Sunday, May 11, 2014

Some Pretty Good Items

I have here a couple of belated items that I think are of growing importance given a lot of the news breaking about the Church around the world. I also think that they are important for reasons other than the publicity they got (or are currently getting).

First, let's look at an interview Pope Emeritus Benedict gave in the run-up to John Paul II's canonization. Most of the commentary about this interview has given cursory mention to the crackdown on liberation theology that occurred during JPII's reign. Benedict's discussion of the issue is a bit more robust, though, and deserves some more attention. We reproduce it here, with thanks to In Caelo et in Terra for providing the full English translation:

The first great challenge we came across, was the liberation theology which was spreading in Latin America. The general opinion about it, both in Europe and in North America, was: it is about helping the poor and it is therefore something which we can only agree with. But this is an error. Certainly, poverty and the poor were the theme of liberation theology, but in a very specific perspective. Direct aid to the poor, reforms which would improve their situation were judged to be reformist, acting to stabilise the system: they dampen – so they said – the anger and indignation which were necessary for the revolutionary transformation of the systems. It was not about direct aid or reforms, but about a great revolution which would usher in a new world. The Christian faith was used as the engine for this revolutionary movement and is so converted into a political power. The religious traditions of the faith serve political action. The faith then becomes deeply estranged from itself, and the true love for the poor also becomes dulled. Of course these ideas appear in various forms and they are not always fully present, but the general movement is in this direction. This falsification of the Christian faith – especially to the poor and the service that is their due – was to be opposed. On the basis of the experiences of his Polish homeland, Pope John Paul II shone a decisive light on this. One the one hand he had experienced the slavery of the Marxist ideology, which liberation theology had adopted. So it was clear ti him from painful personal experience, that this type of “liberation” needed to be opposed. On the other hand he had just seen in the situation in his homeland, that the Church really has to work for freedom and liberation – not in a political way, but by the fact that through faith it awakens in people the forces of true liberation. The Pope instructed us to speak about both: on the one hand to unmask a false idea of liberation, and on the other hand to present the true calling of the Church to liberate the people. That is what we tried to say in both instructions about liberation theology, which stand at the beginning of my work in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

We should pay attention to this for a couple of reasons. One is that you still hear ramblings from people who claim that JPII and Pope Benedict later went soft on liberation theology, came to agree with it, made some partial retractions, etc. This is in spite of Benedict's words as Pope that come off as clear refutations of LT. Do the words above sound like liberation theology has some kind of approval from the Pope Emeritus or his successor?

Add this to the list of items from JPII's magisterium that people are trying to forget.

Oh, he also drops references to Dominus Iesus and Veritatis Splendor, probably the two most hated documents from the JPII era.

On a different note, we have Cardinal Muller doing his job and keeping up the scrutiny of the heretics at the LCWR. Here are his comments. They've been pretty widely publicized, so I'm not going to reproduce them here. You should read them and mark his tone. It's the tone of highest charity and concern for souls. The part that is most important, I think, is his dealings with the "conscious evolution" themes promoted by the LCWR. Fr. Zuhlsdorf has offered some words on what "conscious evolution" means.

What it actually is is a redux of Teilhardian garbage. Teilhard, like liberation theology, continues to have supporters who claim that his stuff is still good theology and compatible with Church teaching. +Muller puts it in straightforward terms:

Again, I apologize if this seems blunt, but what I must say is too important to dress up in flowery language. The fundamental theses of Conscious Evolution are opposed to Christian Revelation and, when taken unreflectively, lead almost necessarily to fundamental errors regarding the omnipotence of God, the Incarnation of Christ, the reality of Original Sin, the necessity of salvation and the definitive nature of the salvific action of Christ in the Paschal Mystery.

Good for him. As you can see from the link below, the monitum on Teilhard's works was reaffirmed by then-Cardinal Ratzinger during JPII's pontificate, so Cardinal Muller isn't really planting a flag here by saying the same thing.

As far as Cardinal Kasper's attack on Cardinal Muller for daring to speak the truth, there's not much to say. It speaks for itself. So ignore it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Re: Teilhardian garbage