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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

CATHOLIC THEOLOGY OF WORK AND WORSHIP

CATHOLIC THEOLOGY OF WORK AND WORSHIP

REV. JOHN A. PERRICONE, Ph.D., Fordham  University; Executive Director, Christi Fideles.

Perricone, Rev. John A. (1999) “Catholic Theology of Work and Worship,” St. John’s Law Review: Vol. 73: Iss. 3, Article 10.

In Frederick Nietzsche’s Thus Spake Zarathustra1 , Zarathustra is asked about his happiness. He replies, “Do I then strive after happiness? I strive after my work.”‘  In this phrase, Nietzsche correctly identified one of the extremes in which modernity conceives the nature of man: Man is his work.

The unfortunate result of this conception of man is that work does not furnish happiness. Happiness is the result of reposing in the possession of an end or purpose, which here is always being striven for, but never achieved. Since God alone is that which gives life purpose, absent God purposefulness vanishes. Modernity has exiled God from its world. Work is performed for its own sake and carries no gratification.  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

A Catholic Framework for Economic Life

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A Catholic Framework for Economic Life

“A Catholic Framework for Economic Life” offers ten key principles to help Catholics reflect on the values that should shape our participation in economic life. It was written by the bishops of the United States based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal encyclicals, the pastoral letter Economic Justice for All, and other statements of the U.S. Catholic bishops.

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As followers of Jesus Christ and participants in a powerful economy, Catholics in the United States are called to work for greater economic justice in the face of persistent poverty, growing income-gaps, and increasing discussion of economic issues in the United States and around the world.  We urge Catholics to use the following ethical framework for economic life as principles for reflection, criteria for judgment and directions for action.  These principles are drawn directly from Catholic teaching on economic life. Read more

POPE: NO WORSE POVERTY THAN PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM EARNING A LIVING

POPE: NO WORSE POVERTY THAN PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM EARNING A LIVING

Vatican City, 25 May 2013 (VIS) – Members of the “Centesimus Annus – Pro Pontefice” Foundation, which was established 20 years ago by Blessed John Paul II, were received this afternoon by Pope Francis during their annual international conference. This year’s theme is “Rethinking Solidarity for Work: Challenges of the 21st Century”.

In his address to them, the Bishop of Rome noted that the foundation bears the same name as an encyclical published by John Paul II on the centenary anniversary of “Rerum Novarum” and has, therefore, the Church’s social doctrine as the scope of its analysis and action. “Rethinking solidarity,” he said, “doesn’t mean questioning the recent Magisterium that, in fact, demonstrates ever more its vision and its relevance. Rather, ‘rethinking’ seems to me to mean two things: first of all combining the Magisterium with socio-economic development that, being constant and quick, always presents new aspects and second, ‘rethinking’ means going more in depth, reflecting further, to make all of a value’s worth emerge—solidarity in this case—which draws upon the Gospel profoundly, that is, upon Jesus Christ and thus contains inexhaustible potential.” Read more

Dignity of man central to ‘rethinking solidarity,’ says Pope

Dignity of man central to ‘rethinking solidarity,’ says Pope

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

Vatican City, May 25, 2013 / 10:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Speaking to an international group dedicated to promoting education of the Church’s social teaching, Pope Francis called for a new economic view that places the human person at the center.

“We must return to the centrality of man, to a more ethical view of business and human relations, without the fear of losing something,” the Pope said on May 25.

Pope Francis addressed members of the Fondazione Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice at the end of their three-day conference at the Vatican. Founded by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1993, the organization is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Read more