Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez honored at Antonio Ruiz de Montoya University

by Liliana Rojas (English translation by Rebel Girl)
La República (Peru)

Liberation theology, which was created over 40 years ago, is still going strong because a significant income inequality still exists in Latin America as well as millions of poor people, says Father Gustavo Gutiérrez Merino, founder of this theological current.

Even though he acknowledges that the political and social conditions are not the same as four decades ago, he notes that poverty in the region continues to be a shameful "scandal" that attacks human dignity. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, more than 200 million people live on less than a dollar a day. That is, they are extremely poor.

"There is poverty and human suffering. This is undeniable. There is great poverty and inequality," Gutierrez Merino said during his speech at the tribute that Antonio Ruiz de Montoya University gave him on the 40th anniversary of the publication of his book, Teología de la liberación. Perspectivas (A Theology of Liberation, Orbis 1988). Audio files of each speaker at this event are available on Erich Luna's Vacío blog.

During the tribute, Alberto Simons, director of the Instituto de Fe y Cultura, former congressman Rolando Ames, and philosopher Raúl Zegarra highlighted the contribution of liberation theology to Christian philosophy.

Father Gutiérrez recalled that in the 60s when he returned from Europe and found that, in a whole continent that considered itself Christian, millions of people were living in inhumane conditions, the need for liberation theology became imperative. "The conditions were given," Gutiérrez Merino emphasized.

The university's Centro de Estudios y Publicaciones, which publishes Gustavo Gutierrez's writings in Spanish, has also dedicated a special issue of their journal, Páginas to the anniversary of his most famous work.

Photo: Fr. Gustavo Gutiérrez Merino poses with well-wishers.

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