Jon Sobrino

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Jon Sobrino, S.J.
Born December 27, 1938
Barcelona, Spain
Residence El Salvador
Fields philosophy, theology
Institutions University of Central America (UCA)
Alma mater Hochschule Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt, Doctorate in Theology (1975);
St. Louis University, Masters in Engineering Mechanics (1965)
Known for Writings on Liberation Theology
Influences Ignacio Ellacuria, Karl Rahner

Jon Sobrino, S.J. (born 27 December 1938, Barcelona, Spain) is a Jesuit Catholic priest and theologian, known mostly for his contributions to liberation theology.

He received worldwide attention in 2007 when the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a Notification for what they see as doctrines which are "erroneous or dangerous and may cause harm to the faithful."

Life[edit]

Society of Jesus

History of the Jesuits
Regimini militantis
Suppression

Jesuit Hierarchy
Superior General
Adolfo Nicolás

Ignatian Spirituality
Spiritual Exercises
Ad majorem Dei gloriam
Magis

Notable Jesuits
St. Ignatius of Loyola
St. Francis Xavier
St. Peter Faber
St. Aloysius Gonzaga
St. Robert Bellarmine
St. Peter Canisius
St. Edmund Campion
Pope Francis

Born into a Basque family in Barcelona, Sobrino entered the Jesuit Order when he was 18. The following year, in 1958, he was sent to El Salvador. He later studied engineering at St. Louis University, a Jesuit University, in the United States and then theology at Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theologyin Frankfurt in West Germany. Returning to El Salvador, he taught at the Jesuit-run University of Central America (UCA) in San Salvador, which he helped to found.

On November 16, 1989 he narrowly escaped the murder of the UCA scholars by the Atlacatl Battalion, an elite unit of the Salvadoran Army. By a coincidence, he was away from El Salvador when members of the military broke into the rectory at the UCA and brutally murdered his six fellow Jesuits, Ignacio Ellacuria, Segundo Montes, Juan Ramón Moreno, Ignacio Martin Baro, Amando López, and Joaquín López y López, and their housekeeper Elba Ramos and her 15-year old daughter Celina Ramos. The Jesuits were targeted for their outspoken work to bring about resolution to the brutal El Salvador Civil War that left about 75,000 men, women, and children dead, in the great majority civilians.

Investigated by the Vatican throughout his career as a professor of theology, he has remained an outspoken proponent of peace, joining protests in 2008 of the continued training of Latin American military officers in torture techniques at the School of the Americas at Fort Benning, GA.[1]

Works[edit]

Sobrino's main works are Jesus the Liberator (1991) and its sequel, Christ the Liberator (1999), along with Christology at the Crossroads (1978), The True Church and the Poor (1984), Spirituality of Liberation (1990), The Principle of Mercy: Taking the Crucified People from the Cross (Orbis, 1994), No Salvation Outside the Poor: Prophetic-Utopian Essays (Orbis, 2008). See also Stephen J. Pope (ed), Hope and Solidarity: Jon Sobrino's Challenge to Christian Theology (Orbis, 2008)

Vatican notification[edit]

Because of the theological positions he took in his works, Sobrino was the subject of a theological Notification; a critique statement and an admonishment by the Vatican and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in March 2007.

The Congregation declared that Sobrino placed too great an emphasis on the human nature of Jesus Christ, downplaying Christ's divine nature, and that his "works contain propositions which are either erroneous or dangerous and may cause harm to the faithful."

While certain of his teachings were declared false, the Congregation did not condemn or censure him, or prohibit him from teaching or lecturing. However, Federico Lombardi at the Vatican Press Office hinted at the possibility that his bishop or superior in the Jesuit order might choose to take action.[2]

The Congregation emphasized in the notification that it was issued as part of its service "to the people of God, and particularly to the simple and poorest members of the Church." They emphasized the people's "right to know the truth...about Christ," and therefore their corresponding duty to intervene. The notification was premised on Benedict XVI's teaching that "the first poverty among people is not to know Christ."

According to the Notification, Father Sobrino's erroneous propositions concerned: "1) the methodological presuppositions on which the Author bases his theological reflection, 2) the Divinity of Jesus Christ, 3) the Incarnation of the Son of God, 4) the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God, 5) the Self-consciousness of Jesus, and 6) the salvific value of his Death."[3]

At the root of what the Vatican saw as Sobrino's error is his affirmation that "the 'Church of the poor' is the ecclesial 'setting' of Christology and offers it its fundamental orientation." However, the Vatican believes that "only the apostolic faith which the Church has transmitted through all generations that constitutes the ecclesial setting of Christology and of theology in general."

Contrary to criticisms that the Vatican acted without due consultation and unfairly, the Vatican says that a Notification is made after notifying the author of the statements that are seen to be problematic and after awaiting a reply from the author who is given 3 months whereby to respond.[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ John Dear, S.J. "With Jon Sobrino at the SOA protest". NCROnline. Retrieved Nov 25, 2008. 
  2. ^ Vatican criticizes Jesuit liberation theologian, issues no sanctions Catholic News Service, 15 March 2007
  3. ^ The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. "Nota explicativa alla notificazione sulle opere di P. Jon Sobrino, S.I.". www.vatican.va. Retrieved March 14, 2007. 
  4. ^ Holy See - Vatican City State

External links[edit]