Over the Christmas period I was up in a friend’s house having a few drinks. Nothing unusual in that, we also discuss politics a lot as we are all party members. One thing we don't discuss is religion.
That changed last week when my mate’s relative arrived. He is a member of the Society of Saint Pius X. I must also say that my mate is studying theology in England so the two of them were more than a match for each other. Both I and my mates old boy watched on as the two lads tried to tear stripes out of each other.
All you could hear was "New Mass Catholics" and "One true Church", it got quite heated. I commented that the Society was a schism and as such was not in full communion with the Church of Rome. That was partially refuted and the debate continued.
Most of us took up the issue of Liberation theology and what it might offer the church in these dark and uncertain times. The Conservatism of the Catholic Church is very off putting for a lot of people, especially young people. Some of you will remember my disappointment when Pope Benedict XVI was elected. I know that there is considerable opposition to Liberation theology within the church but I can't work out why.
The Church in Rome is scared of any movement which seeks to change the Conservative disease that cripples the church.
The Conservatism of the Catholic Church has amassed them much money and power over the centuries but what has the church done for the poor?
All the money raised for the poor is raised by the parishes; it never comes from the church.
When I was in Rome in May I was almost sickened by the splendour and wealth that adorns the Vatican. You only have to walk through the hallway of Raphael’s frescos to see the wealth that could do so much more for the really important part of the church, its members.
Liberation theology has three basic stages as set out by Gustavo Gutiérrez.
-First, it involves political and social liberation, the elimination of the immediate causes of poverty and injustice.
-Second, liberation involves the emancipation of the poor, the marginalised, the downtrodden and the oppressed from all "those things that limit their capacity to develop themselves freely and in dignity".
-Third, Liberation Theology involves liberation from selfishness and sin, a re-establishment of a relationship with God and with other people.
Now what does the Church find wrong with this?
The Church should not fear true Marxism as true Marxism is complimentary of Christianity.
Christianity is the belief and Marxism is the tool.