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Publius / September 25, 2015

Krauthammer: Pope’s Liberation Theology Is a Problem

The ones who suffer most are the poor.

Charles Krauthammer reflected on Pope Francis and the liberation theology that swept through Latin America in the latter half of the 20th century. Argentina’s once-strong economy suffered from corporatism that didn’t and doesn’t resemble true free-market capitalism. Krauthammer said the reason the pope often speaks against capitalism “is that capitalism practiced in Latin America, but Argentina especially, was a corrupt, crony capitalism that was a disaster.” He continued, “Now, out of that, in all of Latin America they developed, especially in the 60’s and 70’s, what was called liberation theology, which was strongly anti-capitalist and quite leftist. … John Paul, incidentally, resisted that and he tried not to appoint bishops and cardinals of that persuasion. But, nonetheless, it’s a powerful movement, of which I suspect the pope — he was at least sympathetic in his days in Argentina. And he carried that into the Vatican. So, it’s completely understandable that he would complete and repeat and amplify the anti-capitalist message. It’s not that he is anti-American. And it’s not that I think he is in any way against the kind of democratic capitalism that we have in the West. It’s just that that is the language and the ideology that he inherited.” This is a problem, Krauthammer concluded, “because the moral power he carries can be translated into an ideological message. And the ultimate irony is that if you adopt a liberation theology economics, the ones who suffer most, as in Argentina, are the poor.”

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