Monday, May 11, 2015

A Tyrant Theologian

Of course, the left would call him a Liberation Theologian

“The perception shared across the dividing lines of politics, philosophy, and theology is that the first Latin American and first Jesuit pope is moving the Catholic Church in a progressive direction.”

“Much of the discussion of Francis understandably relates to his political views, to his recasting of the Church’s leadership around the globe, and to what is in many ways a break with the last 35 years of Church history.”

“But neither should his spiritual radicalism be used to downplay how much change he is bringing about, and how he is moving a profound critique of economic injustice to the Church’s center stage. These are other aspects of his radicalism.”

“He has explicitly denounced ‘trickle-down’ economics by name.”

“That conservatives like Rush Limbaugh have declared the pope’s approach ‘pure Marxism’ should not be surprising.”

“I have offered only a small selection of Francis’s observations on economic justice but it’s obvious that this cause is central to his papacy.”

The pope’s status as a son of Argentina and Latin America is key. His radical language about poverty is the language of the progressive wing of the Church in his region. This represents another break with John Paul and Benedict.”

In 1968, Father Gustavo Gutiérrez, a Peruvian, wrote a paper entitled “Toward a Theology of Liberation,” urging Christians to take on the economic injustices of Latin America and to battle the privileged. It grew into a book published in 1971. Liberation theology was unapologetically radical and its advocates often found themselves in alliance with Marxists.

“Francis did something quite astonishing in light of the recent past: One of his first acts was to invite Gutiérrez to Rome. They celebrated Mass and had breakfast together. The gesture did not represent a formal revocation of what Benedict had written, but it sent an important signal.”

“Leonardo Boff, another liberation theologian condemned by the Vatican in the John Paul years and forced into “penitential silence,” has re-emerged as a staunch defender of Francis. Boff praised Francis as “a pope who comes from the Great South” and who has a “new view of things, from below.”

“Perhaps the clearest sign that Francis’s progressive moves are real and substantive is the pushback he is encountering from conservative prelates.”

“Stephen Moore, a Catholic who is the chief economist at the Heritage Foundation, called Francis ‘a complete disaster’ on public policy who ‘has allied himself with the far left and has embraced an ideology that would make people poorer and less free.’”

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