PopeWatch: Liberation Theology and the Smoke of Satan

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VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

In this regard, beloved Brothers, it is worth remembering that last August the Instruction Libertatis Nuntius on Certain Aspects of the “Theology of Liberation” published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith celebrated its 25th anniversary. It stressed the danger that is entailed in an a-critical acceptance on the part of certain theologians of theses and methodologies that derive from Marxism. Its more or less visible consequences consisting of rebellion, division, dissent, offence, and anarchy make themselves felt, creating in your diocesan communities great suffering and a serious loss of vitality. I implore all those who in some way have felt attracted, involved and deeply touched by certain deceptive principles of Liberation Theology to consider once again the above-mentioned Instruction, perceiving the kind light with which it is proffered. I remind everyone that “”the supreme rule of her [the Church’s] faith’ derives from the unity which the Spirit has created between Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church in a reciprocity which means that none of the three can survive without the others” (John Paul II, Fides et Ratio, n. 55); and that in the context of Church bodies and communities, forgiveness offered and received in the name of and out of love for the Most Blessed Trinity, whom we worship in our hearts, puts an end to the suffering of our beloved Church, a pilgrim in the Lands of the Holy Cross.

Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate, in union with Christ the Virgin Mary, so deeply loved and venerated in your dioceses and the whole of Brazil, precedes us and guides us. In her we find pure and undefiled the true essence of the Church and thus, through her, we learn to know and love the mystery of the Church which lives in history. We feel profoundly part of her, we become in our turn “ecclesial souls” learning to resist that “inner secularization” which is threatening the Church and her teaching.

Pope Benedict XVI, Address to Brazilian Bishops, December 5, 2009

 

 

 

 

Whenever PopeWatch thinks of Liberation Theology these days, the song Springtime for Hitler from The Producers runs through his mind.  (If only Liberation Theology, as it should be, were an absurd song in a musical comedy!)  It certainly seems like springtime for this Marxism, barely in disguise, at least judging from stories like this:

The Vatican’s rehabilitation of liberation theology is continuing under Pope Francis with the movement’s founder appearing at an official Vatican event next week talking about “a poor church for the poor.”

Peruvian theologian the Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez will be one of the main speakers at a gathering of the Vatican’s charity arm, Caritas Internationalis, and will appear at an official Vatican press conference launching the assembly Tuesday.

Go here to read the rest.  John Zmirak at The Stream reminds us of just how fundamentally anti-Christian Libertation Theology is:

 

We learned this week from Mihai Pacepa, a former Communist spymaster, that Liberation Theology was at least in part the creation of Soviet espionage agents, who saw the Catholic peasants of Latin America as vulnerable to Marxist recruitment through gullible, idealistic or power-hungry clergy. As Pecepa recalls,

[I]n 1968 the KGB-created Christian Peace Conference, supported by the world-wide World Peace Council, was able to maneuver a group of leftist South American bishops into holding a Conference of Latin American Bishops at Medellin, Colombia. The Conference’s official task was to ameliorate poverty. Its undeclared goal was to recognize a new religious movement encouraging the poor to rebel against the “institutionalized violence of poverty,” and to recommend the new movement to the World Council of Churches for official approval.

The Medellin Conference achieved both goals. It also bought the KGB-born name “Liberation Theology.”

In subsequent years, hundreds of priests, nuns, and lay workers used their positions of influence over ordinary people to instruct them in a new, revolutionary reading of the Gospel. When the Marxist Sandinistas came to power in Nicaragua, Liberation Theology priests worked closely with the government, over the objections of Pope John Paul II.

John Allen offers a thoughtful analysis of the accuracy of Pecepa’s claim, which The Stream’s David Mills discusses here. Steve Skojec analyzes the relevant church documents, and then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s take on Liberation Theology, here.

What’s most intriguing in Allen’s account is the counter-theory, current among some Catholics in Latin America who resent the competition of Pentecostal missionaries in countries that were for centuries a legal Catholic monopoly: Even as the Soviets were seeding Latin American Catholics with Liberation Theology, the Reagan administration was fighting back by fostering Pentecostal churches there — to build up solidly anti-Communist Protestants. Now I’d never heard that conspiracy theory before, but if it were true, all I could say as a Catholic is, “Thank God for the Gipper!”

Whatever problems one might have with Pentecostalism, it is genuinely Christian, which Liberation Theology isn’t. It’s scarcely theology. And it doesn’t liberate. In Latin America, it served or serves as the pious fig-leaf for nasty dictatorships like the Sandinistas’ in Nicaragua, and the Chavistas’ in Venezuela. Its watered-down American version — popular among leftists who still claim to be Catholic — offers political cover for pro-abortion, anti-marriage lawmakers, who hope they can buy back their souls by dispensing some extra food stamps and reducing their carbon footprints.

