Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pope Francis brings liberation theology with him to Rome

With Pope Francis, the "poetic prose of the liberation theologians with more than 30 years delay has arrived in Rome through the main entrance ". This was written by the editor of the German Catholic news agency KNA, Ludwig Ring-Eifel, on Thursday on the website of the Cologne Diocesan transmitter "domradio". He refers to the amazing parallels between the views of the Pope and Leonardo Boff.

Francis had changed within a week the externals and also the working environment. "Hugs, warmth and laughter have come to St Peter's Square and the Papal Basilica. And the new Bishop of Rome races through the awe inspiring halls and corridors of the Vatican in  his threadbare black street shoes with dynamic steps making things seem suddenly very different," said Ring-Eifel .

In his first major sermon at the inauguration Mass on Tuesday, the new Pope had shown that he would not only change style and appearance, but also the content, writes the journalist. The Pope spoke "not formulaic ecclesiastical prose like some cardinals and which observers contemptuously call 'Vatispeak'". But even "dogmatic formulas and lecture-like essays on the theology of the Fathers" were not subjects for Francis (Cathcon-!!).

"Instead," - according to Ring-Eifel - "He speaks quite specifically, without falling into the merely political." The statements could be readily fit into two Twitter messages, they are "easy to understand, but not empty slogans."

There was also something else new to the content. Francis say things like: "The feeling of mind, the pastoral care requiring goodness, demanding living with tenderness," and he went further that tenderness is "not about the virtue of the weak" , but the ability "to he really open to others, to love. "

"Such phrases have been heard on the matter before," says KNA's chief editor: "They are concepts and images of liberation theology in Latin America."

Ring-Eifel pointed to a book by "the liberation theologian Leonardo Boff who was first sponsored by Joseph Ratzinger and later reprimanded". The title of the book by Boff reads "Tenderness and Strength - Francis of Assisi, seen through the eyes of the poor".

"The poetic prose of the liberation theologians with more than 30 years delay has arrived in Rome through the main entrance.   Of course, it is not the violent and totalitarian version of this theology, as applied in Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Colombia, where many people lost their lives . It is the quiet, humane version which is first about the inner transformation of the individual, analyzed Ring-Eifel.

He remembers that as in the early days of the Franciscan movement so there were in the liberation theology of the 20th century, there were two wings  - the soft-version and the hardline. The former has now "placed an Argentine Jesuit to Rome on the Chair of Peter."


Cathcon- if this interpretation is correct, the Head of the CDF will feel safer in his job, but Cardinal Cipriani will be less than delighted.

1 comment:

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

If it's any comfort, I'm pretty sure this journalist has no idea what the term "dogmatic formula" means.