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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

Encyclical Letter – Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith)

ENCYCLICAL LETTER
LUMEN FIDEI
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
FRANCIS
TO THE BISHOPS PRIESTS AND DEACONS
CONSECRATED PERSONS
AND THE LAY FAITHFUL
ON FAITH

1. The light of Faith: this is how the Church’s tradition speaks of the great gift brought by Jesus. In John’s Gospel, Christ says of himself: “I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (Jn 12:46). Saint Paul uses the same image: “God who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts” (2 Cor 4:6). The pagan world, which hungered for light, had seen the growth of the cult of the sun god, Sol Invictus, invoked each day at sunrise. Yet though the sun was born anew each morning, it was clearly incapable of casting its light on all of human existence. The sun does not illumine all reality; its rays cannot penetrate to the shadow of death, the place where men’s eyes are closed to its light. “No one — Saint Justin Martyr writes — has ever been ready to die for his faith in the sun”.[1] Conscious of the immense horizon which their faith opened before them, Christians invoked Jesus as the true sun “whose rays bestow life”.[2] To Martha, weeping for the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus said: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (Jn 11:40). Those who believe, see; they see with a light that illumines their entire journey, for it comes from the risen Christ, the morning star which never sets. Read more

In first encyclical, pope celebrates faith as the light of human life

In first encyclical, pope celebrates faith as the light of human life

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead a general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 26. His first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” (“The Light of Faith”), was released July 5. (CNS/Paul Haring)5

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis’ first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei” (“The Light of Faith”), is a celebration of Christian faith as the guiding light of a “successful and fruitful life,” inspiring social action as well as devotion to God, and illuminating “every aspect of human existence,” including philosophy and the natural sciences.

The document, released July 5, completes a papal trilogy on the three “theological virtues,” following Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclicals “Deus Caritas Est” (2005) on charity and “Spe Salvi” (2007) on hope. Publication of the encyclical was one of the most awaited events of the Year of Faith which began in October 2012. 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

Pope Francis To G8 Global Leaders: Goal of Economics is to Serve Humanity

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pope Francis To G8 Global Leaders: Goal of Economics is to Serve Humanity

By Deacon Keith Fournier
June 19th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8Eq2Ix8IoE&feature=player_detailpage#t=0s

The goal of economics and politics is to serve humanity, beginning with the poorest and most vulnerable wherever they may be, even in their mothers’ wombs. Every economic and political theory or action must set about providing each inhabitant of the planet with the minimum wherewithal to live in dignity and freedom, with the possibility of supporting a family, educating children, praising God and developing one’s own human potential. This is the main thing; in the absence of such a vision, all economic activity is meaningless. (Pope Francis)

VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) – I derive such joy from the message of this Pope named Francis. I also love the manner in which he is delivering them. He is keeping observers off balance as they attempt to put him in one of their contrived boxes and try to label him.

The text of a letter which he sent to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in advance of the G8 Meeting was released this weekend. It is one more example of shaking things up! It can be read in its entirety on the Vatican Website. Here is a quote:   Read more

Pope at audience: Counter a culture of waste with solidarity

Vatican Radio

Pope at audience: Counter a culture of waste with solidarity

(Vatican Radio) When stock markets drop ten points its ‘a tragedy’ but starving children, homeless people dying on our streets, people disposed of like trash – such as the unborn or the elderly – has become the norm.

This is the result of a culture of waste, of our being unable to ‘read the signs’ of God’s creation, His free gift to us, and of allowing money and not man rule society. A culture of solidarity should prevail over our culture of waste, because when we care for and cultivate creation – including the human person – when we share our resources, we all have enough.

This Wednesday Pope Francis dedicated his general audience with thousands of pilgrims and visitors to St Peter’s square to the UN World Environment Day. Emer McCarthy reports: Read more

Pope Francis Puts The Poor Front And Center

NPR

Pope Francis Puts The Poor Front And Center

Sylvia Poggioli May 20, 2013

Pope Francis blesses a child Sunday after the Holy Mass at St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican. (AFP/Getty Images)

Over the past week, Pope Francis has launched a crescendo of attacks on the global financial system and what he calls a “cult of money” that does not help the poor.

The 2-month-old papacy of Francis — the Argentina-born Jorge Bergoglio — is shaping up as a papacy focused on the world’s downtrodden. And in sharp contrast with the two preceding papacies, this one even contains echoes of the Latin American liberation theology movement that John Paul II and Benedict XVI had repressed.

The new pope’s popularity is growing day by day. When Francis appears in St. Peter’s Square, the crowd shouts his name in every imaginable language. Women hold out their babies to be kissed; everyone wants to touch him. 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