Liberation Theology father welcomed at Vatican

The father of Liberation Theology, Fr Gustavo Gutierrez, has been warmly welcomed at a book launch at the Vatican.

Fr Gutierrez, a Peruvian theologian, contributed two chapters to “Poor for the Poor: the Mission of the Church” by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the head of the Church’s doctrinal watchdog.

Pope Francis wrote the preface to the book, launched on February 26.

Fr Gutierrez, a long time friend of Cardinal Müller and a co-author with him of a previous book, spoke briefly at the launch.

Cardinal Müller told CNA that he and Fr Gutierrez have had significant discussions on “some, let’s say problematic issues of the Liberation Theology”,

He said the elimination of Marxist influences had produced an important “clarification” of the controversial movement

Speaking informally with journalists, Fr Gutierrez also underscored that his discussions with the cardinal have been very important for him.

The 85-year-old theologian said that the inspiration for liberation theology came directly from Vatican II, with its call for the Church to serve the poor.

He said that the Church is always called “to serve and to search for the image of Christ in every man and go toward the ends of the earth and peripheries, as Pope Francis invites us to do”.

In the 1980s, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Cardinal Müller now heads, issued two instructions about Liberation Theology.

The first condemned the movement’s Marxist orientation, while the second acknowledged Liberation Theology’s “preferential option for the poor”.

After the launch, Cardinal Müller said “when a new theology is developing, there are issues to clarify”.



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