Good Lifesite News article on the longstanding ties between the Pope and the godfather of liberation theology Leonardo Boff:
A 47 year-old photograph has surfaced showing the man who would become Pope Francis standing in a small group of people, one of whom is a Brazilian Liberation-theology proponent and priest who would become laicized and who is now widely credited for being the “theologian of reference” for the upcoming controversial Amazon synod. The picture takes on significance due to the claim of the laicized priest that Pope Francis remembered their meeting in 1972 and had recently sent him the photo.
On August 5, Leonardo Boff placed on his twitter a picture from a conference that took place in San Miguel, Argentina on February 23-29, 1972 and that shows both Boff and then-Father Jorge Bergoglio, the later Pope Francis. Boff says that the Pope had just sent him this picture, recalling their time together.
“In an exchange of letters, Pope Francis recalled our meeting in San Miguel-AR [Argentina] from 23-29/02/1972 and sent me this photo,” Boff writes.
This incident suggests that Pope Francis and Leonardo Boff have had a friendly relationship long before Bergoglio became pope in 2013. As a matter of fact, Boff claimed in 2016 – in an interview with the Kölner Stadt-Anzeigr – that Pope Francis is “one of us. He has turned Liberation Theology into a common property of the Church. And he has widened it.”
‘You will be astonished what Francis will achieve’
In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel days after Jorge Bergoglio’s papal election, Boff revealed that he knew Bergoglio personally. “Yes, [I met him] a few years ago [sic], at a conference in Argentina. He made a wise presentation there, we liked each other immediately.” (It is not clear whether Boff refers here to the 1972 conference, which took place much earlier than only “a few years ago.”)
In that same 2013 interview, Boff announced: “He [Bergoglio] is now Pope. He can [do] everything. You will be astonished what Francis will achieve.”
“But for that,” Boff continued, “there is needed a breach with traditions. Away from the corrupt Curia of the Vatican, toward a Universal Church. And toward new, central topics: the gap between the poor and the rich, the lack of justice. It is revolutionary what has happened there in Rome: a religious from Latin American is being elected onto the Chair of Peter.”
Boff defends Pope Francis in the Spiegel interview against the suspicion that he is an “arch-conservative,” that he is opposed to contraception, married priests and a larger role of women in the Church. “The Vatican prescribed it that way, all high-ranking prelates had to file suit there. Nothing was to be questioned. But that can change now.”
Boff also predicts the longer-range agenda of Pope Francis, and does it just a few days after his election. When asked as to whether he had indications that Bergoglio “thinks in more liberal terms,” the liberation theologian answers: “Yes. A few months ago, for example, he explicitly permitted that a homosexual couple could adopt a child. He kept contact with priests who were rejected by the official Church because they had married. And he never let himself be distracted from his own line. And that was: We have to be on the side of the poor, and if need be, also in contradiction to those in power.”
Go here to read the rest. The heterodox in the Church always knew what they were getting in Pope Francis. Too many of the orthodox engaged in willful blindness and wishful thinking in regard to Francis, and we see how that has worked out.