With the Pope’s impending trip to Brazil the media is trying to frame the trip with the usual hooks. Either it is framed around the loss of Catholics in Brazil (even though the trend has stabilized) or it is all about liberation theology. Larry Rohter of New York Times News Service decided that liberation theology was his hook in as story titled Benedict to confront liberation theology. First off the idea that Pope Benedict is using this Apostolic visitation to confront liberation theology is rather silly in the first place. Liberation theology is a dying movement, not a growing theological fire needing specific confrontation by the Pope during his visit.
Now Cardinal Ratzinger is Pope Benedict XVI, and when he arrives here on Wednesday for his first pastoral visit to Latin America he may be surprised at what he finds. Liberation theology, which he once called "a fundamental threat to the faith of the church," persists as an active, even defiant force in Latin America, home to nearly half the world’s 1 billion Roman Catholics.
The current population of Brazil is around 188,078,261 and a reported Catholic population around 139.24 million . How that becomes nearly half of the world’s over 1 billion Catholics is math hard for me to understand even as a public school graduate. Good thing the MSM has editors to prevent these problems.
In the past, adherents stood firm as death squads made scores of martyrs to the movement, ranging from Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of El Salvador, killed in 1980 while celebrating Mass, to Dorothy Mae Stang, an American-born nun shot to death in the Brazilian Amazon in February 2005. Compared to that, the pressures of the Vatican are nothing to fear, they maintain.
Okay the population error was no big deal, but Archbishop Romero as a Liberation Theology adherent? His appointment as Archbishop was not exactly met with joy by Liberation Theologians and other radical priests. I have never heard that he was a direct advocate of Liberation Theology and surely if he had been the investigation for his canonization would have stalled if he was. I am not exactly sure what murdered nun Dorothy Mae Stang connection was to Liberation Theology was either. She was a rain forest activist and someone who helped the poor. Maybe in the case of the Archbishop and this nun if you help the poor in South America then you are automatically involved in Liberation Theology. I guess it was a miracle that Blessed Mother Teresa and the myriads before her were able to help the poor without Liberation Theology.
" Despite everything, we continue to endure in a kind of subterranean way," said Luiz Antonio Rodrigues dos Santos, a 55-year-old teacher active in the movement for nearly 30 years. "Let Rome and the critics say what they want; we simply persevere in our work with the poor and the oppressed."
Funny I thought love of neighbor was taught long before the Marxist influence Liberation Theology ever came about. Helping the poor and the oppressed doesn’t require one to buy flaky theology to do so.
With four priests present, readings from the Bible alternated with more worldly concerns: criticisms of government proposals to reduce pensions and workers’ rights under the Brazilian labor code. The service ended with the Lord’s Prayer and then a hymn.
"In the land of mankind, conceived of as a pyramid, there are few at the top, and many at the bottom," the congregation sang. "In the land of mankind, those at the top crush those at the bottom. Oh, people of the poor, people subjected to domination, what are you doing just standing there? The world of mankind has to be changed, so arise people, don’t stand still."
Wow what an uplifting hymn. Yes if only Marxist concepts were followed an we gave power to the government to help the poor. Just ignore history and practice then we can have an inverted pyramid. Funny thing about inverted pyramids is that in reality they always fall over when you place them top down.
At the behest of conservatives, the Vatican has imposed sanctions on the liberation theologians Gustavo Gutierrez of Peru, Leonardo Boff of Brazil and, most recently, Jon Sobrino of El Salvador, a Jesuit born in Spain. But when the Vatican admonished Sobrino in March, Pedro Casaldaliga of Brazil, one of the bishops most committed to liberation theology, wrote an open letter calling on the church to reaffirm its "real commitment to the service of God’s poor" and "the link between faith and politics."
It is not surprise that Jon Sobrino Christology which is quite deficient was condemned, though they never mention that it was specifically his Christology that was condemned not Liberation Theology specifically. Though they are connected. Often Liberation Theologians have created an earthly Gospel and evil is confined to bad social, political, or economic structures. The picture of Jesus becomes less the Son of God who died for our sins but instead a radical revolutionary who came to give us new social structures to help the poor.
That is exactly the dumbest part of the media when they address Liberation Theology is that they always relate it as the Vatican cracking down on theologians helping the poor. Not the fact that the critique of it is not its desired end, but the bad theology used to support an Marxist solution to this end. How many of these journalist ever read the document by Cardinal Ratzinger for the CDF Instruction on Certain Aspects of "Theology of Liberation"? Few if any judging by the news stories.
Now what I am favor of is Libation Theology. Something along the line of Theology on Tap or just reading or speaking on theology along with a good beer. I think Libation Theology could become quite a popular movement and of course we could quote Benjamin Franklin "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Of course scripturally we would have a solid basic for Libation theology all through the Old Testament and of course Jesus’ first miracle would be a good example or St. Paul’s advice for Timothy stomach ailment.
Updated: un-Muted Mumblings has found the preferred cereal of Liberation Theologians.