Much worse than Liberation Theology’s worldly effects are the spiritual poisons it trades in: toxic envy, gut-gnawing resentment, a craving for the chance to mete out violence, a scorn for thrift and honest work and an acid cynicism that reduces every human relationship to a swap of money or power. All this in the name of Jesus.

Go here to read the rest.  Liberation Theology is perhaps the most pernicious heresy to worm its way into the Church since Vatican II, and that is saying something when one considers some of the other modern heresies competing for that title.  Christ taught us to love God and our neighbor and to always remember that our true home is in Heaven.  Liberation Theology substitutes Leftism for God, teaches us to despise our politically unenlightened neighbor and sets our sights only on earthly power.  That this movement has met with much favor among so many of the clergy is a testament to just how thick the smoke of Satan, in Pope Paul VI’s memorable phrase, is within the Church.

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22 Comments

  1. Thank you for your courageous persistence in playing shepherd for today’s naïve and vulnerable sheep.

    I am praying that “Liberation theology” does resurrect as “pastoral care,” “mercy,” or as the coming “global climate change agenda” converted into “stewardship.”

    Was there ever an evil that wasn’t first painted with a golden halo?

  2. That should have been “doesn’t resurrect.” Once again the demons control my keyboard….

  3. I admit, all I’ve ever heard about Liberation Theology comes from others talking about it, and reading Wikipedia. So, as I understand it…..a problem many people are saying they have with Liberation Theology is that its proponents took what could be considered good ideas (NOT letting dictators get away with suppression and hurting the poor because they were Catholic, and trying to improve this world as much as we can, even while focusing our efforts and hearts on the world to come and acknowledging our inability to create paradise on our own)…..and took it into a direction of promoting total rebellion, including against Church teaching on faith and morals?

  4. The problem with Liberation Theology is that it is a complete lie. It does not lead to liberation and it has nothing to with the study of God. It is warmed over Marxism with a patina of Christianity that has been seized upon by Leftist clerics as an excuse for espousing political platforms of envy, hate, massive violence and an all-powerful State. It has as much to do with Christ as the singing strumpet who goes by the name Madonna has to do with the real Madonna.

  5. Liberation theology is theologized, violent envy (one of the capital sins) advanced by latter-day “useful idiots” masquerading as concerned clerics. There is nothing like it written anywhere in Sacred Scripture.

  6. All one needs to know about Lib Theology is to learn how the Jesuit Cardenal brothers took the buzz-phrase “preferential option for the poor” (sounds familiar today?) to mean revolution by taking Uzis into the Nicaraguan Jungle while conditioning the “Catholic” peasants to boo Pope John Paul II at mass because he dared to use his papal authority to squelch Lib Theology at Medellin right after he became pope.
    It is no surprise to this long time observers that our (abortion; before and after birth) president also comes from a lib theology agenda.

  7. Liberation theology fits perfectly with City of Man political orientation of the Francis papacy. It also fits with the United Nations agenda of income redistribution. I expect Pope Francis to be at least nominated for a Nobel prize and the Vatican given a regular seat at the United Nations assembly. As of this is a transmutation of the Catholic Church into a technocratic humanist organization. God and Jesus will be repositioned as benevolent and benign mystic presences, a sort of modern golden calf. God is not happy about this. I expect we will hear from Him. Soon I hope.

  8. “God is not happy about this. I expect we will hear from Him. Soon I hope.”
    .
    Romans 11:17-24:
    .
    17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the richness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast over the branches. If you do boast, remember it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 You will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even the others, if they do not persist in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree.

  9. Liberation Theology is Marxism dressed up with Catholic Social Teaching. In other words, it’s garbage. Chile doesn’t need stinking Liberation Theology.

    The current Roman Pontiff is in a position to shove this Marxist crap down everyone’s throats, just like his climate change encyclical and his No Fracking T-shirt and the German Cardinals and Cardinal Rodriguez from Honduras. If he or a successor decides to squelch Summorum Pontificum, I’ll head the the local SSPX church with a clear conscience.

  10. Liberation theology fits perfectly with City of Man political orientation of the Francis papacy.

    That’s what gets you. I doubt there’s been a more other-directed cretin to occupy the Papacy in centuries. He’s the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church of What’s Happening Now!

  11. Malachi Martin covered JPII’s battle with Jesuit Liberation Theology heretics in his book “Jesuits”. JPII was humiliated and defied by those heretics. He became so angry he tried to shout to be heard. They just turned up the sound system to drown out his voice. Satan unleashed.

  12. J.M.J.

    While your statement “Whatever problems one might have with Pentecostalism, it is genuinely Christian, which Liberation Theology isn’t ” is OK as far as contrast goes, it’s
    inaccurate re Pentecostalism: Pentecostalism is NOT Christian. Like all Protestantism, it is heretical. The only thing Christian is genuine Catholicism. The other stuff is partial, and thus lousy. Liberation Theology is just lousi-ER. CHRIST IS RISEN!

