.- During a gathering organized by the Conference of Religious Men and Women of Peru--the local branch of the Latin American Confederation of Religious Men and Women--several speakers participating in a Theological seminar launched an attack against the new movements and charisms in the Church.
The seminar entitled, “Religious Life in the Perspective of the Kingdom,” began on August 14th and featured a host of speakers including Dominican priest Father Gustavo Gutierrez, a renowned proponent of Marxist liberation theology, Marianist priest Father Jose Maria Arnaiz of Spain, who has written a book critical of Pope Benedict XVI, and Benedictine priest Father Simon Pedro Arnold, director of the “Institute of Aymaran Studies.”
During his remarks, Father Arnold, a promoter of what he calls the “re-founding of monastic life,” and the “re-founding of the Church,” criticized the new ecclesial movements, as well as Opus Dei, saying the alternative which they propose to the life of the Church is “distorted and erroneous.”
As a response to the crisis in religious life, he proposed “a re-founding of the religious congregations based on a theology of renewed liberation” that incorporates contemporary concerns “such as ecology.”
Marianist priest Father Arnaiz echoed the sentiments of Father Arnold, adding that while he admired the new movements for their “vitality,” he argued the “cultural view” they express “is not the answer to the needs of today.” He claimed that the Church needs a “re-founding of religious life” in order to confront the issues of the contemporary world, and he pointed to Father Pedro Arrupe, who was head of the Jesuit order immediately following Vatican II, as an example of the kind of “re-founders” the Church needs.