'Chasm' exists between Pope, liberation theology
Pope Francis during his general audience on May 15, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA..
Pope Francis during his general audience on May 15, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA..

.- Even though Pope Francis is deeply concerned for the poor and has been praised by liberation theologians, there is a stark divide between the pontiff and them, according to a Vatican analyst.

“There is a chasm between the vision of the Latin American liberation theologians and the vision of this Argentine pope,” Sandro Magister wrote May 16 in the Italian publication “L'Espresso.”

This is despite perceptions that “when, just three days after his election as pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio called for 'a Church that is poor and for the poor,' his admission among the ranks of the revolutionaries seemed like a done deal.”

Liberation theology developed in Latin America in the 1950s as a Marxist interpretation of the gospel, focusing on freedom from material poverty and injustice rather than giving primacy to spiritual freedom.

While Pope Francis has been praised by Leonardo Boff, a former Franciscan priest and a leader among liberation theologians, the Roman Pontiff “always registered his disagreement with (liberation theology), even at the cost of finding himself isolated.”

“He knows liberation theology well, he saw it emerge and spread among his Jesuit confrères as well,” Magister wrote.

Rather than being influenced by Boff and other radical liberation theologians, Pope Francis took to Father Juan Carlos Scannone, one of his professors.

Magister said that Fr. Scannone “elaborated a theology not of liberation, but 'of the people,' founded on the culture and religious devotion of the common people, of the poor in the first place, with their traditional spirituality and their sense of justice.”

It was this “people's theology” that the Bishop of Rome has embraced, and not a theology of liberation.

In the preface to a 2006 book by Guzmán Carriquiry on the legacy and future of Latin America, Pope Francis wrote of liberation theology: “After the collapse of 'real socialism,' these currents of thought were plunged into confusion. Incapable of either radical reformulation or new creativity, they survived by inertia, even if there are still some today who, anachronistically, would like to propose it again.”

This “dismissive” judgement of liberation theology, Magister said, is “an enthusiasm for progress that in reality backfires” on Catholic identity.

Pope Francis' frequent references to spiritual realities are a sign of his non-alignment with the immanence characteristic of liberation theology, while at the same time having a deep concern for the poor.

During a homily for a daily Mass said April 30, the Roman Pontiff said that Christ is the one to whom “the prince of this world” comes but can do nothing against. “If we don’t want the prince of this world to take the Church into his hands, we must entrust it to the One who can defeat the prince of this world,” said Pope Francis.
And yet, on May 16, he reminded new ambassadors to the Holy See that he “loves everyone, rich and poor alike, but the Pope has the duty, in Christ's name, to remind the rich to help the poor, to respect them, to promote them.”

Tags: Pope Francis, Liberation Theology

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 25, 2014

Friday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 21:1-14


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Mark, the Evangelist »


Homily of the Day

Jn 21:1-14


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: