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Over at the Guardian, Jonathan Freedland exults in a new pope he believes is the “obvious new hero of the left” arguing that “even atheists should be praying” for him, a statement that can be read (on one interpretation) as assuming that atheists are on the left, something that isn’t necessarily so (trust me on this).
There is the usual discussion of where the pope may stand on sexual morality (I’d guess a—so to speak— compassionate conservative with a little medieval thrown in to spice things up), but I found this more interesting:
It seems [Francis] wants to do more than simply stroke the brow of the weak. He is taking on the system that has made them weak and keeps them that way.
“My thoughts turn to all who are unemployed, often as a result of a self-centred mindset bent on profit at any cost,” he tweeted in May. A day earlier he denounced as “slave labour” the conditions endured by Bangladeshi workers killed in a building collapse. In September he said that God wanted men and women to be at the heart of the world and yet we live in a global economic order that worships “an idol called money”….
…[H]e also seems set to lead a church campaign on the environment. He was photographed this week with anti-fracking activists, while his biographer, Paul Vallely, has revealed that the pope has made contact with Leonardo Boff, an eco-theologian previously shunned by Rome and sentenced to “obsequious silence” by the office formerly known as the “Inquisition”. An encyclical on care for the planet is said to be on the way.
Boff? Never heard of him. Perhaps that obsequious silence was just too deep.
A back issue of National Catholic Reporter Online fills the gap:
One of Pope Francis’ most vocal supporters since his election three days ago has been Leonardo Boff, one of the founders of liberation theology….
And no, that’s not reassuring.
FWIW, I don’t think that Francis has signed up for liberation theology. When it comes to economics, at least, his thinking appears to be a muddle of Rerum Novarum and Juan Peron.
And no, that’s not particularly reassuring either.