From: JW Burgeson (
Date: Thu May 02 2002 - 10:11:34 EDT

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    I was asked who Boff was, after posting a brief quotation from him.

    Boff was once a Catholic priest; he continues to preach in Brazil where he
    works among poor people. I found the following comments on the internet
    about him:

    Leonardo Boff has been preaching an activist gospel in Brazil for decades.
    Although no longer a priest, Boff is still a theologian and an active member
    of a Christian community in Brazil. He was more or less forced out nearly
    four years ago after a battle with the Vatican over his penchant for mixing
    politics with religion.

    Boff says the Catholic Church is becoming increasingly irrelevant to the
    poor. The people he works with now are committed to building a better world
    not because they are Christians but because they are profoundly human. The
    poor in Brazil are now finding a vision of social justice and community in
    the 'comunidades de base' or 'Base Christian Communities'. There are more
    than 100,000 of these grassroots Christian groups in Brazil which attempt to
    fuse the teachings of Christ with a liberating social gospel.

    Boff believes these are the places where liberation theology is lived
    concretely and where the political dimensions of a liberating faith come
    into play. He says that the poor must understand that poverty is not
    natural. ... He says that today the problem is no longer marginalization of
    the poor but complete exclusion. The question now is how to survive. That's
    why liberation theology deals with fundamental issues like work, health,
    food, and shelter.

    Economic globalization and the spread of poverty is of particular concern to
    Boff, who says the poor are much worse off today than 30 or 40 years ago.
    ... "Brazil has 150 million inhabitants, and for a third of them the system
    functions well, but for the other 100 million it is a disaster."

    ... Boff argues that the first step toward change is for the poor to take
    charge of their own lives. "The institutional Church counts on the support
    of the economic and political powers." As far as Boff is concerned, "the
    Pope's approach to the world is feudalistic. He wants a Church of the rich
    for the poor, but not with the poor."


    Contra my good friend George, I do not see this as having any negative effect on the Christian doctrine of grace.


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