The new Liberation Theology

From the Catholic Herald July 6th…
Liberation Theology reborn
Since 1998, Bishop Gerhard Luwig Muller has spent part of every year in Peru attending lectures by Fr Gutierrez, the Father of Liberation Theology. This fact created a certain frission on Monday when the Pope appointed Bishop Mulleras Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith…
How are we to understand this?
First of all, Pope Benedict did not reject Liberation Theology in its entirety but only those elements deemed incompatible with the magesterium.Second, a new form of Liberation Theology, less dependant on Marxist concepts, is gaining ground in Latin America….
As the Church continues to grow in the southern hemisphere and shrink in the north, this new purified Liberation Theology will increasingly shape the worldwide Church.

“…it seems probable to me that new forms of the Marxist conception of the world will appear in the future.” – Ratzinger, Mexico 1996

Ratzinger on Liberation Theology

“Thus, all in all, we are facing a remarkable situation: liberation theology had tried to give a new practice to a Christendom that was tired of dogma, a practice by means of which redemption was finally to become an actual event. This practice, however, instead of bringing freedom, left destruction in its wake. What was left was relativism and the attempt to come to terms with it. Yet what that offers is in its turn so empty that the relativist theories look for help from the liberation theology, so as thus to become of more practical use.”

(Truth and Tolerance: Christian Beliefs and World Religions. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Ignatius Press, 2004. pp.130-131)

“From this the theology of liberation deduced that the situation, which must not continue, could only be overcome through a radical change in the structures of this world which are structures of sin and evil. If sin exerts its power over the structures and impoverishment is programmed beforehand by them, then its overthrow cannot come about through individual conversions, but through the struggle against the structures of injustice. It was said, however, that this struggle ought to be political because the structures are consolidated and preserved through politics. Redemption thus became a political process for which the Marxist philosophy provided the essential guidelines. It was transformed into a task which people themselves could and even had to take into their own hands, and at the same time it became a totally practical hope: Faith, in theory, became praxis, concrete redeeming action, in the process of liberation…
…The fact is that when politics want to bring redemption, they promise too much. When they presume to do God’s work, they do not become divine but diabolical…
…The non-fulfillment of this hope brought a great disillusionment with it which is still far from being assimilated. Therefore, it seems probable to me that new forms of the Marxist conception of the world will appear in the future.”

(RELATIVISM: THE CENTRAL PROBLEM FOR FAITH TODAY – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Guadalajara, Mexico, in May 1996 )

Selected writings of Bishop Gerhard Luwig Muller
On the Perpetual Virginity of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary:
In his 900-page work “Katholische Dogmatik. Für Studium und Praxis der Theologie” (Freiburg. 5th Edition, 2003), Müller denies the dogma of the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary claiming that the doctrine is “not so much concerned with specific physiological proprieties in the natural process of birth (such as the birth canal not having been opened, the hymen not being broken, or the absence of birth pangs), but with the healing and saving influence of the grace of the Savior on human nature.”
On the Real Presence of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the Lord in the transubstantiated Eucharistic species:
In 2002, bishop Müller published the book “Die Messe – Quelle des christlichen Lebens” (St. Ulrich Verlag, Augsburg). In this book, he speaks of the Sacrament of the Altar and warns against using the terms “body and blood” in this context. These terms would cause “misunderstandings”, “when flesh and blood are considered to mean the physical and biological components of the human Jesus. Neither is it simply the transfigured body of the resurrected Lord that is being designated.”
Bishop Müller continues: “In reality, the body and blood of Christ do not mean the material components of the human person of Jesus during his lifetime or in his transfigured corporality. Here, body and blood mean the presence of Christ in the signs of the medium of bread and wine.”
Holy Communion transmits according to Müller a “community with Jesus Christ, mediated by eating and drinking the bread and the wine. Even in the merely personal human sphere, something like a letter may represent the friendship between people and, that is to say, show and embody the sympathy of the sender for the receiver.” Bread and wine thus only become “symbols of his salvific presence”.
That is how Mgr Müller explains a “change of being” in the Eucharistic gifts:
“The essential definition of bread and wine has to be conceived in an anthropological way. The natural essence of these offerings [bread and wine] as the fruit of the earth and the work of human hands, as the unity of natural and cultural products consists in clarifying the nourishment and sustenance of man and the communion of the people in the sign of a common meal […]. This natural essence of bread and wine is transfigured by God in the sense that the essence of bread and wine is made to consist exclusively in showing and realizing the salvific communion with God.”
Taken from Rorate Caeli article here…

Further reading by William Oldie at Catholic Herald…


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