Liberation theology is a Christian movement in political theology which interprets the teachings of Jesus Christ in terms of a liberation from unjust economic, political, or social conditions. It has been described by proponents as "an interpretation of Christian faith through the poor's suffering, their struggle and hope, and a critique of society and the Catholic faith and Christianity through the eyes of the poor", and by detractors as Christianized Marxism.
Support and Opposition
Liberation theology spread by virtue of the inner dynamism with which it codified Christian faith as it applies to the pastoral needs of the poor. Meetings, congresses, theological cal reviews, and the support of prophetic bishops -- Hélder Câmara, Luis Proaño, Samuel Ruiz, Sergio Méndez Arceo, and Cardinals Paulo Evaristo Arns and D. A. Lorscheider, among many others -- have helped to give it weight and credibility.
A series of events has been instrumental in spreading this theology and ensuring its "reception" among theologians the world over:
- The congress at El Escorial, Spain, in July 1972 on the subject of "Christian faith and the transformation of society in Latin America."A number of important reviews in Latin America have become regular vehicles for the publication of articles and discussions by liberation theologians: in Mexico, Christus, Servir, and Contacto; in Venezuela, SIC; in Chile, Pastoral Popular, in Brazil, Revista Eclesiástica Brasileira (REB), Grande Sinal, Puebla, and Perspectiva Teológica; in El Salvador, Estudios Centroamericanos (ECA) and Revista Latinoamericana de Teología; in Panama, Diólogico Social.
- The first congress of Latin American theologians, held in Mexico City in August 1975.
- The first formal contacts between liberation theologians and advocates of U.S. black liberation and other liberation movements-feminist, Amerindian, and the like.
- The creation of the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT) in 1976 and the congresses it has held: Dar es Salaam in 1976, Accra in 1977, Wennappuwa, Sri Lanka, in 1979, Situ Paulo in 1980, Geneva in 1983, Oaxtepec, Mexico, in 1986. All these produced Final Conclusions with their particular characteristics, but all within the framework of liberation theology.
- Finally, the international theological review Concilium (published in seven languages) devoted a complete issue (vol. 6, no. 10, June 1974) to the subject of liberation theology, with all the articles coming from Latin American liberation theologians.
Most countries in Latin America also have centers for theological and pastoral studies: CEAS (Centro de Estudos e Ação, Salvador), CEP (Centro de Estudios y Publicaciones, Lima), ITER (Instituto de Teologia do Recife), DEI (Departamento Ecuménico de Investigaciones, San José, Costa Rica), CAV (Centre Antonio Valdivieso, Managua), and many more. They have been important for training students imbued with a liberation approach.
While all these developments were taking place, reservations and opposition began to be expressed by some who feared the faith was becoming overpoliticized, and by others who mistrusted any use of Marxist categories in analyzing social structures. Also many were unable to accept the deep changes in the structure of capitalist society postulated by this theology. This negative reaction crystalized around three figures in particular: Alfonso López Trujillo, formerly secretary and later president of CELAM, Roger Vekemans of CEDIAL (Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo e Integración de América Latina, Bogota) and the review Tierra Nueva, and Bonaventura Kloppenburg, formerly director of the Medellin Pastoral Institute, later auxiliary bishop of Salvador, Brazil, and author of Christian Salvation and Human Temporal Progress (1979).
Obama ex-pastor offers sanctuary for Occupy protesters. Calls on churches nationwide to open ‘basements and halls’
A recent member of President Obama’s White House faith council has offered his parish as sanctuary to Occupy protesters, calling on churches nationwide to similarly open their doors.
“It’s time to invite the Occupy Movement to church!” wrote Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, a ministry professing a devotion to the pursuit of “social justice.”
Wallis penned an article in his church’s magazine, also entitled Sojourners, calling for a “church sanctuary for the Occupy movement.”
[ ... ]
“As we provide that safe sanctuary for a new generation of protesters who dream of a better world, let us also engage them in the spirituality of the change they seek.”
Continued Wallis: “Concentrations of wealth and power, unfairness in our political process, the loss of opportunity — especially for the next generation — and the alarming rise of poverty in the world’s richest nation are all fundamental concerns for people of faith.”
