Liberation Theology, According to John Paul II

Says Evangelization and Human Promotion “Intimately Connected”

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 15, 2003 ( John Paul II says genuine evangelization leads logically to human promotion, that is, to the “integral liberation of the person.”

The Pope addressed the principles of an authentic theology of liberation today when he met with Carlos Rafael Conrado Marion-Landais Castillo, the Dominican Republic’s new ambassador to the Holy See.

“Human promotion must be the logical consequence of evangelization, which tends to the integral liberation of the person,” the Holy Father said in the address he prepared for the occasion, quoting words he spoke in Santo Domingo on Dec. 12, 1992, on the fifth centenary of the start of the evangelization of the Americas.

“Over these five centuries the Church has accompanied the journey of the Dominican people, proclaiming the Christian principles to them, which are a source of solid hope and infuse renewed dynamism to society,” the Pope explained.

The “work of evangelization and human promotion” are actions “that are not opposed but are intimately connected,” he noted.

This explains the action of the Church in the Dominican Republic “in favor of the disabled, AIDS patients, ethnic minorities, emigrants and refugees,” he said.

Another “reason for joy is the presence of the Church in the educational field, through a pontifical university in Santiago — with premises also in the capital city — four Catholic universities, several technical Institutes and women’s polytechnic institutes, and almost 300 educational centers and parochial schools,” the Pope observed.

“In addition, other institutions of the Catholic Church make a significant contribution to the common effort to foster a more just society, attentive to the needs of its weakest members,” he said.

In his address, the Holy Father encouraged the Caribbean nation’s episcopate in the preparation of a plan for the pastoral program of evangelization on the occasion of the 500 years of existence of episcopal sees on the island.

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