  13. I think we are all beginning to suffer from Pope Francis derangement syndrome. It is difficult even finding words to describe such aberrant behavior as that coming from the Vatican. And, of course, it is not only Pope Francis but it would seem his entire court and most of the Cardinals and Bishops he has selected for the Family Synod. One wants to throw up his hands in despair. But I guess we should put our hands together, knee down and pray for our dear Pope, his henchmen, and the entire Church. We are on the edge of something and it doesn’t look good.

  14. Pentecostalism is simply one expression of a perennial tendency in Christianity, identified by Mgr Ronald Knox in his masterpiece Enthusiasm:-

    “There is, I would say, a recurrent situation in Church history – using the word ‘church’ in the widest sense – where an excess of charity threatens unity. You have a clique, an élite, of Christian men and (more importantly) women, who are trying to live a less worldly life than their neighbours; to be more attentive to the guidance (directly felt, they would tell you) of the Holy Spirit…The pattern is always repeating itself, not in outline merely but in detail. Almost always, the enthusiastic movement is denounced as an innovation, yet claims to be preserving, or to be restoring, the primitive discipline of the Church…

    I would have called [this] tendency ‘ultrasupernaturalism’. For that is the real character of the enthusiast; he expects more evident results from the grace of God than we others. He sees what effects religion can have, does sometimes have, in transforming a man’s whole life and outlook; these exceptional cases (so we are content to think them) are for him the average standard of religious achievement. He will have no ‘almost-Christians’, no weaker brethren who plod and stumble… the emphasis lies on a direct personal access to the Author of our salvation, with little of intellectual background or of liturgical expression… at the root of it lies a different theology of grace. Our traditional doctrine is that grace perfects nature but leaves it nature still. The assumption of the enthusiast is bolder and simpler; for him, grace has destroyed nature, and replaced it.”

    One thinks of the Montanists, who entrapped the learned Tertullian, of the Mediaeval Brethren of the Free Spirit and the Spiritual Fransiscans of the Quietists who found a champion in the devout Fénelon, of the Jansenist convulsionaries of St Métard. Protestantism has produced its own crop, ranging from the Anabaptists of Münster to the Quakers, to the early Methodists, not to mention Camisard child-prophecy or lrvingite glossolaly.

  15. If Pope Francis does not instruct his people about the condemnation associated with receiving the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ unworthily, then Pope Francis too, will share in the condemnation.

  16. One thinks of the Montanists, who entrapped the learned Tertullian, of the Mediaeval Brethren of the Free Spirit and the Spiritual Fransiscans of the Quietists who found a champion in the devout Fénelon, of the Jansenist convulsionaries of St Métard. Protestantism has produced its own crop, ranging from the Anabaptists of Münster to the Quakers, to the early Methodists, not to mention Camisard child-prophecy or lrvingite glossolaly.

    You forgot the Corinthians.

  17. “Pentecostalism is NOT Christian. Like all Protestantism, it is heretical. The only thing Christian is genuine Catholicism. The other stuff is partial, and thus lousy. Liberation Theology is just lousi-ER. CHRIST IS RISEN!”
    .
    I’ve heard Protestants say something similar about Catholics.

  18. I used to listen to a 15 minute radio program called Amondo Pablo (sp?) he was a Christian preacher in Costa Mesa CA who’s church was in South America. I thought to myself back then that the Catholic Church better watch out because this guy is good. Many years later my instincts proved right – pentecostal Christianity is taking over in South America, not just in numbers what Catholics are, but in living the Gospel, which most Catholics aren’t in SA, U.S., and now obviously in Ireland.

  19. Speaking of “liberation theology.”

    The USCCB is promoting their so-called “immigration” reform policy using Mt 25: 35 as their motto : “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, a stranger and you welcomed me….”

    Question – who is “me?”

    The bishops are saying it is “anybody who is hungry, thirsty, a stranger….” Are they right?

    The footnote in my Catholic bible – The New American Bible, 1989-1990 Edition, is interesting for Mt 25: 31-46, from which the bishops get their motto. I’ll summarize it. “The criterion of judgement will be the deeds of mercy that have been done for the ‘least of Jesus brothers’ [40] An difficult and important question is the identification of these ‘least brothers.’ Are they all people who have suffered hunger, thirst, etc. (35,36) or a particular group of such sufferers. The criterion of judgment for ‘all the nations’ is their treatment of those who have borne to the world the message of Jesus, and this means ultimately their acceptance or rejection of Jesus himself; cf 10, 40. ‘Whoever receives you, receives me.'”

    I don’t think these 15,000,000 illegal aliens are Christian missionaries.

    Who do I believe? The footnote in my bible or the USCCB?

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