[ ... ]
Wallis recommended churches provide Turkey dinner to the Occupiers, remarking the protesters are likely sick of pizza.
Occupy Wall Street: Origins & Prospects
Today’s global protests represent the rebellion of reasonable minds, with the overall message that the economies should serve the people, not the super-rich top 1%. In his landmark “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break the Silence” speech, exactly a year before he was assassinated, on April 4, 1967, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., put it this way: “we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” At the time, King was talking about integration as “shared power and radical redistribution.” Unfortunately, since King’s death there has been a radical redistribution of wealth and power, but in the opposite direction, towards the top 1%. But King’s critique here of the entwined evils of militarism and materialism and the related need for a revolution of values, have been echoed recently, most notably by Cornell West, in the context of the new monument to King and the civil rights movement on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
King’s words also echoed that of other religiously inspired activists, before and after. For example, Peter Maurin, one of the founders of Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker movement, in his “A Case for Utopia,” noted: The world would be better off if people tried to become better and people would become better if they stopped trying to become better off. For when everyone tries to become better off nobody is better off. But when everyone tries to become better everybody is better off. Everyone would be rich if nobody tried to become richer and nobody would be poor if everybody tried to be the poorest. And everybody would be what he ought to be if everybody tried to be what he wants the other fellow to be.”
Father Ignacio Ellacuria, then rector of the University of Central America in El Salvador, put it this way in Europe, speaking to the West, just a few days before he was assassinated by US-trained government forces in San Salvador in November of 1989: “[You] have organized your lives around inhuman values…inhuman because they cannot be universalized. The system rests on a few using the majority of the resources, while the majority can’t even cover their basic necessities. It is crucial to define a system of values and a norm of living that takes into account every human being.” Perhaps today, the world is finally heeding these eloquent messages about the purposes of wealth and the need to subordinate the economy to the needs of society - as Karl Polanyi argued in his Great Transformation - most especially the vast majority, and above all the global poor, with its echoes too in liberation theology. That is the great hope and clarion call of this new global movement.
Does God take Sides?
I believe in the mystery and wonder of love and justice that is available to everyone, no exceptions. God is God of the rich and the poor, the just and the unjust. However, that spirit of God calls us, as human beings, to take sides. We are called to take the side of the poor, the powerless and the oppressed. We are called to orient our lives and our living to human liberation. Justice is what love looks like in action. Liberation is what God looks like alive in the world. In that sense, you could make the argument that God takes sides or least has a preferred option for the poor, the powerless, and the oppressed.
The Occupy Wall Street protests yesterday caused me to re-examine the original work of liberation theology – Gustavo Gutierrez’s A Theology of Liberation. I am on the side of the unions, the Occupy Wall Street protestors, the jobs bill, universal health care coverage, GLBT rights, planned parenthood, local farmers, and a host of other people and causes that are poor, powerless and oppressed in the face of Wall Street, Corporate Interests, Agribusiness, and other powerful oppressors. Why? My existence is bound up in the existence of others in what Martin Luther King called a “an inescapable network of mutuality” and my salvation is bound up in the salvation of human systems. As Gutierrez says:
“Salvation is not something otherworldly, in regard to which the present life is merely a test. Salvation – the communion of human beings with God and among themselves – is something which embraces all human reality, transforms it and leads it to its fullness in Christ.”
A Clarification on the Occupy Wall Street Movement: A Response To W. Travis McMaken
But I in the end I think Travis picked the wrong exemplar for the Christian conservative movement. I said what I did about Capitalism because I meant it; I didn’t just write that as a throw away so I could cover my bases and get to what I really wanted to talk about. Yes, I really did want to talk about an element that has largely provided shape for the OWS movement (Marxism, in general; Liberation Theology, in general; etc.); but it is a hasty generalization to assume because that was the kernel of my post that that is all I am about, that that is all I have to say about this. It is not! When I said that I see myself as a prophet (which I said in the last post), come into the far country of this world; that is my position, as a Christian. To stand in God’s presence, through participation with his Word; and proclaim his Word as Witness over and against any and all ‘world’ systems that seek to dethrone the Kingdom of God of its King, with the king of this world system; the anti-Christ. I don’t think that this means in order for me to do this that I have to identify with any political system. I can join in with particular political systems when I believe, along with the church, that they are standing for God’s right and not the devil’s wrong. But I don’t think I ought or need to then also self-identify as a Socialist, Republican, Democrat, Marxist, or anything else. I am a Christian, isn’t that enough?!
