Thursday, October 04, 2007

Is popular "Social Justice" born-again Liberation Theology?



5. The anxieties and multiple sufferings sustained by those who are faithful to the God of the Covenant provide the theme of several Psalms; laments, appeals for help and thanksgivings all make mention mention of religious salvation and liberation. In this context, suffering is not purely and simply equated with the social condition of poverty or with the condition of the one who is undergoing political oppression. It also includes the hostility of one's enemies, injustice, failure, and death. The Psalms call us back to an essential religious experience: it is from God alone that one can expect salvation and healing. God, and not man, has the power to change the situations of suffering. Thus the "poor of the Lord" live in a total and confident reliance upon the loving providence of God. [6] Moreover, throughout the whole crossing of the desert, the Lord did not fail to provide for the spiritual liberation and purification of the people.

14. Consequently, the full ambit of sin, whose first effect is to introduce disorder into the relationship between God and man, cannot be restricted to "social sin." The truth is that only a correct doctrine of sin will permit us to insist on the gravity of its social effects.

15. Nor can one localize evil principally or uniquely in bad social, political, or economic "structures" as though all other evils came from them so that the creation of the "new man" would depend on the establishment of different economic and socio- political structures. To be sure, there are structures which are evil and which cause evil and which we must have the courage to change. Structures, whether they are good or bad, are the result of man's actions and so are consequences more than causes. The root of evil, then, lies in free and responsible persons who have to be converted by the grace of Jesus Christ in order to live and act as new creatures in the love of neighbor and in the effective search for justice, self-control, and the exercise of virtue. [13] To demand first of all a radical revolution in social relations and then to criticize the search for personal perfection is to set out on a road which leads to the denial of the meaning of the person and his transcendence, and to destroy ethics and its foundation which is the absolute character of the distinction between good and evil. Moreover, since charity is the principle of authentic perfection, that perfection cannot be conceived without an openness to others and a spirit of service.

This outlines the fundamental premise of secular humanism; we can change the structures, and man will "fit" in and there will be justice. I believe, on the contrary, that our faith says something more to the effect of; change the man, and the structures will follow.

Have we returned to the point where God's people were when He walked among them, they wanted a worldly kingdom instead of the one He offered; change our world, not us?

Again, from the same document:

5. The different theologies of liberation are situated between the 'preferential option for the poor', forcefully reaffirmed without ambiguity after Medellin at the Conference of 'Puebla' [19] on the one hand, and the temptation to reduce the Gospel to an earthly gospel on the other. We should recall that the preferential option described at 'Puebla' is two-fold: for the poor and 'for the young'. [21] It is significant that the option for the young has in general been passed over in total silence.

One would wonder, why is this? Perhaps it is the nature of the preferential option? Here is what JPII said:


The Church of Latin-America, which proclaimed its "preferential option for the young" at Puebla (Mexico), is preparing itself for a "new evangelization" to rediscover its roots and rejuvenate the Christian tradition and culture of its peoples on the threshold of the "half millennium" of its first evangelization.

This glove fits; Young people to restore authentic Catholic culture, and everyone, especially the poor, benefit. Contrast today's young people, brought up in the culture of death, survivors of the abortion holocaust, with faith trammeled and destroyed by teachers who do not teach the faith, and is it any wonder that they threaten to euthanize their elders who stood by (quietly or complicitly) as their peers were aborted?

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