Leonardo Boff Essay

757 words - 4 pages

Leonardo Boff is recognised as one of the most outspoken, controversial, and eloquent advocates of Roman-Catholic liberation theology. His controversial writings put him at odds with the Vatican and ultimately led to his resignation from the priesthood. He was born in Concórdia, Santa Catarina, in Brazil on the 14th of December 1938. He received primary and secondary education in Santa Catarina, Paraná, and São Paulo. He studied Philosophy and Theology, and joined the Order of the Franciscan Friars Minor in 1959 and received his doctorate in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Munich, Germany, in 1970. Boff was the professor of Systematic and Ecumenical Theology at the Franciscan ...view middle of the document...

In 1981, Leonardo Boff published a number of essays, including one titled Church: Charism and Power, which contained the very descriptive subtitle, Essays in Militant Ecclesiology. It is very uncommon for a theologian to write about ecclesiology, and even more still to write about it militantly.
Years later, Bonaventura Kloppenburg (an zealous foe of liberation theology) wrote a lengthy review charging Boff with heresy. Boff sent a copy of the review, as well as the book to his former teacher Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, now known as Pope Benedict XVI. In May 1984, Boff relieved a six-page letter from Ratzinger, who charged Boff with misrepresenting old doctrines and reinterpreting them in new contexts, and summoned him to Rome.
Ratzinger was deeply disturbed by Boff’s book. He accused Boff of suggesting that Jesus did not establish the particular form and structure of the church, hence implying that other models (other than Roman Catholocism) might be consistent with the gospel. Some months later Boff received an order to silence for “an opportune period.”
This event can clearly show how Boff lives out his core beliefs and principles. Boff related the gospel to the contemporary scene, but doing so stepped over appropriate boundaries. This can be very much associated with...

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