Liberation theology’s founder basks in a belated rehabilitation under Pope Francis

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The Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez, the Dominican priest from Peru who is known as the founder of liberation theology, on Wednesday evening (May 6, 2015) at an event in his honor at Fordham University’s Manhattan campus. Photo courtesy of Fordham University/Leo Sorel

The Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez, the Dominican priest from Peru who is known as the founder of liberation theology, on Wednesday evening (May 6, 2015) at an event in his honor at Fordham University’s Manhattan campus. Photo courtesy of Fordham University/Leo Sorel

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NEW YORK (RNS) The Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez is in a sense the Yoda of Catholicism: a small but sage presence who has known vituperation and exile, and who is now able to see his life’s work vindicated.

  • Betty Clermont

    Unfortunately, at 85, Gutierrez apparently has not kept in touch with other Latin Americans:
    Brazilian theologian Ivone Gebara:… To go out into the streets and give food to the poor and pray with prisoners is somewhat humanitarian, but it does not solve the problem of social exclusion that afflicts many of the world’s countries…. The Catholic press says nothing about many people’s suspicions regarding [Bergoglio’s] role during Argentina’s recent military dictatorship, or about his current political stands against gay marriage and the legalization of abortion. Neither do they mention his well-known criticism of liberation theology or his distain for feminist theology.
    http://ncronline.org/news/new-pope-and-geopolitics-secrecy
    [During the pre-conclave] Bergoglio’s profile as a Jesuit known for resisting the liberalizing currents in the order in Latin America during the 1970s was a selling point. http://ncronline.org/news/global/path-papacy-not-him-not-him-therefore-him
    Though he…

  • John P. S.

    No believer in Jesus Christ should have any quarrel with going back to the fundamental message of the Gospel: The Kingdom of God inaugurated by Jesus in which the believers are called to participate as co-workers. How to go about it is to be decided not only by the theology, but also the sociology of the times.We see that the communism practiced in the primitive Church was a failure as later St. Paul had to take collections from the Churches he founded to help the poor of Jerusalem! There should be different models of welfare states taking into account the ethos and mores of various peoples. The Gospel does not recommend anyone as the best model as it is a spiritual message energizing our soul that alone gives life (John. 6:63).
    John P. S.

  • Greg

    Usually in every age the Church has before it certain paramount challenges that require a unique focus. And I think leading up to the election of Francis, the Church became so mired in certain aspects of the Faith–such as battling abortion–that it began to lose focus in other areas. So I believe Francis’ wider more fundamental approach to the Gospel is good, as there is an ongoing total destruction of society in the making, and unless the Church wins back minds, hearts, and souls, then end will be upon us. When one draws back, and looks at the larger picture, it becomes very clear that the Devil is working overtime in every corner of the world to accomplish his plan of destruction, and the only hope is a united God-centered front so to overcome it. The Father will correct things, but only if we implore his help.

  • edwitness

    There was no communism in the early church. No one was forced by gov’t to give any of their substance to anyone. As is the case in communism. As Peter said to Ananias, “While it remained was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own power?” A person freely giving from what belongs to them is not communism.
    When Jesus addressed the kind of situation where a person is forced to “give”, He said “Render unto Caesar(the gov’t) that which is Caesar’s, and unto God the things which are God’s.” He asked whose image was on the coin. It was Caesar’s. That is why He said it belonged to Caesar. We are made in God’s image. Therefore we give our whole selves to God.
    Blessings:-}

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