Liberation theology holds that Jesus was committed to making society address the needs of the poor, not just giving them charity. But traditional Church leaders condemn it as Marxism in Christian trappings and have sat back as rightist regimes tortured and killed priests and nuns, a history that now haunts Pope Francis.
Exclusive: In the 1970s, Father Jorge Bergoglio faced a moment of truth: Would he stand up to Argentina’s military neo-Nazis “disappearing” thousands including priests, or keep his mouth shut and his career on track? Like many other Church leaders, Pope Francis took the safe route, Robert Parry reports.
From the Archive: Jorge Bergoglio’s election to be Pope Francis has revived troubling questions about the Catholic Church’s role in the Argentine “dirty war” and other right-wing repression in Latin America of the 1970s and ’80s. But the history goes back to ties to the Nazis, as the late Georg Hodel wrote in 1999.
From the Archive: As Argentina’s Dirty War killed some 30,000 people, including 150 Catholic priests, dictator Jorge Rafael Videla kept up good relations with Jorge Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, who admits the Church should have done more given the horrors, as described by Marta Gurvich in 1998.
Exclusive: The U.S. “news” networks bubbled with excitement over the selection of Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio to be Pope Francis I. But there was silence on the obvious question that should be asked about any senior cleric from Argentina: What was Bergoglio doing during the “dirty war,” writes Robert Parry.
The American Religious Right has been eager to tear down – or chip away – the wall that separates government from religion and thus declare the United States a “Christian nation.” But the principle of a secular state has served the country well, says retired Baptist Minister Howard Bess.
Despite originating in Jesus’s messages of peace, Christianity has been arguably the world’s most violent religion with its adherents committing genocide on all continents except unpopulated Antarctica. Again and again, Christian churches have blessed warfare, but a new generation is objecting, says Rev. Howard Bess.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski and other defenders of CIA Director-nominee John Brennan say they are reassured by his Jesuit education at Fordham that he must be well-grounded in moral philosophy. But two Fordham alumni, Scott McDonald and Ray McGovern, disagree in this open letter to Mikulski.
A half century ago, the Catholic Church had a chance for reform in the Second Vatican Council, with a young advocate in Joseph Ratzinger. But reactionary popes shunted reform aside, with Ratzinger later joining them as Pope Benedict XVI. That lost hope has put the Church in today’s crisis, says the Rev. Paul Surlis.
Over the centuries, Christian churches and allied rulers have tortured and killed countless fellow Christians for deviating from doctrinal claims about Jesus’s divine identity. But the historical record that exists indicates that those doctrines were tragically wrong, writes Rev. Howard Bess.