Global Health and Liberation Theology
October 24, 2011 Ford Family Program's Discussions on Development series with Paul Farmer and Gustavo Gutierrez
A European Revival of Liberation Theology by Ulrich Duchrow
What should Christianity be saying about global capitalism? The World Council of Churches, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches, and the Lutheran World Federation have begun a significant exploration of that question.
EMPOWERING VOICES - Dr. James H. Cone
Rev. Joan R. Harrell interviews Dr. James Cone, Charles A. Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary
#OccupyWallStreet: We Make the Road by Walking
#OccupyWallStreet is in a liminal space between Empire and the future that is being shaped now. General Assemblies, working groups, direct action and civil disobedience, awareness of privilege, structures addressing histories of oppression, alternative narratives: this is the normativity of the future. In the shadow of Empire – in the spaces of Empire like Zuccotti Park and Lasalle and Jackson in Chicago’s Loop – the counter-project to Empire is taking shape in a way that cannot be crushed. Yes, the occupation is physical, but at its core this revolution is transforming the way people interact, understand, relate, consent, and – most importantly – dissent to power.
Saving the Banks?
It has become a commonplace in these times of economic turmoil an insistence on the need to “save” the banks. What does that mean? What does “salvation” mean in this context? Is there a correlation between “saving the banks” and “saving,” say, “the world?”
As some would argue, free-market capitalism is, in many ways, a theological endeavor so it should not surprise us to see concepts like “salvation” being employed in neo-liberal circles. Financial institutions have gained a spiritual dimension and, as Franz Hinkelammert would argue, predicting the fluctuations (or the “moods”) of the market is a task for the wisest of the prophets. Allegiance to these prophets is indeed a matter of the utmost importance as they hold the keys to the Promised Land, the control over the “mood” of the gods.
I believe the time has come for theologians to engage in a systematic resistance to the theology of Wall Street. Can we push their soteriological metaphors a little bit and start making some reference to the sin of the banks? Or to the sacrifice demanded by its gods?
Warren Zevon, Liberation Theology, and Occupy Wall Street
[academic writing, in Professor John Shook's class on social ethics and the philosophy of religion, Union Institute and University, fall 2011]
Gentle rain falls on me
and all life folds back into the sea
we contemplate eternity
beneath the vast indifference of heaven
They say “everything’s all right”
they say “better days are near”
they tell us “these are the good times”
but they don’t live around here…
-- Warren Zevon, “The Vast Indifference of Heaven”
Through De La Torre’s anthology regarding liberation across world religions, what “core” values exist, and to what extent do these values reflect a common interpersonal ethics? I have followed Ryan’s keen lead in initiating a discussion of commonality and liberation with Warren (“Werewolves of London”) Zevon lyrics, as few popular singer-songwriters were as successful in providing creative and new musical statements about individuals’ liberation: amidst “Lawyers, Guns, and Money,” the aforementioned werewolves, and a Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School (an album title), Zevon’s conceptualization of spiritual liberation held at its core a search and expectation of unrevealed wisdom at work and at present, always and already.
De La Torre’s anthology is fascinating, providing glimpses of major world religions as current foils to the ever-springing Occupy movement, and other acts of social, political, and economic liberation: believing not that the Occupiers are a diametric galvanization to the Tea Party, but that both entities in the public sphere may sum to mean that more of us than ever are on the Outside Looking In, at something we’re not sure we can trust (my apologies for my potentially-offensive, inclusive pronouns). Which of these two social, political, and economic movements contains as useful a statement as a Warren Zevon lyric may be a useful rhetorical analysis; world religions’ consistency in ethical and ‘merge-able’ principles, as described in De La Torre’s anthology, is the rock n’ roll of this brief discussion.
