Saturday, June 29, 2013

Clodovis Boff on Liberation Theology

Archbishop Mueller has spoken recently about Liberation Theology, he spoke in rather precise terms, it wasn't exactly an endorsement but a call for a acceptance of it as a significant strand in 20th century theology. In many ways Liberation Theology has moved away from the Marxism of Gustavo Gutierrez and Leonardo Boff its founders. It was this that was condemned in the CDF documents, Libertatis Nuncio (1984) and Libertatis Conscientia (1986), not the idea of 'Christ the Liberator' or even 'Christ who brings Good News to the poor', this is after all a keynote of Papa Bergoglio's morning homilies. The CDF's concern was the replacement of the Gospels with the Communism.
Clodovis Boff rather famously broke with his brother Leonardo some years ago Eponymous Flower has a short piece on Liberation Theology and carries this quote from him: 
"In the two documents published by Cardinal Ratzinger, he defended the original core of liberation theology: the commitment to the poor because of the faith. At the same time he criticized the Marxist influence. The Church can't do this. It's not like a civil society where people can say what they want. We are tied to a belief and if someone professes another faith, he closes himself from the Church. From the outset, it was clear the importance was to make Christ the foundation of all theology. In the hegemonic discourse of liberation theology, however, I have noticed that faith in Christ only appeared in the background. The anonymous Christianity of Karl Rahner was a great excuse to neglect Christ, prayer, the sacraments and the mission in which the focus was only on the change of social structures. "


Anonymous said...

Father Ray, are you seriously professing to understand K Rahner? :-)
Why, even his own brother said that when he retired he hoped to attempt to translate Karl into GERMAN!
Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

The key words in the quote concern Marxism as "the professesion of another faith"; this is an outdated, now largely rejected view of a social and political philosophy that is a living and breathing thing, not a Religion with Ministers Josef or Mao at its head. So, C. Boff is objecting to a ghost. Faith should be the determinant of politics for Church leaders, and I believe with Pope Francis, this is decidedly the case. I wonder what Fr. C. Boff would say about American televangelists like Pat Robertson for whom the opposite is true: when politics wholly determines their faith. I would say, they aren't Christian whatever they call themselves.

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