Liberation theologian Fr Jose Comblin dies at 88

Belgian-born liberation theologian and former YCW chaplain Jose Comblin has died in Brazil at the age of 88.

Born in Brussels in 1923, Comblin died Sunday at a hospital in the city of Salvador, Canadian Press reports.

He was ordained in 1947 and came to Brazil for the first time in 1958 in response to a request from Pope Pius XII for European priests to act as voluntary missionaries in regions that lacked priests, Iglesia Descalza reports.

He initially settled in Campinas, in the interior of the state of Sao Paulo where he served as a professor and got close to the Juventud Obrera Católica (Young Catholic Workers), for whom he worked as an adviser.

In Sao Paulo, where he stayed until 1962 before traveling to Chile, he was professor in the Dominican School of Theology to friars who distinguished themselves later as liberation theologians and in the resistance to the Brazilian dictatorship, including Frei Betto and Frei Tito.

He later worked in Chile, teaching at or leading seminaries there.

He was expelled from both Brazil and Chile for his views.

Father Comblin, who had heart problems and used a pacemaker, was found dead in the room where he was staying by other religious who were waiting for him for morning prayers and were surprised at his delay, reports Claudio Carvalhes citing Brazilian sources.

He is to be buried in a small town in the impoverished Brazilian state of Paraíba according to his wishes, said spokespersons for the Archdiocese of Barra, which is also in the state of Bahía where he lived.

Comblin was one of the followers and main advisers to the Brazilian bishop Hélder Cámara, the defender of human rights and the Church’s option for the poor, who came to be known as the “Red bishop” during the Brazilian dictatorship.

SOURCE

Jose Comblin, Catholic priest and renowned liberation theologist, dies in Brazil (Canadian Press)

In Memoriam: Fr. José Comblin (Iglesia Descalza)

In Memoriam: Fr. José Comblin (Claudio Carvalhes)

PHOTO

LuisCarlos Diaz (Flickr/CC 2.0)

One Comment

  1. Our loss of Jose Comblin is a call to commit ourselves to the work of liberation in the spirit of the Gospel. The work is still urgent and our Church is still called to a “preferential option for the poor”. This call challenges much of the contemporary culture of the Vatican as much as the political culture of our day. May we learn to live in solidarity with the “joy and hope, the grief and anguish of all people especially those who are oppressed in any way” RIP Jose Comblin.

Leave a Reply to Tony Robertson Cancel

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*