10/11/2007

Some notes on Liberation theology...

After so many discussions with my friends, I decided to posted some notes (according to my judgement and knowledge)on Liberation theology in connection to Christian spirituality. First of all, it is good to say what Magisterium of the Catholic Church says.Cardinal Ratzinger once wrote that "Liberation theology is a phenomenon with an extraordinary number of layers. There is a whole spectrum from radically marxist positions, on the one hand, to the efforts which are being made within the framework of a correct and ecclesial theology, on the other hand, a theology which stresses the responsibility which Christians necessarily hear for the poor and oppressed, such as we see in the documents of the Latin American Bishops' Conference (CELAM) from Medellin to Puebla (see more in Vatican document issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (1984): Instruction on certain aspects of the Theology of Liberation."

Moreover, Christian spirituality plays a vital role in liberation theologies. According to Michael Battle - liberation theologian, “a Christian spirituality of liberation comprehends the hermeneutical privilege of oppressed groups, while at the same time holding such claims accountable to the goal of the image of God in the oppressors.” The goal here is to discover healthy humanity. Briefly, with their goal, liberation theologies present a call for all of us to be on the side of the sinner, the despised, and the outcast and to see a God as not belonging to any particular group, because God remains God.

At the same time, the contemporary Roman Catholic understanding of justice reflects already mentioned goal, but with broader understanding of the human person and the recognition of contemporary obstacles to integral human development. Moreover, the modern Roman Catholic understanding of justice is concerned with the establishment of the conditions which make “right relationship” possible. The social encyclical by John XXIII, Paul VI and John Paul II present this concern very clearly.

In conclusion, from our look at, we may see Christian spirituality and the concept of justice according to Liberation theology are not as separate themes. More importantly, Christian spirituality as the whole Christian life, aims at attaining relationship with God, with other persons and with the created order. Let us conclude here with a quotation from the encyclical DEUS CARITAS EST by Benedict XVI: “We contribute to a better world only by personally doing good now, with full commitment and wherever we have the opportunity, independently of partisan strategies and programmes.”

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