Loading
Francis' teacher says Pope never supported Marxist theology
Pope Francis holds an audience with students from Jesuit-run schools in Italy and Albania in Paul VI Hall June 7, 2013. Credit: Lauren Cater/CNA.
Pope Francis holds an audience with students from Jesuit-run schools in Italy and Albania in Paul VI Hall June 7, 2013. Credit: Lauren Cater/CNA.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- One of Pope Francis' former teachers says in a new book that the Holy Father has never supported a Marxist-based liberation theology.

“In the Argentinean Liberation Theology, social Marxist analysis is not used, but rather a historical-cultural analysis, not based on class warfare as a determining principle for the interpretation of society and history,” said Argentinean Jesuit priest Fr. Juan Carlos Scannone.

“I think that the pastoral work of Bergoglio is understood in this context.”

Fr. Scannone’s remarks are included in an extensive interview in the recent book “Francis Our Brother Our Friend” (Ignatius Press, 2013) authored by CNA's executive director Alejandro Bermudez.

The book’s release comes amid speculation by Vatican analysts regarding liberation theology, a controversial school of thought that developed in Latin America in the 1950s. Liberation theology has been criticized as a Marxist interpretation of the gospel, focusing on freedom from material poverty and injustice rather than giving primacy to spiritual freedom.

Although the meeting was not listed among the Pope’s official private audiences, the Vatican confirmed that at the request of Archbishop Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Pope Francis this week received Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez, the Peruvian theologian credited with being one of the founders of liberation theology.

Archbishop Müller’s personal friendship with the 85-year-old theologian – who is thought to have become a Dominican in the late 90's to avoid being under the jurisdiction of the current Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani – has sparked speculations about how much Pope Francis supports the “official acceptance” of theology of liberation at the Vatican.

The speculations from some Vatican analysts grew after the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, ran a short essay from Fr. Gutierrez.

The essay was originally published as part of a book co-written with Archbishop Muller, published in Germany 14 years ago and recently translated to Italian. Gutierrez was in Rome for the presentation of the Italian edition.

However, Fr. Scannone – who taught Pope Francis during his formation period – contends that “there are different currents” within Liberation Theology, which he has studied extensively.

The Argentine current, he said, “which never used Marxist categories or the Marxist analysis of society, but rather, without disregarding the social analysis, it privileges a more historical, cultural analysis.”

“My opinion is that the Argentinean line of Liberation Theology, that some call ‘Theology of the people,’ helps understand the pastoral work of Bergoglio as Bishop, just like many of his affirmations and teachings.”

“There are things that I believe marked Bergoglio in a special way, above all the issue of the evangelization of the culture, an issue of popular piety,” the priest said, observing that it is part of the Pope’s personal “style” to speak “about the faithful people.”

When Pope Francis came out on the balcony of St. Peter’s after first being elected, Fr. Scannone noted, “the first thing that he did was to ask the faithful to pray for him so that God would bless him, before he gave the blessing to the people. That is very much him.”

“He always supports this type of theology and I believe that formed part of the environment where he did his pastoral work,” Fr. Scannone continued. “In fact, the issue of popular piety and the evangelization of the culture, and the enculturation of the Gospel are key to this current of theology.”

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

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Nov
27

Liturgical Calendar

November 27, 2014

Thursday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 17:11-19

Gospel
Date
11/27/14
11/25/14
11/24/14

Daily Readings


Gospel:: Lk 21: 20-28

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
11/27/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 17:11-19

Homily
Date
11/27/14
11/25/14
11/24/14