Bill O'Reilly and Liberation Theology

Last night on the Factor O’Reilly equated Liberation Theology with basic tenents of the Catholic Faith. Did he miss speak? What is the Holy See’s current position on Liberation Theology? What is Liberation Theology in simple language? Did anyone watch? Does anyone know?

Don’t know if this is the real deal but here is some info

thanks…yes, very real. The message self identified Catholics like Bill O’Reilly put out is very important. I will e-mail him a correction if necessary. We can do our part to educate ourselves and the pundants who are sincere as I feel Bill is.

The whole class struggle part, the oppressed and the oppressors, really does not help Christianity in my opinion.


Do you have a transcript of what O’Reilly said? It’s hard to comment without knowing the context. :frowning:

I have been trying to find out about liberation theology myself. Here’s a thoughtful article.
There is also a short explanation at wikipedia

I think O’Reilly is, at times, as reliable a commentator on Christian doctrine as Nancy Pelosi.

The Church does not endorse the principles of the theologies of liberation.

CDF has published the definitive work on the matter:

Instruction on certain aspects of the “Theology of Liberation” – Libertatis nuntius (1984)

IMHO, the money quotes from that document are:

This all-embracing conception thus imposes its logic and leads the “theologies of liberation” to accept a series of positions which are incompatible with the Christian vision of humanity. In fact, the ideological core borrowed from Marxism, which we are referring to, exercises the function of a ‘determining principle’. It has this role in virtue of its being described as “scientific”, that is to say, true of necessity.

But the “theologies of liberation”, which reserve credit for restoring to a place of honor the great texts of the prophets and of the Gospel in defense of the poor, go on to a disastrous confusion between the ‘poor’ of the Scripture and the ‘proletariat’ of Marx. In this way they pervert the Christian meaning of the poor, and they transform the fight for the rights of the poor into a class fight within the ideological perspective of the class struggle.


Faced with the urgency of certain problems, some are tempted to emphasize, unilaterally, the liberation from servitude of an earthly and temporal kind. **They do so in such a way that they seem to put liberation from sin in second place, and so fail to give it the primary importance it is due. **Thus, their very presentation of the problems is confused and ambiguous. Others, in an effort to learn more precisely what are the causes of the slavery which they want to end, make use of different concepts without sufficient critical caution. It is difficult, and perhaps impossible, to purify these borrowed concepts of an ideological inspiration which is compatible with Christian faith and the ethical requirements which flow from it.

Also, consider the words of Paul VI back in 1968:

The distrust, that even in Catholic circles has spread about the validity of the fundamental principles of reason, ie our “perennial philosophy” has disarmed before the attacks, not seldom radicals and disinformation, of fashionable thinkers, the “vacuum” produced in our schools of philosophy by abandoning reliance on the great masters of Christian thought, is frequently invaded by a shallow and almost slavish conformity fashion philosophies often so simplistic and misleading: and they have shaken our normal art, humane and wise to think the truth, we are tempted to historicism, relativism, subjectivism, neo-positivism, which in the field of faith create a subversive spirit of criticism and a false persuasion that to attract and evangelize the people of our time, we must abandon the doctrinal heritage, accumulated over centuries by the Magisterium of the Church, and that we can model, not because of better clarity of expression but a change of dogmatic content , a new Christianity, as the man, not far from the true word of God.

or the words of John Paul II back in 1979:

[LEFT][FONT=Georgia][size=2]In fact, today there occur in many places—the phenomenon is not a new one—“re-readings” of the Gospel, the result of theoretical speculations rather than authentic meditation on the word of God and a true commitment to the Gospel.[/size][/FONT][/LEFT]
[LEFT]They cause confusion by diverging from the central criteria of the faith of the Church, and some people have the temerity to pass them on, under the guise of catechesis, to the Christian communities.

[LEFT]In some cases either Christ’s divinity is passed over in silence, or some people in fact fall into forms of interpretation at variance with the Church’s faith. Christ is said to be merely a “prophet”, one who proclaimed God’s Kingdom and love, but not the true Son of God, and therefore not the centre and object of the very Gospel message.

In other cases people claim to show Jesus as politically committed, as one who fought against Roman oppression and the authorities, and also as one involved in the class struggle. This idea of Christ as a political figure, a revolutionary, as the subversive man from Nazareth, does not tally with the Church’s catechesis. By confusing the insidious pretexts of Jesus’ accusers with the—very different—attitude of Jesus himself, some people adduce as the cause of his death the outcome of a political conflict, and nothing is said of the Lord’s will to deliver himself and of his consciousness of his redemptive mission.

Much better to stick with the Church on this matter than with O’Reilly and the liberation theologians.

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