The Superior General of the Jesuits, Father Adolfo Nicolas, said this week he was disappointed that Liberation Theology has not received a “vote of confidence,” and he said the controversial approach should be given more time to mature.
In an interview with El Periodico, Father Nicolas said Liberation Theology “is a courageous and creative response to an unbearable situation of injustice in Latin America. As with any theology, it needs years to mature. It’s a shame that it has not been given a vote of confidence and that soon its wings will be cut before it learns to fly. It needs more time.”
During the interview, Father Nicolas admitted that the Jesuits have diminished in number but he said the Society of Jesus is still “the most theologically and doctrinally visible group” in the Church, and therefore, “It’s only natural that we get more attention,” he said alluding to the supposed vigilance of the Society by the Pope.
Asked about the feeling many have that the Jesuits “look down upon other orders,” Father Nicolas said, “This is a weakness we have and it is quite common. This comes from the fact that in the Society we have always insisted on the concern for quality and in-depth formation. The problem is that we are human beings, and we don’t realize that that capability has been given to us, it’s not because of our pretty face.”
Regarding the hostility of the Spanish government towards the Church in some matters related to social policy, Father Nicolas said, “Because I am used to the climate of moderate secularism that is present in Japan, where I lived for many years, I find the Socialist government to be, with all due respect, immature, in the sense that unemployment, educational and immigration problems are so great that I think time is being wasted in worrying about relations with the Church.”
He said it was “possible” that the Church in Spain has “a tendency to be reprimanding.” “I’ve always found it bothersome and incomprehensible that a priest lectures his people. What right does he have to do that? It’s a mistake,” Father Nicolas said.