436 Liberation Theology

This week we talk about Liberation Theology in Latin America and how it was crushed by the Vatican.


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Liberation Theology

  • Catholic Church as a tool of the Spanish Empire
  • Revolution, independence, and the status quo
  • Early 20th Century Catholic Action Movement
    • Holguin of Arequipa and Farfán of Cusco
    • Started separating the church from state
    • Started political advocacy for the poor
    • Base Ecumenical Communities
  • Gustavo Gutiérrez
    • Partial Qetchua ancestry
    • Became a priest in 1959
    • Studied in Europe
  • Latin American Episcopal Counsel
    • Pushed for progressive reforms in Vatican II (1962 – 1965)
    • 1968 Medellin, Colombia meeting
      • Goal was to support BEC
      • First introduction of Liberation Theology
  • Gustavo Gutierrez published “A Theology of Liberation” in 1971
  • Liberation Theology
    • First level – Poor liberate themselves from economic exploitation
    • Second Level – Liberation from fatalism and recognition of free will
    • Third level – Communion with God.
    • Revolution is an option
  • Sandinista Nicaragua – 1978 – 1990
  • Opposition
    • John Paul II
    • Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI
    • Church went more spiritual and argued Liberation Theology was too material
    • Reconciliation Theology argued that by reconciling with God and others class struggle and revolution could be avoided.
    • With the fall of communism and changes to the global economy it couldn’t keep up.
    • By the mid 1990s the movement was dead.
  • Conclusion



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