Brazilian theologian says ex-bishop President-elect will apply liberation theology in Paraguay


Asunción, Jul 31, 2008 / 02:47 pm (CNA).- The controversial ex-priest and leader of Marxist liberation theology, Leonardo Boff of Brazil, said this week that the former bishop and President-elect of Paraguay "fully identifies with liberation theology and plans to implement it in his government, the preferential option for the poor."

Boff made his comments after a meeting with Lugo, according to the Paraguayan daily "Ultima Hora." He said it was also "important that policies be adopted to make citizens aware of the importance of conservation in order to protect the environment" and that he met with Lugo "as an environmentalist seeking support for regional environmental projects."

On July 28, Lugo attended a talk by Boff on education in environmental issues at the National University of Asuncion in the city of San Lorenzo.

"Boff's teaching not in keeping with Catholic Church"

Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano of Ciudad del Este spoke with the Paraguayan daily La Nacion about Boff's views: "It's not that liberation theology opts for the poor, as if the Catholic Church did not opt for the poor. Their manner of opting for the poor is exclusionary. For this reason John Paul II said the option for the poor is not exclusive or exclusionary, and he was referring to liberation theology."

Bishop Livieres explained that Boff "is free to go where he pleases, I don't agree at all with his theological opinions. He was condemned by the Holy See in 1985 and he left the Church in 1992. I would ask him not to go to the Catholic University because that is where the teaching of the Catholic Church is imparted and Boff's teaching is not that of the Catholic Church."

Commenting on the relationship between Lugo and Boff and the eventual application of Marxist liberation theology in Paraguay, Bishop Livieres said the two "have a relationship that goes back years. Liberation theology is an internal problem of the Church; it is not a guerrilla movement. It is a mistaken way of understanding the priesthood and all theology. Lugo has fallen into this error for many years, but it is not a political error; it is a doctrinal one," he said.

The bishop also denied suggestions that there would be friction between the Church and the incoming government in Paraguay, as long as Fernando Lugo "does not meddle in Church affairs or the Church in State affairs."