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Among the religions discussed in this essay, Protestantism appears least likely to accept Zevon’s lyrics that describe an Other misnaming the quality of our time: “they tell us “these are the good times”/they don’t live around here” (Zevon) rings least with Rieger’s notions of spirituality as a means for individual’s liberation (“the point of departure of [Protestant, Christian] liberation theology is not primarily social ethics […] or general political or economic assumptions about the common good; the point of departure and the very heart of the enterprise is a new vision of God” (p. 40)). Should we be revealed some glimpse of the ‘vast indifference of heaven,’ and gain a liberatory new conceptualization of our existence, to what extent will we acknowledge and entreat our attention to the poor, the disadvantaged, the downtrodden? Or, to what extent shall we proceed on, as stoic individuals, whose spiritual liberation extends not to our bank accounts or holdings? In my digestion of De La Torre’s anthology, I have gained new appreciation for the Occupy movement, as individuals critiquing a “matrix of values,” seeking liberation from an oppressive system.
Time marches on
Time stands still
Time on my hands
Time to kill
blood on my hands
my hands in the till
down at the Seven Eleven…
-- Warren Zevon, “Vast Indifference of Heaven”
Pope said it 80 years before Occupy Movement
Pope Pius XI in 1931
"It is obvious that not only is wealth concentrated in our times but an immense power and despotic economic dictatorship is consolidated in the hands of a few, who often are not owners but only the trustees and managing directors of invested funds which they administer according to their own arbitrary will and pleasure.
"This dictatorship is being most forcibly exercised by those who, since they hold the money and completely control it, control credit also and rule the lending of money. Hence they regulate the flow, so to speak, of the life-blood whereby the entire economic system lives, and have so firmly in their grasp the soul, as it were, of economic life that no one can breathe against their will." (Quadragesimo Anno, 1931, §§105–6)
It is rumored that this pope was poisoned just a few years later.
Re: Pope said it 80 years before Occupy Movement
This is from a modern day Catholic outlaw.
Bishop Williamson on the Economy:
"...if fractional reserve banking enables banks to disconnect money from reality and fabricate it at will, and if they can charge even slight compound interest on their funny money, then logically they can – and do ! – suck all real value out of an economy, reducing most depositors to borrowers and most borrowers to hopeless debt-slaves, or mortgage-slaves., taking care only not to kill off completely the goose laying the golden eggs for their benefit. The divinely inspired wisdom of the law-giver Moses was to put brakes on all lenders' power by cancelling all debts every seven years (Deut. XV,1-2), and by restoring all property to its original owners every 50 years (Levit. XV, 10) ! And why did Moses, a great man of God and therefore a man of deep 'spirituality,' concern himself with such materialistic questions ? Because as bad economics can turn men to despair, towards Hell, away from God – look around you, today and above all tomorrow – so good economics make possible a wise prosperity which in no way worships Mammon, but makes it rather easier to trust in the goodness of God and to worship and love him. Man is soul and body."
RELIGION: Liberation theology label a good one
Re: “Religion: Glenn Beck did do his homework” (letter, 9-7).
The writer states that “Beck and anyone familiar with liberation theology know that the dominant principle involved is Marxism.”
No. Its message is a sound embrace of the teachings of Jesus and the Old Testament prophets, briefly summed up as “God’s preferential option for the poor.”
Occupy Wall Street: Abundance v Scarcity
As of 2007, the top ten percent of the American population held 73.1% of the wealth nationally, while the bottom sixty percent of the population held a mere 4.2% (SCSPI, 2011). The SCSPI also found that in 2000, the average CEO was making one thousand thirty-nine times the average worker pay, thus we can hypothesize this has only gotten worse.
These unsettling figures give credence to the Occupy Wall Street movement. From a global view, Occupy Denmark says they want more money spent on the bottom 99% of the population with a redistribution of wealth and less spent on wars. If we use Christian biblical theology as our historical lens, we know that before any wealth redistribution is considered death, wars, and philosophical warfare will ensue in order to maintain power, legitimacy and control by those holding this scarcity view.
As human beings we inhabit a beautiful planet, full of life and abundance; yet the masses of people, including Christians, have been socialized into a mindset of fear that has developed into a philosophy of scarcity. Many Americans are in a state of constant fear believing that there is not enough for them, let alone everyone. While the top one percent is flourishing economically, we find that 21.9% of American children are living in poverty and in 2007 alone 8,100,000 children under the age of eighteen went without insurance (SCSPI, 2011).
A Time to ‘Occupy’?
