FrancisChurch priest and his friend, Raul: advocates for ‘the poor’
At National Review, Ion Mihai Pacepa brings back a too-quickly forgotten reality of the Latin American Church.
History often repeats itself, and if you have lived two lives, as I have done, you have a good chance of seeing the reenactment with your own eyes.
Liberation theology, of which not much has been heard for two decades, is back in the news. But what is not being mentioned is its origins. It was not invented by Latin American Catholics. It was developed by the KGB. The man who is now the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, secretly worked for the KGB under the code name “Mikhailov” and spent four decades promoting liberation theology, which we at the top of the Eastern European intelligence community nicknamed Christianized Marxism.
Imagine how brilliant this idea! In the rubble of the Vatican II earthquake, move Communist activists into the Catholic orders and mix their ‘ideologies’ into one worldly focus. Who would denounce the ‘holy’ goals of the Church itself? Who could silence Marxist priests without also provoking the faithful?
Liberation theology has been generally understood to be a marriage of Marxism and Christianity. What has not been understood is that it was not the product of Christians who pursued Communism, but of Communists who pursued Christians. I described the birth of liberation theology in my book Disinformation, co-authored with Professor Ronald Rychlak. Its genesis was part of a highly classified Party/State Disinformation Program, formally approved in 1960 by KGB chairman Aleksandr Shelepin and Politburo member Aleksei Kirichenko, then the second in the party hierarchy after Nikita Khrushchev.
In 1971, the KGB sent Kirill — who had just been elevated to the rank of archimandrite — to Geneva as emissary of the Russian Orthodox Church to the World Council of Churches. The WCC was, and still is, the largest international religious organization after the Vatican, representing some 550 million Christians of various denominations in 120 countries. Kirill/Mikhailov’s main task was to involve the WCC in spreading the new liberation theology throughout Latin America. In 1975, the KGB was able to infiltrate Kirill into the Central Committee of the WCC — a position he held until he was “elected” patriarch of Russia, in 2009. Not long after he joined the Central Committee, Kirill reported to the KGB: “Now the agenda of the WCC is also our agenda.”
There is perhaps a reason why pliant, morbid mainline protestant groups almost always echo the policy positions of the world’s bishops?
During Kirill’s years at the helm of the WCC, liberation theology put down deep roots in Latin America — where the map now has significant patches of red. Russian military ships and bombers are back in Cuba for the first time since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, and Russia has also newly sent ships and bombers to Venezuela.
It can be argued whether today’s Russia is aggressive or defensive, but they are clearly engaged. And despite evidence that both Kirill and Putin may have unfairly enriched themselves, today they project Christian leadership and defend Christian values while the West just capitulates.
Pope John Paul II, who knew the Communist playbook well, was not taken in by the Soviets’ liberation theology. In 1983, his friend and trusted colleague Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI), who at that time was head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, discarded as Marxist the liberation-theology idea that class struggle is fundamental to history. The cardinal called liberation theology a “singular heresy” and blasted it as a “fundamental threat” to the Church.
This has in no way changed, only become more true.
Of course, it was and remains a threat — one deliberately designed to undermine the Church and destabilize the West by subordinating religion to an atheist political ideology for its geopolitical gain.
Listen for this coming from Rome today!
Now names — like Oscar Romero and Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann – not heard since the 1980s, when the Soviet Union was still en vogue, are again making international news. And here we are. The promoters of a KGB-inspired religious ideology, which once embraced violent Marxist revolution, are now denying its link to Marxism and to the KGB.
Whom is it that has rehabilitated Romero; naming him ‘martyr’ and eager to make him saint? Who resurrected the notorious d’Escota?
Is it perhaps the one who rails constantly against the evil economic system, framing Christianity as the enemy of power and wealth? Is it the one who sees those who cling to the doctrines of Faith and the rubrics of the Mass as control-obsessed Pharisees and Lawgivers jealous of Christ, the one who thinks Communism stole the flag of Christendom?