The Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region is scheduled to meet in Rome from 6 to 27 October 2019. It is an important synod for reasons that extend far beyond the Pan-Amazon region, and Catholic business leaders should at least be aware of some key issues.—ed.
“We have a window of opportunity before us that will allow us to move forward. We must not propose liberation theology. It scares many people. We need to talk about socio-environmental issues instead. Along this line, among the signs of the times, you have the Pan-Amazon Synod that will be held in October. This is very important.”
This tell-tale statement by the Dominican friar Carlos Alberto Libânio Christo, known as “Frei Betto” (Friar Betto) (pictured to left), was made during his speech at the 11th Faith and Politics National Encounter held in Natal, Brazil, on July 12-14.
A Marxist liberation theologian, Frei Betto was a mentor to the Lula and Dilma Rousseff [socialist] governments in Brazil. As a personal friend of Fidel Castro, he was close to the subversive left. During the sixties, he supported communist guerrilla movements and even spent time in prison as a result. In fact, he betrayed guerrilla leader Carlos Marighella, who he handed over to the military police in 1969, in exchange for a reduction in his sentence.
His “Open Letter to Che Guevara,” published on July 2, 2007, in Granma, the newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, caused a stir. Starting with “Dearest Che,” Frei Betto extols the validity of the example and thought of “comandante” Ernesto Che Guevara, killed in a firefight with the Bolivian army in 1967. He closes the letter thus: “Wherever you are now, dear Che, bless all of us who share your ideals and hopes.” We must not forget that these “ideals and hopes” consisted in establishing Bolshevik dictatorships in Latin America.
Frei Betto has never regretted his Marxist militancy. Again in 2012, he stated, “Marxism, by analyzing the contradictions and shortcomings of capitalism, opens a door of hope for a society that Catholics characterize, in the Eucharistic celebration, as a world in which everyone will be able to ‘share the wealth of the land and the fruits of human labour’…. Marx is not dead. We need to take him seriously” (Correio Braziliense, Apr. 13, 2012).
Frei Betto has always tried to merge Christianity and Marxism by recalling “the common Jewish origin” of both: “The historical encounter between Christianity and Marxism has been realized in the liberating praxis of social and trade union movements. It is in the liberating praxis of the poor that one finds the … Read more>>