I am not quite sure what to make of this story of Father Beltran who works with the poorest of the poor in the Philippines who are garbage dump scavengers.
"We’re talking about thousands of families buying thousands of pesos of basic commodities, the poor helping the poor and the parishes benefiting. Even if your baptisms and marriages are free, you’ll be able to run the parish in the black," he said. "We’ll liberate the parishes for enterprise development and job creation. And we’ll tell people that if they don’t buy our organic health soap it will be 10 more years in purgatory for them. That’s what the priests should be saying. They’re good for more than praying the rosary. They can be very good sales agents who use the social networks they have."
Father Beltran said Asians have improved the Latin American model of the liberation theology movement. He said Latin Americans jumped right to politics and did not focus on economics.
They also used "Marxist jargon even though there’s Catholic jargon that means the same thing and doesn’t antagonize the powers," said Father Beltran, who received a doctorate in systematic theology from Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University and taught at a Philippine seminary before becoming pastor of the dump parish.
He seems to have some good ideas for helping the poor, I just hope he is kidding abut threatening more years in purgatory for those who don’t buy his organic soap. The problem with liberation theology was not just the politics of it but the theology of it. Though his approach is directed towards globalization and not socialization.
Father Beltran said the residents of Smokey Mountain should not be confused with that biblical character who found himself living in a garbage dump.
"I don’t like Job. I prefer the Resurrection story, which also took place in a garbage dump. The Resurrection is a better story than Job, which is just about resignation. We don’t need Job around here. We need resurrection," Father Beltran said.
Job found himself living in a garbage dump? Now some interpreters see Job sitting in ashes scraping off his sores with a potsherd as a reference to a garbage dump since they would obviously burn their own garbage, but to say that this is where is lived I think goes to far. I also miss how the resurrection occurred in a garbage dump? Gehenna was a garbage dump that Jesus used as a metaphor for Hell. But Jesus unlike many who were crucified was not burned there, but instead the resurrection occurred in the tomb of a wealthy man.
Now I would agree that the resurrection is a better story than Job, you just can’t get any better than having God saving and redeeming us. But I certainly don’t think you can remove resignation from the resurrection since the crucifixion was certainly a resignation to the will of the Father. Hard to think of the Agony in the Garden without thinking of resignation.
Well, I certainly need Job. Perhaps that is why the Holy Spirit inspired its placement in our Canon. Fr. Beltran better be careful or he may sound a bit arrogant.
I was going to blog that story, but your response is far better than mine would have been.
I don’t have anything against Fr. Beltran’s program – sounds clever, innovative, and helpful to the poor on the face of it. But I can’t help thinking that the only “improved” liberation theology is an eliminated liberation theology.
That’s just the desperation talking. His parish is in a garbage dump…he’s living Job, which may explain why he doesn’t like the story. But yeah, he’s in danger of going off the rails with liberation theology.