Saturday, March 10, 2007

Jon Sobrino to be silenced by the Vatican?

Just saw this over at Michael Iafrate's great blog, Catholic Anarchy [ ]
[Hopefully this is just a rumor being circulated by the embittered characters at Catholic World News]

Miachael writes:

Catholic World News is reporting that the influential Jesuit liberation theologian Jon Sobrino is to be silenced by the Vatican within in the next two weeks, prohibiting him from teaching at Catholic institutions. Sobrino lives and writes in El Salvador, and taught for a time at the University of Central America where six Jesuit priests and their housekeeper and her daughter were killed by Salvadoran death squads in 1989 during the country’s civil war. Sobrino was not killed that night because he happened to be away.

The report claims that Sobrino’s work overemphasizes Christ’s humanity and his engagement in “social causes.” As Michael at Evangelical Catholicism rightly notes, emphasis on the humanity of Christ is not the same thing as denying his divinity. If this silencing is to be carried out, I would find it shameful and outrageous. While my familiarity with Sobrino’s work is limited, I have read some, and he is indeed prophetic:

Liberation theology is a threat because it tells the truth about this world. And the truth is not told. Whoever tells the truth gets killed. Let’s have this clear. Jesus was crucified himself. He offers us the good news: that following him life makes sense. Now following him, in situations like the Salvadorean one, might make it possible to be killed. As long as there is oppression, I hope that theologians will think of God from the point of view of the poor. As long as that happens, there will be liberation theology. - [From an interview with the BBC in the late 1990’s]

Why the Vatican continues its crusade against liberation theology, while jokers like Michael Novak and Richard John Neuhaus are permitted to promote their war theology, is beyond me.

Read a more recent article of his entitled “Anti-Imperial Spirituality” here.

I’ll try to follow the story as it develops.

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