More ominously, the vigorous extraparliamentary movement from the left and the right is a populist indictment of our legislative branch — an indicator that many citizens are incensed about the inefficient impasse of lawmaking in Washington. I found it striking to witness a group of people bearing the elements night and day to make a political point. Occupy Wall Street, to be sure, is an act of political theater, but it is also a display of asceticism in the service of communicating a point of view.
Regardless of our socioeconomic views, Occupy Wall Street invites us to express our convictions more consistently, and when deemed appropriate to do so sacrificially. Very little mention of sacrifice and struggle occurs in our churches. In the words of Martin Luther, many of our pulpits have exchanged a theology of the cross for a theology of glory, a strange pattern of speech that rarely mentions disease, death, and despair.
When is the last time your church spoke about something penultimate that mattered? Churches can and should speak of ultimate matters — life and death, sin, and salvation, creation and consummation. But what of penultimate things? Shouldn’t churches offer words of wisdom and love here as well — “on earth as in heaven”?
Andy Stanley, the pastor of Northpoint Church in Atlanta who preached a series on greed and the Great Recession, argues that churches should converse about issues that grip the nation. Occupy Wall Street meets that standard.
The life of the church may not end when we are silent about things that matter, but it is certainly impoverished. There is, of course, a time to be silent. But, as even the most casual Bible reader knows, there is also a time to speak.
The Theology of the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Movement
I think this is a very apt observation for the day in which we live. Revolution sounds noble to many the young ear, but what, in our case, does the ‘Occupy’ movement hope to replace the current ‘Global system’ with? I despise the greed and money-mongering of the Capitalist elite as much asthe next activist (to be honest); but I also despise the alternative that seems to be fueling most of the activists continued drive to thwart the powers that be. In other words, I repudiate Marxist, Liberation Theology and its ideals (metaphysically and ethically); I repudiate the Social Democratism that perpetuates much of the labor movement element that helps to spawn the ‘Occupy’ movement in its global effort. I think both and all systems are equally malevolent and deleterious to the soul of humanity. The history of Marxism, whether in its socialist/communist or fascist forms, illustrates the repressive and oppressive policies that they would foist upon humanity. There is no utopia without Christ!
One could push back at me with; ’Well, isn’t, at least, Marxist communist ideology situated upon better ideals and premises? The principle of alleviating the oppression of the poor and down trodden; the strangle hold that the rich elite in the world have on the 99%?’ And my reply to this is that there is, in principle, no gradation of right and wrong before a Holy God. There is either right, or there is wrong; there is no political or social theory that is more or less proximate to God’s ways in Christ. We cannot collapse God’s system into the political ideology of humanity. That is not to say that God has not broken into our systems and humanity through Christ. But instead it is to recognize that at a systemic level, humanity continues to follow the broad way that leads to destruction; they do this because they love the darkness rather than the light. So even if their ’intentions’ appear to be good; we know (Deus absconditus) that appearances aren’t always what they seem, one way or the other. We know that humanity is still homo incurvatus in se (turned in on their selves), and that movements without Christ as their shepherd only lead to destruction in the end.
Glenn Beck Interviews Jesus
Glenn Beck explains to Jesus that social justice isn't in the gospel. Beck admits on air that he chose his religion based on getting laid and then talks to Jesus about how the Occupy Wall Street crowd are skanks.
Beware of false doctrines like "Liberation Theology" and "Social Justice;" antichrist teachings.
What is "liberation theology" that I keep hearing about? Is it wrong or right?
"Liberation theology" represents a movement, largely in Latin America and among Roman Catholics, that focuses on liberation from social oppression and injustice. A vital theology, its adherents claim, must speak to how this liberation can be brought about. All other theological matters should be subservient to a social concern for the poor and oppressed. See, for example, G. Gutiérrez's A Theology of Liberation.
To reply: However much there is need for such concern, and its proper place in a vital theology, the deeper spiritual need is little recognized. Jesus declared that He came "to preach the gospel to the poor…to proclaim release to the captives…to set free those who are downtrodden" (Luke 4:18). This was, and is, a gospel not primarily of societal alteration but of relief from inner oppression and bondage. "Liberation theology," while concerned about the social plight of the poor and oppressed, falls short in relating to the far profounder spiritual plight of all people.
