The Pope speaks in riddles but if you want to know who Pope Francis is, consider these four words – Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.
Pope Francis said in his speech before Congress, “A nation can be considered great when it defends liberty, as Lincoln did; when it fosters a culture which enables people to ‘dream’ of full rights for all their brothers and sisters, as Martin Luther King sought to do; when it strives for justice and the cause of the oppressed, as Dorothy Day did by her tireless work, the fruit of a faith which becomes dialogue and sows peace in the contemplative style of Thomas Merton,”
Day and Merton were left-wing extremists.
Dorothy Day had a voluminous FBI file.
“We need to change the system,” Day wrote in 1956. “We need to overthrow, not the government, as the authorities are always accusing the Communists ‘of conspiring to teach [us] to do,’ but this rotten, decadent, putrid industrial capitalist system which breeds such suffering in the whited sepulcher of New York.”
Thomas Merton told his comrades not to fight culture but to engage it. He was a liberationist and believed in contemplative spirituality, which is Christian mysticism. It’s meditation without God and the Bible.
Religion and politics should never be conflated but they are because it suits the purpose of the elites.
Pope Francis began his speech before Congress Thursday by saying, America, Land of the Free, Home of the Brave. It was very nice. He ended with God Bless America. He didn’t condemn Capitalism and he didn’t call for open borders.
Pope Francis is a warm, kind, humble man who hopes to broaden the church’s appeal and make it more welcoming for people who have felt disenfranchised such as gays, women who have had abortions, and Latin Americans who practice Liberation Theology.
Therein lies the danger. Pope Francis is either sympathetic to Liberation theologists or he is one.
The movement is a political and social movement as much as it is religious. It’s Marxist though many now pretend only some forms are Marxist.
Under the Pope’s ‘Liberation Theology’, the poor suffer most, writer Charles Krauthammer said.
Since Francis became Pope, heinvited radical Liberation theologist Gustavo Gutiérrez to the Vatican.
Father Gutiérrez is a founder of Liberation Theology, the Latin American movement embracing the poor and calling for social change. His brand is Marxist and before Pope Francis, Father Gutiérrez was condemned and unwelcomed in the church. Pope Francis has welcomed him back and his writings are now praised at the Vatican.
Father Gutiérrez is seen by some as a heretic who sees Christ as the progenitor of Karl Marx who is in turn seen as a hero for preaching class warfare. Liberation Theology, according to The Catholic Citizen, is almost complete heresy.
Neither Pope John Paul II nor Pope Benedict XVI trusted liberation theology. Now Pope Francis who speaks of a “poor church for the poor” and hopes to bring the church closer to the masses of the poor, appears to embrace it in some degree. He has said, however, that he is not ideological and warns others against being driven by ideology.
Latin Americans have been pulled towards Evangelism and Francis wants to pull them back.
We had a serious warning sign from the influential Professor Lee at Fordham.
“It is not liberation theology that is being rehabilitated,” said Michael E. Lee, an associate professor of theology at Fordham University who has written extensively about liberation theology. “It is the church that is being rehabilitated.”
Lee is a staunch supporter of Liberation Theology, loose borders, and holds other Progressive ideals. Check out his Twitter page.
Liberation theory includes a critique of the structural causes of poverty and a call for the church and the poor to organize for social change.
The broader movement emerged after a major meeting of Latin American bishops in Medellín, Colombia, in 1968 and was rooted in the belief that the plight of the poor should be central to interpreting the Bible and to the Christian mission.
One of the most radical aspects of Liberation Theology was the social organization, or reorganization, of church practice through the model of Christian base communities (CBCs).
Liberation Theology strove to be a bottom-up movement in practice, with Biblical interpretation and liturgical practice designed by lay practitioners themselves, rather than by the orthodox Church hierarchy.
In this context, sacred text interpretation is understood as “praxis”. Liberation Theology seeks to interpret the actions of the Catholic Church and the teachings of Jesus Christ from the perspective of the poor and disadvantaged.
