Liberal Catholics have scored a major coup at the Vatican, the Guardian reports as a defender of “liberation theologists” and former student of Gustavo Gutiérrez has been appointed head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican.
This extraordinary news can be found in an article entitled “ Pope appoints doctrinal watchdog with links to ‘Marxist’ Catholics”. For a religion reporter this is a great headline and it is followed by a great lede sentence. Think what fun the tabloids would have — Reds in the Vatican. Pinko Papal Prelate Promoted.
There is a problem, however — the remainder of the article contradicts this grand opening. After reading through the story a few times, I am unsure whether the Guardian thinks the appointment of Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller to the top job at the CDF a good or a bad thing. The former Bishop of Regensburg is said to have links to the liberation theology movement, but he is also identified as a conservative and protégé of Pope Benedict XVI.
Also, I’m unsure what being a defender of liberation “theologists” entails as I don’t know what they might mean by this phrase. A theologist is a theologian my dictionary tells me, but I have never heard this term used before in conjunction with the Liberation Theology movement (nor have I come across the word in my reading.)
There is much that is unclear in this story as one gets the sense the author does not understand the terms he uses or the issues under consideration. What is clear, however is that Liberation Theology is a bad thing in the mind of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. But the explanation why it is a bad thing is very thin – almost a caricature – as