ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Rehabilitation of Liberation Theology

Like Marxism, the liberation theology Pope Francis has embraced also stands for human emancipation.

As Christmas approaches, and a “profound feeling of con-solation and peace” overwhelms the faithful, the buzz created by Pope Francis’ “apostolic exhortation”, Evangelii Gaudium (EG, translated as “The Joy of the Gospel”), issued in late November, and the subsequent clarificatory interview by La Stampa and Vatican Insider in response to criticism from Right-conservative quarters has yet to subside. There are 1.2 billion Roman Catholics worldwide, and so what Francis says makes a difference, and this is what has upset the Right.

The EG is categorical in its critique of capitalism: “Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills.” Francis goes on to exhort his followers to say “no to the new idolatry of money”, not to “accept its domination over ourselves and our societies”. His is a severe indictment of capitalism: “The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenceless before the interests of a deified market, which becomes the only rule.”

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