Pope Francis & the Poor

Pope Francis & the Poor

While I’ve found much to appreciate in the actions of Pope Francis since his installation, I’m even more encouraged by a new proposed meeting between Francis and Gustavo Gutierrez, one of the preeminent liberation theologians of the last half century.  Liberation theology is a movement that grew within Catholicism:

…as a Catholic response to the Marxist movements that fought Latin America’s military dictatorships in the 1960s and ’70s. It criticized the church’s close relations, including often overt support, with the regimes. (via Religion News Service)

What’s amazing about this meeting is how quickly the “prosperity gospel” has taken hold in various sections of Latin America and other South American locales. Pope Francis has challenged the Catholic Church to return to its concern and care of the poor and has made good on that call by initiating this meeting.

 

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3 Responses to Pope Francis & the Poor

  1. Kevin says:

    I’ve been a fan of Francis since his installation as well. I love his utter humility and the direction in which he is leading the church. His influence over the Catholic and Protestant and Orthodox worlds will be very positive, hopefully for a long time.

  2. dustin says:

    I wholeheartedly agree…and yet, the cynical side of me wonders if the internal workings (READ: politics) of the Roman Catholic Church are embodied in all that Francis is doing–i.e., trying to recover a positive image for the Church that has been battered by multiple scandals, etc.

    I guess only time will tell.

  3. As someone who was training in Jesuit schools, I am interested to think about the difference between an approach that ‘promotes social justice’ and an approach the ‘embodies social justice’. A Jesuit takes a vow of poverty. That doesn’t mean that you sit around at coffee houses or wine tasting and talk about how nice it is that so and so contributed some money to construct such as such. Rather, it means that you intentionally choose to live a life alongside the poor. Focused upon solving the problem of sin in our lives, and recognizing that sin is what keeps us from a more appropriate distribution of wealth (and caring for each other). I’ve noticed that the pope is making an effort to live a more normal lifestyle himself, but he is certainly far from living an impoverished lifestyle. The real ‘proof’ to me is when the pope begins to spend substantial time away from the headlines of Vatican life, and down in the trenches in service. When we look to the life of Jesus in scripture, very little of the time was actually spent in the headlines. That’s where I’d like to see the church move…

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