Liberation Theology by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
The following is to a "private" document which preceded the Instruction of Fall 1984.
1. Liberation theology is a phenomenon with an extraordinary number of layers. There is a whole spectrum from radically marxist positions, on the one hand, to the efforts which are being made within the framework of a correct and ecclesial theology, on the other hand, a theology which stresses the responsibility which Christians necessarily hear for the poor and oppressed, such as we see in the documents of the Latin American Bishops' Conference (CELAM) from Medellin to Puebla. In what follows, the concept of liberation theology will be understood in a narrower sense: it will refer only to those theologies which, in one way or another, have embraced the marxist fundamental option. Here too there are many individual differences, which cannot be dealt with in a general discussion of this kind. All I can do is attempt to illuminate certain trends which, notwithstanding the different nuances they exhibit, are widespread and exert a certain influence even where liberation theology in this more restricted sense does not exist.
2. An analysis of the phenomenon of liberation theology reveals that it constitutes a fundamental threat to the faith of the Church. At the same time it must be borne in mind that no error could persist unless it contained a grain of truth. Indeed, an error is all the more dangerous, the greater that grain of truth is, for then the temptation it exerts is all the greater.
Furthermore, the error concerned would not have been able to wrench that piece of the truth to its own use if that truth had been adequately lived and witnessed to in its proper place (in the faith of the Church). So, in denouncing error and pointing to dangers in liberation theology, we must always be ready to ask what truth is latent in the error and how it can be given its rightful place, how it can be released from error's monopoly.
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In trying to arrive at an overall evaluation it must be said that, if one accepts the fundamental assumptions which underlie liberation theology, it cannot be denied that the whole edifice has an almost irresistible logic. By adopting the position of biblical criticism and of a hermeneutics that grows through experience, on the one hand, and of the marxist analysis of history, on the other, liberation theologians have succeeded in creating a total picture of the Christian reality, and this total view seems to respond fully both to the claims of science and to the moral challenges of our time, urging people to make Christianity an instrument of concrete world transformation; it seems to have united Christianity, in this way, with all the "progressive forces" of our era. One can understand, therefore, that this new interpretation of Christianity should have exercised an increasing fascination over theologians, priests and religious, particularly against the background of Third World problems. To say "no" to it must seem to them to be a flight from reality as well as a denial of reason and morality. On the other hand, if one considers how radical this reinterpretation of Christianity is, it is all the more pressing to find the right answer to the challenge which it presents. We shall only survive this crisis if we succeed in making the logic of faith visible in an equally compelling manner and in presenting it as a logic of reality, i.e., manifesting the concrete force of a better answer attested in lived experience.
The lonely liberation theology of Benedict XVI
Add it up, and what you get is this: Benedict XVI is genuinely scandalized by poverty and injustice, and he wants the church to be a change agent. In terms of how the church promotes transformation, however, it’s not by lobbying or electoral strategy, but by inviting people into relationship with Christ – the Christ whose “preferential love for the poor” Benedict has repeatedly confirmed.
Nurture love for Christ in the hearts of women and men, the pope believes, and the revolution will come. Trying to start with the revolution first, he believes, is a recipe for heartache, which the tragic history of the 20th century eloquently illustrates.
That’s the liberation theology of Benedict XVI. It is, in some ways, a fairly lonely position, satisfying neither the zeal for concrete political advocacy of the Catholic left nor the laissez-faire instincts of at least part of the Catholic right.
UPRISINGS, LIBERATION THEOLOGY, OCCUPY WALL STREET AND THE RWANDA GENOCIDE
Liberation theology began as a movement within the Roman Catholic church in Latin America in the 1950s–1960s. Liberation theology arose principally as a moral reaction to the poverty caused by social injustice in that region. The term was coined in 1971 by the Peruvian priest Gustavo Gutiérrez, who wrote one of the movement's most famous books, A Theology of Liberation. Liberation Theology was the perfect blueprint for the Sandinistas.
It incorporated the very aim of Marxist-Leninism. It presumed the classic Marxist "struggle of the masses" to be free from all capitalist domination. And above all, the Marxist baby was at last wrapped in the very swaddling clothes of ancient Catholic terminology. Words and phrases laden with meaning for the people were co-opted and turned upside down.