pope francis 1When people suspect Pope Francis of being a “liberation theologian” they have a point. However, he is not a liberation theologian in the classical Marxist sense.

Instead, he quite rightly understands that liberation is part of the gospel message. At the opening of him ministry Jesus quoted from Isaiah that he had come to “set the prisoners free.”

On the feast of St Peter and Paul the pope referred to Peter being set free from prison by an angel and used that story to speak of true spiritual liberation–the liberation from evil and being delivered from the bonds of evil and bondage to sin.

My article for Aleteia this week discusses this point further.

Prayer, the pope reminded them, is not simply making requests to God or even the path to union with God. It is also a form of liberation. “The Church wants you to be men of prayer, masters of prayer; that you may teach the people entrusted to your care that liberation from all forms of imprisonment is uniquely God’s work and the fruit of prayer; that God sends his angel at the opportune time in order to save us from the many forms of slavery and countless chains of worldliness.”

Once again the Holy Father’s spirituality is expressed in the language of liberation—not the shallow image of mere political liberation, but deliverance from the bondage of evil— both corporately and individually. The pope sees Satan as the head jailer and prayer unlocks the chains, opens the doors and sets the prisoner free.

Go here to read the full article.