By approaching theology “from the perspective of the poor”, Liberation theologians believe that they can turn the poor who are “the object of church teaching to the subject of church action” (Edward Russell).
“All that rhetoric made the Vatican very nervous,” said Ivan Petrella, an Argentine lawmaker and scholar of Liberation Theology. “If you were coming from behind the Iron Curtain, you could smell some communism in there.”
John Paul II reacted by appointing conservative bishops in Latin America and by supporting conservative Catholic groups such as Opus Dei and the Legionaries of Christ, which opposed Liberation Theology.
In the 1980s, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — later to become Pope Benedict XVI, but then the Vatican’s enforcer of doctrine — issued two statements on Liberation Theology. The first was very critical, but the second was milder, leading some analysts to wonder if the Vatican was easing up. He was then pushed into retirement.
From his 1973 appointment as head of the Jesuits in Argentina, Francis, then 36 and known as Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was viewed as deeply concerned with the poor. But his alleged failure to prevent the kidnapping and torture of two Liberation Theology priests made him the subject of a great deal of criticism.
Francis was considered divisive and autocratic as leader of the Jesuits. He started to include more dialogue.
On climate change, he dialogues but he dialogues with extremists like Naomi Klein and Hans Schellnhuber.
He became Archbishop of Buenos Aires after his 15 years with the Jesuits and focused on the poor.
Liberation Theology was no longer Marxist in his mind. He began to see economic systems, not just individuals, as sinful.
He reportedly believes globalization is what lifts people from hunger while Capitalism condemns the poor to hunger and inequality.
Some see Francis’s embrace of Liberation Theology as superficial – a “populist maneuver by a great politician.”
José María di Paola, 53, a priest who is close to Francis and once worked with him among the poor of Buenos Aires, said he is pushing to reduce the Vatican’s focus on Europe.
As Pope, Francis has expanded the roles of centrists sympathetic to Liberation Theology, such as Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras, in contrast to the clout once wielded in Latin America by conservative cardinals like Alfonso López Trujillo of Colombia, who died in 2008.
“Trujillo represented the thinking that Liberation Theology was a Trojan horse in which communism would enter the church, something that is finally coming undone with Pope Francis,” said Leonardo Boff, 76, a prominent Brazilian theologian who has written on Liberation Theology.
“He began to surprise people,” said Jon Sobrino, a prominent Liberation theologian who became close to Archbishop Romero and credited his transformation to his embrace of the poor.
“They made him be different, be more radical, like Jesus,” Father Sobrino said. “He drew near to them, and they approached him, asking for help in their suffering. That was what changed him.”
In 2007, Father Sobrino had his own clash with the Vatican when the doctrinal office disputed some of his writings. He refused to alter them and attributed the freeze on Archbishop Oscar Romero’s beatification partly to Vatican hostility.
“It has taken a new pope to change the situation,” he said.
John Paul II, who did not want the church politicized condemned Liberation Theology. He attempted to silence prominent Church liberals.
“This conception of Christ as a political figure, a revolutionary, as the subversive of Nazareth,” the Pontiff once said, “does not tally with the church’s catechism.”
In 1982, the Pope stopped in Argentina. As he decried the Falkland war, his priests and nuns expressed their support for it by waving banners, saying, “Holy Father bless our war.”
In 1983, he made his famous trip to Central America where his clerics held a number of positions in the left-wing government. John Paul II publicly scolded Ernesto Cardenal. In private, he negotiated the ex-communication of Miguel D’Escoto, a Jesuit who’d joined the Sandinista’s government [Communist’s] with permission from his order.
He had warned him to “straighten out the situation in your church.” Cardenal was one of the most prominent Liberation Theologians of the Sandinista era.
