The Gospel Truth

Liberation on His Mind | May 2, 2014

Earlier this year I called Pope Francis the Russian Pope.  I am well aware that our new pope’s name is Francis and not Vladimir but his many statements—some out of context—remind me of a man who either shoots from the lip or is reminiscent of Winston Churchill’s comment about Russia being a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

This viewpoint is more evident in reading his November papal exhortation, Evangelii Gaudiumthe Joy of the Gospels.

In it he condemns libertarian capitalism and the dictatorship of a global economic system and a free market that according to him, perpetuates inequality and devours what is fragile, including human beings and the environment.

Pope Francis believes that capitalism, which defends the right to a free market system, is to be discarded, while the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise control over the economic status of the people, is laudable. Lenin would not be disappointed in these views.

I am very upset by Conservative Catholics, religious leaders and others who wage a vendetta on capitalism.

They say little or nothing about the government’s role in poverty.  From the earliest centuries of the Christian era, a long line of orthodox theologians had consistently rejected collective ownership, embraced private property, and affirmed business economies.

Also alarming is the fact that the current Prefect for Doctrine and the Faith, Cardinal-elect Gerhard Ludwig Müller thinks that LT must be included among the most important currents in 20th century Catholic theology.

Müller never hid his friendship with Gustavo Gutiérrez, whom he met in Lima in 1988, during a study seminar. Müller says the merits of Liberation Theology go beyond the Latin American Catholic.  He stressed that a Latin America’s Liberation Theology movement has been oriented towards the image of Jesus Christ the Redeemer and liberator, of the poor.

This year he published his book —Poor for Poor: The Mission of the Church to clarify his controversial views. It is a collection of his writings on Liberation Theology and contains an introduction by Pope Francis.

Müller affirmed, poverty in Latin America oppresses children, the elderly and the sick, to such an extent that many are driven to contemplate death as the only way out. He sees the body of Christ in the poor, as Pope Francis does.

In his defense the Cardinal cited a secret document prepared for President Reagan in 1980—4 years before the Vatican’s first Instruction on the Liberation Theology movement—requesting that the U.S. government take aggressive action against the movement, which was accused of transforming the Catholic Church into a political weapon against private property and productive capitalism by infiltrating the religious community with ideas that are less Christian than communist.’

So the pope condemns materialism, money, capitalism and all the accruements of wealth. But without wealth where would the church be?  Who would give to the poor?  Who would take the risks of starting millions of new businesses to employ out-of-work people who will join the ranks of the poor?

What has big government ever done to really enhance anyone’s lives? Deliver our mail…give us health care… Waste, corruption, inefficiency and flagrant spending have become the hallmarks of Social Democracy.  Our lives are devalued and our national future imperiled!

I believe the redistribution of wealth, irresponsible spending and waste is a form of stealing.  I hope the 7th Commandment of the Catholic Church is still valid in the 21st century and taught in our Catholic schools.

Is the pope a closet liberationisti?

In September 2013, he held a meeting with Fr. Gutiérrez.  This prompted Michael Lee, associate professor of theology at Fordham University in New York, to say that with the pope’s Latin American heritage…what only makes sense is, then, a reopening of the door to this theology that emerged from that context.

In practice Big Government with its enlightened philosophy is doing the devil’s work and liberation theology has been one of his most effective tools in undermining the principles of our civilization that have fed and clothed the faith and millions of its faithful for centuries.

Personally I think that the pope’s love of the poor and his seeming inability to sift through political rhetoric bodes well for the future of LT.

In researching a past Mindszenty Report I tried to find some expression of his belief on this subject.  All I could muster was that its penchant for violence had kept him from fully embracing it.

If the pope fully adopts LT as a teaching principle of the church it could mark the end of Western Civilization. We have to continue to preach the evils of this ideology because that becomes a reality!

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1 Comment »

  1. Bill, you bring me up short. I have to read Evangelii Gaudium. That the Cardinals could actually have elected a pope that rejects the Church’s many condemnations of socialism, much less communism, is mind-boggling to me.
    So, I’ll read EG. If you’d like to see what God has actually said about economics (and believe me, you’ll be pleased) read my book, “The Other Law of Moses.” It tells the story of the economic law that God gave us at Sinai. It tells how well it worked and what happened when it was ignored or watered down. There isn’t a whif of socialism in it, and there does not need to be a “preferential option for the poor” in it because under the Law, there were no poor. Seems incredible, but so is God – as well as being pretty smart.
    Have a look on Amazon, in the “Look Inside” feature, and see what you think.
    And thanks again for your reflections.

    Comment by John Kelly — May 19, 2014 @ 3:18 pm


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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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