Latin-American Bishops’ President: Liberation Theology Is ‘Archaic’

True liberation ‘is not abut class warfare,’ said Mexican Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes; it ‘is showing the merciful face of God the Father, the tenderness of God among us.’


ROME — While in Rome last week, the president of the Latin American Bishops’ Council said at a news conference that the Church in the region has fortunately moved beyond liberation theology.
“The relevant figures of liberation theology are all very elderly, and liberation theology as such, as the expression of what it was, is very archaic, if not already dead,” Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, commented May 27 at the offices of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
“There were efforts by some liberation theologians to clarify their theology,” he said. “But that was during the 1970s and 80s, and, today, thank God, we have a much wiser theological reflection that does not neglect the necessary, comprehensive liberation of man.”
“Now, it is not about class warfare, with the confrontation between rich and poor; because as we know, for the Church, this is not the way to social liberation.”
Archbishop Aguiar explained that liberation theology “had been put forth with a sociological foundation that did not square with theological foundations,” and that, consequently, “that is where it fell apart.”

True Liberation
True liberation, he said, “is showing the merciful face of God the Father, the tenderness of God among us”; this strengthens the human condition, the family as the place where the person matures and is educated and prepares future generations to be leaders in all areas of society, “whether social, economic or political.”
This task, Archbishop Aguiar reflected, “is one that Pope Francis has described in Evangelii Gaudium.”
The Latin American Bishops’ Council was in Rome May 19-29 for its annual report on its work with Latin-American bishops’ conferences and the direction the Church there needs to take.
Archbishop Aguiar also announced that the council will hold in August a preparatory meeting for October’s synod of bishops on the family. Bishops and experts in family ministry from the 22 bishops’ conferences of Latin America are expected to attend the meeting.

…Right…And this is from the Bishops leading the faithful of one of the poorest continents with one of the biggest class/wealth divides around?

whistles Bad move I say, archaic or not there’s a lot of merits to the ideology, paticually to the poor and needy.

Liberation theology as it existed in the 1900s, with its ties to Marxism and to those desiring violent revolution, is the last thing anybody needs. It is diametrically opposed to the Gospel, and JP2 opposed it.


By Maxist do you mean not firmly rooted in the center right of the political conservative spectrum like most Catholic ideologies?

Obviously I’m not condoning violence of any kind but there were and still are a good number of people over there struggling under the overwhelming burden placed upon them by a tiny number of fatcats who have absolutely no intention of ever changing the status quo to improve the lives of the lower classes (classes might not be the right word here, I can’t think of a better one).

Considering all that JP2 or Benedict went through it should be no great suprise that either of them had an axe to grind or great unease by the very notion of a left wing ideal, nevermind one that did offer a nod to certain socialist philosophers.

Seemed such a shame to scrap it purely on that.

Liberation theology attempted to combine Marxism with Catholicism. The problem was that Marxism, as it stands and has always stood, involves class warfare. The rich and powerful are thus dehumanized. This dehumanization of the rich seeped into liberation theology. Funny thing is, it’s rarely the poor who are the revolutionaries in Marxism (and the same with revolutions sponsored by liberation theology). No, it is actually the middle class who are the revolutionaries, and who use the poor as pawns in their own game. And when the revolutionaries overthrow their government, they become as oppressive, if not more so, than the regimes that they overthrew. Why? Because they end up demonizing anyone and everyone who does not fight with them as an “enemy” and end up feeling the need to demonstrate what will happen to those who try to remain neutral or stand in their way. There is no forgiveness allowed for in Marxist revolutions. In fact, leaders who have come out of Marxist revolutions have often thought that the people that they were ALLIED with had become their enemies, because the dedication had been found lacking. See what happened under Lenin and Stalin in the Soviet Union after the Bolshevik Revolution, or what happened in China under Mao. The leaders end up figuratively deifying themselves. Seriously - the atrocities that Hitler did in Germany, while completely inhumane and horrible PALED in comparison to the atrocities that Stalin did in the Soviet Union at the same time. In other words, even though Communism looks appealing in the outset, the fruits of Communism are tyrrany, absolute power, and a neurotic leadership. Call it the Macbeth syndrome.

Marxism itself is an atheistic philosophy. As an atheistic philosophy, the official religion of a Marxist state is the worship of the State. And, as liberation theology attempted to “Christianize” Marxism, what ended up happening is the secularization of Catholicism instead. And, the diehard Communists in the countries simply were trying to use the diehards of liberation theology for their own ends. When they would overthrow the government, the diehard Communists often attempted to eliminate Christianity. See the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution for an example of this - which caused the Cristero revolt (the PRI party, which controlled Mexico for 80 years, and now controls Mexico again after a 12-year hiatus from 2000-2012, started as a Communist-based party).

Now, it is a great ideal that the poor should not be forgotten and that the needs of the poor should be placed first and foremost in government and society as a whole. This is not in dispute. What is in dispute is the best way to do it. What is known, though, is that there can be no cooperation with an evil philosophy in order to attempt the good ends of meeting these needs.

Well, it does sound a little dated, doesn’t it. My dad talked like that.

Archbishop Aguiar explained that liberation theology “had been put forth with a sociological foundation that did not square with theological foundations,” and that, consequently, “that is where it fell apart.”

You mean to say, man fails where God succeeds? :thumbsup:

Rofl. You can’t seriously believe that “most Catholic ideologies,” especially today, can be considered anything close to “firmly rooted in the center right of the political conservative spectrum.” Can you?

Such a thought is risible.

We now call this the “preferential option for the poor” as it was taught by the Jesuits in Latin America. You are correct - there is no one who disputes that the poor must be helped but it has been twisted into something it was never meant to be as have other authentic social justice principles. Now, the poor are raised up through material means only (shades of Marxism as someone else said) and what has been forgotten is that spiritual poverty is the greatest impoverishment of all. Pope Leo warned of this in one of the earlier encyclicals.

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