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Liberation theology finds new welcome in Pope Francis’ Vatican

VATICAN CITY (RNS) A progressive theological current that emphasizes the Catholic Church’s closeness to the poor and the marginalized but was subject to decades of hostility and censure is now finding increasing favor in the Vatican under Pope Francis.

Archbishop Gerhard L. Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is pictured in a Jan. 11 photo in Rome. Photo by Paul Haring/courtesy Catholic News Service

Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is pictured in a Jan. 11 photo in Rome. Photo by Paul Haring/courtesy Catholic News Service


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Francis, who has called for “a poor church for the poor,” will meet in the next few days with the Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez, a Peruvian theologian and scholar who is considered the founder of liberation theology.

The meeting was announced on Sunday (Sept. 8) by Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog, during the launch of a book he co-authored with Gutierrez. Read more

Release of Pope Francis’ first encyclical stresses beauty of faith

Release of Pope Francis’ first encyclical stresses beauty of faith

By Estefania Aguirre

Pope Francis rides through St Peters Square after Mass on April 28, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.

Vatican City, Jul 5, 2013 / 07:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The first encyclical of Pope Francis – which had been started by the former Pope, Benedict XVI – has been released today to help strengthen the faith of Catholics worldwide.

“We welcome with great joy and gratitude this integral profession of faith, in the form of catechesis written by four hands of the successors of Peter,” said Cardinal Marc Ouellet at the Vatican’s press office on July 5. Read more

Papal encyclicals expected on faith and poverty, bishop reveals

Papal encyclicals expected on faith and poverty, bishop reveals

Pope Francis welcomes Benedict XVI back to the Vatican at Mater Ecclesia monastery on May 2, 2013. Credit: L’Ossevatore Romano/ANSA.

Vatican City, May 24, 2013 / 02:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- According to an Italian bishop, Benedict XVI is concluding work on what was to have been his encyclical on faith, and Pope Francis will be writing an encyclical on poverty.

“Benedict XVI is finishing writing the encyclical on faith which will be signed by Pope Francis. Following this, he himself will prepare his first encyclical on the poor: Beati pauperes,” Bishop Luigi Martella of the Molfetta-Ruvo-Giovinazzo-Terlizzi diocese wrote  May 23 on his diocesan website.

“Beati pauperes” is Latin for “Blessed are the poor,” and Bishop Martella added that it is to be about poverty “understood not in an ideological and political sense, but in the sense of the Gospel.” Read more

Pope Benedict XIV – An appreciation

Pope Benedict XIV – An appreciation

Clayton Sinyai

When Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger became Benedict XVI, a number of “conservative” American Catholics seemed to nurse hopes that the new pope would distance the Church from its familiar social teaching on worker justice, labor unions and the regulation of the economy for the common good.

Benedict’s encyclical Caritas in Veritate proved deeply disappointing for such as these. “The repeated calls issued within the Church’s social doctrine, beginning with Rerum Novarum, for the promotion of workers’ associations that can defend their rights must… be honoured today even more than in the past,” the Pope instructed. Read more