the dignity and integrity of every member of our society and the human family globally. In short, I find that the Occupy movement is promoting a moral re-development program, an awakening to the ways in which the economic practices of the past century violate our ability to relate to ourselves, to others, to our communities, and our world in ways that promote human dignity.
I find the synergy between the Occupy movement and the principles of Catholic Social Teaching promising for promoting the conscientization of Christians in the U.S. into a new social and economic reality that holds human dignity, being and not having (as John Paul II and now Benedict XVI promote in their discussions on capitalism) at the center of all we do. I encourage you to take the reflections that follow in this series as study guides, conversation starters, resources for preaching, or personal meditation to examine the interplay between our nation’s conscience, the Occupy Movement, and the life of Christian discipleship.