BECAUSE MARXISM HAS GLOBAL SUPPORT: This is the answer to the question Steven Hayward over at Power Line asks: “How is Liberation Theology Still a Thing?” Liberation theology is a Marxist version of Catholic teaching, which views poverty through the lens of capitalist oppression, much like Black Liberation theology–of which President Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, is an adherent–views black poverty as a consequence of white, wealthy capitalist oppression of blacks. As Hayward observes, yesterday’s front page New York Times story about Pope Francis’s actions to bring liberation theology out of the shadows, a subject I’ve I’ve written about before. But in typical NYT fashion, the reporter fails to even seriously consider the deep Marxist undertones of liberation theology, much less what the Pope’s embrace of it might portend. The only mention of Marxism comes in this brief passage:
“With the end of the Cold War, he [Francis] began to see that liberation theology was not synonymous with Marxism, as many conservatives had claimed,” said Paul Vallely, author of “Pope Francis: Untying the Knots.” Argentina’s financial crisis in the early years of the 21st century also shaped his views, as he “began to see that economic systems, not just individuals, could be sinful,” Mr. Vallely added.
Since becoming pope, Francis has expressed strong criticism of capitalism, acknowledging that globalization has lifted many people from poverty but saying it has also created great disparities and “condemned many others to hunger.” He has warned, “Without a solution to the problems of the poor, we cannot resolve the problems of the world.”
Notice that liberation theology’s linkage to Marxism is dismissed offhand as a “conservative . . . claim.” Yet in the next breath, the NYT reporter concedes that Pope Francis “has expressed strong criticism of capitalism.” Hayward is right to ask why liberation theology is “still a thing,” but the answer is that it never stopped being a thing, because the Marxist ideology is alive and well, with powerful apologists or allies (even if not full-fledged adherents) in the Vatican, White House and beyond.