In his talk with journalist aboard the plane taking him to Brazil, Pope Benedict told the reporters that “ the Liberation Theology was a sort of “Millenarism” that would find no justification in todays Latin America, especially before the great social concern the Church manifests today.
He further explained that “ the mission of the Church is a religious one, However It is open to solutions to the great social problems,” he added.
“There is always space for a legitimate debate on how to create the conditions for Man's liberation and how to make effective the doctrine of the Church on giving Man the human and social conditions, through which values can grow.”
Nevertheless, the Pope made clear that today, “ the situation has greatly changed from when the Liberation Theology started.” “It's obvious that the light promises that made believe that through revolution, the conditions for a fulfilled life could be reached, were false. Everybody is aware of that now, and the question now is how does the Church can still be present in the struggle for justice. On this point, theologians and sociologists diverge,” he added.
The Holy Father explained that before being Pope, as the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, “we tried to free ourselves from false millenarism and politization. Millenarism is a heresy that believes in the imminence of the end of the World and the coming of a reign of peace and justice.”
During his May 9 flight to Brazil the Pope also spoke about Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was an outspoken voice for social change before he was gunned down by a right-wing "death squad" during a Mass at his cathedral in San Salvador. Commenting on a new book about the slain archbishop, the Pope said that the death of Archbishop Romero should not be seen simply as a political figure.
"He was killed during the consecration of the Eucharist," the Pope observed. "Therefore, his death is testimony of the faith.”