In 1984, the Brazilian Franciscan Leonardo Boff, a brilliant Liberation theologian, was summoned to the Vatican to answer for his latest book. In it, he used Marxist language to critique the Church and analyze its mission. He was silenced, forbidden from speaking or publishing his work. Ultimately, Boff felt compelled to leave the priesthood.
Pope John Paul II was accused by some of being narrow-minded and thinking in “Polish.”
According to PBS, John Paul softened towards Liberation Theology towards the end of his life. When Communism fell in Poland, John Paul II was allegedly bitterly disappointed that they embraced Western capitalism with its consumerism, celebrated licentiousness and legalized abortion.
On the other hand as military dictators fell, the communities which were at the heart of Liberation theology formed a social fabric he allegedly approved of which led him to allegedly congratulate them for their Socialism.
Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, called Liberation Theology a “singular heresy,” He blasted the new movement as a “fundamental threat” to the church and prohibited some of its leading proponents from speaking publicly.
In an effort to clean house, Ratzinger even summoned outspoken priests to Rome and censured them on grounds that they were abandoning the church’s spiritual role for inappropriate socioeconomic activism, according to PBS.
Pope John Paul II gave the opening speech at the Puebla Conference in 1979. The general tone of his remarks was conciliatory. He criticized radical Liberation Theology, saying, “this conception of Christ, as a political figure, a revolutionary, as the subversive of Nazareth, does not tally with the Church’s catechisms”; however, he did speak of “the ever increasing wealth of the rich at the expense of the ever increasing poverty of the poor”, and affirmed both the principle of private property and that the Church “must preach, educate individuals and collectivities, form public opinion, and offer orientations to the leaders of the peoples” towards the goal of a “more just and equitable distribution of goods”.
At the Vatican, December 8, 2009, Pope Benedict said communities in Brazil still need to get past the divisions caused by Marxist Liberation Theology.
The Pope encouraged Brazilian bishops, present for a five-yearly visit, to help heal the wounds left by the materialist theology when he spoke with them.
The Pope explained to the Brazilian bishops:
“its [Marxist Liberation Theology] more or less visible consequences, made up of rebellion, division, disagreement, offense and anarchy can still be felt, creating great suffering in your diocesan communities and a serious loss of living energies.”
“I implore all those who, in some way, have felt attracted, involved and touched in their interior by certain deceitful principles of liberation theology to take up again that document, receiving the gentle light that it offers with open hands,” the Bishop of Rome continued.
“Citing Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI explained how Marxist philosophy cannot underly the Church’s faith, but rather, “the unity that the Spirit has put between sacred Tradition, sacred Scripture and the magisterium of the Church in such a reciprocity that the three cannot subsist in an independent way.”
There are two factions in the Catholic church, Traditional Conservative and Progressive. The Progressives are now in charge.
The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, once under the leadership of the Progressive Cardinal Turkson, is a social justice council now being given a great deal of power. These councils are think tanks.
Liberation Theology muddles catechism with its dependency on “the greater good” principle. When applied to the illegal immigration debate in the United States, it violated Catholic dogma and U.S. law, according to The Catholic Citizen.
According to Liberation Theology, “..to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him. (CCC2241)
The liberation theologian will argue that this makes any laws limiting or abrogating immigration contrary to the Magisterium. They use this passage to back up their belief that the Gospel clearly says the poor must be given option over all others. They forget how generous many of the rich are.
Pope Francis has not said he advocates for open borders. He supports the church’s role in helping illegal immigrants.
Many now claim there are various strands of Liberation Theology, one being Marxist Liberation Theology which is reportedly not the Liberation Theology Pope Francis is encouraging, however, by its nature and principles, it is Socialist. It’s a social, political movement which uses region as its basis.
Pope Francis talks in riddles and trying to find the references for his statements or the degree which he wants to travel down a certain road is difficult. You will have to be the judge.
Pope Francis might be trying to bring back the Latin American and other Liberation Catholics but will he lose traditional Catholics along the way? There is no place at the table for the Conservative Catholic.