This month the Journal of Lutheran Ethics features two editorials by ELCA leaders who live personally and professionally with the myriad issues facing Puerto Rico. These concerns also lie close to the heart and mind of JLE’s editor Carmelo Santos who first suggested this topic, sought out the appropriate writers, and translated one of the essays into English. I am stepping in as Guest Editor only to assist in finalizing publication due to family circumstances that prevent Dr. Santos from overseeing the last few steps to publication. (We look forward to his return next month!)
In this issue Bishop Felipe Lozada-Montañez of the ELCA’s Caribbean Synod lays out for readers the current economic and political situation in the commonwealth. Likewise, Dr. Jose David Rodriguez of the Lutheran School of Theology Chicago reflects out of his experience and thought about a Christian response to the question of autonomy. Taken together, the two writers demonstrate how difficult the issues of decolonization can be when local corruption, economic interests and international indifference tangle together. At the same time, they project hope and a way forward, with a role for Christians who hear the call to tend to neighbor justice. As an Anglo with my limited knowledge of the difficulties and turmoil eddying through Puerto Rico, these reflections have challenged my illiteracy and stirred my heart with both sorrow and hope. I can only urge all readers to accept the same challenge offered by these editorials.