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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Gustavo Gutierrez defends John Paul II on Liberation Theology

Fr Gutierrez robustly defended the late Pope John Paul II from accusations that he had in any way let down Latin America in the years when supporters of Liberation Theology in the region were appealing for more Vatican backing. “If you look at Freud while studying psychology, this doesn’t mean you’re Freudian – if you look at Marx’s analysis of society while studying social sciences, this doesn’t mean you’ve become a Marxist,” the Dominican priest told The Universe. “I think John Paul understood this. He really knew the meaning of poverty and injustice, and had a deeper understanding of liberation theology than anyone else in Italy. His encyclicals exactly pinpoint the causes of alienation and conflict injustice.” [source]

It just goes to show that you can't classify John Paul II as right or left and that I need to pay more attention to what John Paul has said in his encyclicals.

You don't hear as much about Liberation Theology any more, even in the seminary, though the movement to canonize Archbishop Romero may bring it back into the public eye. It does an important job of pointing to the particular concern that God has for the poor and the responsibility we have for working to respond to their suffering.

While we do not support the use of violence in response to this suffering, we also should strive to ensure that the political situation does not deteriorate to the point where violent change is seen as the only option.

We point to John Paul's contributions in the collapse of Communism, will we one day point to the Pope's responsibility for the end of the injustices of Capitalism as well?


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