In an interview published by the Brazilian paper, O Globo, the prelate said he was consulted on the relations of the Vatican and Marxist-based Liberation Theology by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger when he was the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. Hummes said he held then, as he does now, that the use of a Marxist model brings a lot of politics to the Church.
"A great point of conflict was the use of the Marxist analysis inside theology. That produced a great disagreement between the Pope and some liberation theologians who were using it. In addition, the Marxist analysis brings (theology) to materialism and atheism and leads to an armed revolution", indicated the new Prefect.
"With Liberation Theology, some theologians were using a Marxist view as an analysis of reality, as if the Marxist analysis was scientific. Pope John Paul II offered a warning about this and of course Cardinal Ratzinger and I concurred," he added.
"The Marxist analysis is a much more an ideological analysis than a scientific one," he explained. Likewise, he was consulted regarding the social problems that affect many Catholic communities and clarified that there are urgent issues like "conquering poverty, the question of employment, the question of fair wages, the rights of workers.” However, Hummes notes, the Marxist ideology has not solved the problems.
I think, Hummes continued, "the world has changed. Clearly it has changed as we all change and we should change with history. One cannot use the same thoughts and practices of 1980’s today."
Cardinal Hummes is preparing to travel to the Vatican in a few weeks to assume his new post, and is awaiting the appointment of his successor as Archbishop of San Paulo.
The cardinal says he is "optimistic" about the Pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI and hopes for some "good surprises."
For Cardinal Hummes, the world has created a distorted image of the Holy Father. "He is a very intelligent man, very kind, very fine, very wise, very friendly, and very goodhearted."
"The world has made him a caricature, due to his responsibilities as the Prefect of the Doctrine of Faith, where once in awhile he had to say: 'Look, that does not belong to our faith,'" Hummes affirmed.
The new Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, explained that a Marxist analysis (or view) of the faith "brings (theology) to materialism and atheism and leads to an armed revolution."