Dean Dettloff is the Central Ontario research and advocacy officer for Development and Peace - Caritas Canada. He holds a Ph.D. from the Institute for Christian Studies in Toronto, and is an editor at Geez Magazine.

Posts By This Author

Embargo Is a Polite Word; For Cubans, It’s ‘Crucifixion’

by Dean Dettloff 01-18-2024

Cuban women carry a cross through the streets of a neighborhood in Havana at the a re-enactment of the Via Crucis during Good Friday celebrations, April 9, 2004. Credit: Reuters/Claudia Daut CD.

On my first trip to Cuba in 2022, I met Jorge González Nuñez, president of the Movimiento Estudiantil Cristiano de Cuba (MEC). I asked how he would describe the situation the Cuban people were living in, impacted by the U.S.’ decades-old trade embargo and other policies introduced by the administrations of former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, from a theological perspective. His answer stuck with me.

“The Cuban people are going through a crucifixion,” he said without hesitation. “It is hard to have hope.”

He paused and then added, “But there is resurrection.”

Cuba’s Progressive Christians Are Making Their Country More Inclusive

by Dean Dettloff 10-07-2022

People pass in a vintage car in front of a rainbow flag hanging beside a Cuban flag at the Health Ministry building in Havana, Cuba, May 17, 2021. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

Cubans celebrated the results of a landmark referendum on Sept. 25 that legalized same-sex marriage, redefined the legal family, expanded rights for the elderly and children, and more. 

Is Pope Francis a Liberation Theologian?

by Dean Dettloff 10-26-2021

Pope Francis greets a member of an indigenous community of the Amazon during celebrations for the Feast of Saint Francis in the Vatican Gardens, at the Vatican October 4, 2019. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

Speaking with an Argentine accent, amplifying the voice of the poor, indicting the rich, and betting it all on grassroots movements, we might even ask, do we finally have a liberation theologian in St. Peter’s chair?

The Recent Amazon Union Effort Failed — Churches Can Help

by Dean Dettloff 04-28-2021

Danny Gonzalez makes deliveries for Amazon during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Anaheim, California, U.S., March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Alex Gallardo

Theological language might seem out of place from an organizer in a secular union, but faith has been a constant piece of the campaign in Bessemer. While the first vote was a loss for Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, the historic effort offers important lessons for the relationship between faith, labor organizing, and the struggle for racial justice.

The Socialist Catholic Sister

by Dean Dettloff 11-19-2018
How Sister Kathleen Schultz Worked for Radical Change in the Belly of the World's Wealthiest Nation


Chile Solidarity event at Holy Trinity Church, sponsored by Detroit’s Latin America Task Force with Anita Surma, Detroit-area dancer, and Ismael Duran, local Chilean guitarist and singer. 1979. Image courtesy of Kathleen Schultz. 

“Socialism” is increasingly losing its status as a dirty word in the United States, especially among young people. A Gallup poll from this year reports an increase in positive attitudes toward socialism and a decline in positive attitudes toward capitalism from Americans aged 18-29, consistent with other polling trends from previous years. Though there is no shortage of Christians wringing their hands over the changing political landscape, Christians have also shown up at strikes, campaigned for candidates endorsed by socialists, and joined socialist organizations.

There are many faithful Christians who have worked for radical change in the belly of the world’s wealthiest nation long before the 2016 primaries. Their experience brings lessons and context for today’s budding movements. One of these Christians is Sister Kathleen Schultz, a Roman Catholic sister who served as the National Executive Secretary of Christians for Socialism (CFS) in the U.S. for almost a decade. At 76 years old, she remains a thorn in the side of the powerful.