Pope Benedict and liberation theology

Pope Benedict and liberation theology

John Schmid

"We Are Church" (May AD2000), is quoted as saying, "how rigid Ratzinger was for more than 23 years as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, banning critical theologians, condemning liberation theology ...".

What were Cardinal Ratzinger's views on liberation theology? And how "rigid" were they?

* "An analysis of the phenomenon of liberation theology reveals that it constitutes a fundamental threat to the faith of the Church. At the same time it must be borne in mind that no error could persist unless it contained a grain of truth. Indeed, an error is all the more dangerous, the greater the grain of truth is, for then the temptation it exerts is all the greater." (The Ratzinger Report, 1985).

* "Gustavo Guierrez is regarded as the creator of Liberation Theology. We entered into dialogue with him - which I in part also carried on personally - and came to an ever greater agreement. That helped us to understand him, and he on the other hand, saw the one-sidedness of his work and then really developed it further in the direction of a suitable form of liberation theology that really had a future." (Salt of the Earth, 1997).

It would appear one must be careful in reading works on liberation theology - the verson that is a "fundamental threat to the faith of the church", or the "form of liberation theology that really had a future".

So much for "We Are Church's one-sided attack on Pope Benedict.

JOHN SCHMID
Boronia, Vic

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