Leftist priests put hope in Francis
BUENOS AIRES — A new pope from Latin America who wants to build “a church for the poor” is stirring hopes among advocates of liberation theology, a movement of social activism that alarmed former popes by delving into leftist politics.
Pope Francis has what it takes to fix a church “in ruins” that has “lost its respect for what is sacred,” prominent liberation theologian Leonardo Boff said on Saturday.
“With this pope, a Jesuit and a pope from the Third World, we can breathe happiness,” Boff said at a book fair. “Pope Francis has both the vigor and tenderness that we need to create a new spiritual world.”
The 74-year-old Brazilian theologian was pressured to remain silent by previous popes who tried to draw a hard line between socially active priests and leftist politics.
As Argentina's leading cardinal before he became pope, Francis reinforced this line, suggesting in 2010 that reading the Gospel with a Marxist interpretation only gets priests in trouble.
Boff said the label of a closed-minded conservative simply does not fit with Francis.
“Pope Francis comes with the perspective that many of us in Latin America share,” Boff said. “Our churches work together to support universal causes ... like human rights, from the perspective of the poor.”
John Paul and his theologian, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, drove some of the most ardent liberation theologians out of the priesthood, castigated some who remained, and ensured that the bishops and cardinals they promoted took a wary view of leftist activism.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Iraq: Key town taken from Islamic State
- Israelis label relations with U.S. ‘critical,’ lament state of ‘crisis’
- Hong Kong protesters to vote
- Pakistan coup fails to make finish line as parliament backs Prime Minister Sharif
- Iran executes woman who claimed man she killed had tried to rape her
- Barricaded lawmakers fashioned ‘spears’ from flag poles in attack on Canada’s Parliament Hill
- 16 killed in China coal mine shaft collapse
- Mussolini’s air raid shelter opens
- Gestapo impostor tricked British fascists, secret files show
- As oil prices fall, fear rises in Venezuela
- Attack on Egypt army post in Sinai peninsula kills 30 troops