The Catholic Church in Latin America

Do you think churches, private schools should pay property taxes? In Latin America, the Catholic Church probably doesn’t pay property taxes and usually supports the Far right conservatives that you and me greatly despise. I think the Catholic Church plays a big role in upholding the oligarchy land power in Latin America do you agree?

Um I’m not sure to what extent that is true. There’s also a lot of Liberation Theology being preached all over Latin America. Keep that in mind. The Vatican used to look dimly at it, but it’s very common at the parish and lay worker level. In Latin America you have murals of leftwing guerrillas waging battle led by Jesus Christ holding an automatic weapon. The mural will have leftwing slogans written all over it. There is a strain of Liberation Theology that can be seen as “Jesus Christ with a machine gun leading a guerrilla column into a war against the rich.”

The Sandinistas had a lot of church people on their side. One of their leaders was a former priest.

In Colombia, the priests helped the leftwing guerrillas. The ELN guerrillas were founded by Camilo Torres, a priest preaching Liberation Theology, the original “priest with an automatic weapon.” The ELN still has deep roots in the church. A lot of the churches in FARC territory support the FARC.

An Irish priest from the US led a guerrilla column in Honduras in 1983 until he was killed.

Same in El Salvador. The Salvadoran guerrillas had deep roots in the church. Remember when the death squads assassinated the five top priests in the country in 1989 for being “the brains behind the guerillas?” Remember when Bishop Romero was assassinated in 1980 for preaching Liberation Theology? The FMLN Leftist guerrillas in El Salvador were practicing Catholics.

The Chavistas in Venezuela are Catholics and Chavez was a practicing Catholic.

Towards the end of his life, Fidel Castro said he was a “cultural Catholic.” There is a lot of “Catholic Communist” thinking coming out of Cuba these days and now many Communist Party members are believers who attend mass. There were also many “Communist Catholics” in the Czech Republic.

Aristide of Haiti was a priest.

The Leftist leader of Paraguay was a former priest.

In Peru, a lot of priests at the parish level even supported the Shining Path!

Remember Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker newspaper? In the US, the Church has often been quite liberal.

It all depends on the country.

Yes, the church hierarchy traditionally supported the elites in part of a deal to let the elites take power and lay off the church, but this all changed with the advent of Gustavo Gutierrez “Theology of Liberation” published in 1965 advocating “the preferential option of the poor.”

A lot of the militarizes down there back in the 1980’s used to have this attitude of the Church as being a hotbed of Communist subversion.

Catholicism lends itself to both rightwing and leftwing thinking due to the nature of the Church. Church doctrine can be interpreted either towards the Right or Left depending on which type of thinking you wish to emphasize.

Protestantism tends to have a rightwing bias pretty much baked into it.

Please follow and like us:
error3
fb-share-icon20
Tweet 20
fb-share-icon20

2 thoughts on “The Catholic Church in Latin America”

  1. Do you think churches private and religious universities should pay property taxes? I would like your opinion Robert.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.