Wednesday 13 March 2013

Pope Francis is no Latin American Liberationist!

It is great that the election of Pope Francis marks an end of 1000 years of the dominance of European pontiffs, it certainly makes sense that the conclave look towards Latin America, where 40% of all Catholics live.

Latin America is linked in many peoples minds with the tradition of LiberationTheology - a theology on the side of the poor and the marginalised. However, over the last 20 years, the last two popes have swept away the influence of progressives throughout South America, replacing them with conservatives in the likeness of the Vatican Curia.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires is one of those conservatives. Though there are signs that he may be sympathetic with the 'social justice' agenda, and he may well be a better communicator and more of a 'team player' - but he is clearly not a 'new beginning' for the Roman Catholic Church.

Priests will still not be able to marry, and there will be no discussions about women priests or gay clergy. It is unlikely that this new pontiff will condemn the wealthy elite that dominate the Latin America that he leaves.

It will take much more that electing a non-European Pope to satisfy those desperate for a modern Roman Catholic Church. The world needs a Pope who is able to address the real issues of the 21st century, equality, climate change, militarism. It would also be helpful to have a pontiff who is humble enough to beg forgiveness for the arrogance and abuses of power in the Vatican's recent history.

We will keep Pope Francis in our prayers, and continue to hope for a miraculous change of thinking at the heart of the Roman Catholic Church

1 comment:

  1. Seriously good post! You should look into his complicity into the human rights abuses of the military junta as well.