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Economic Development of Central America Econ. 4200 - Spring 2004 – Dr. Taylor - page 100 / 153

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#6 Economic Dynamism and Political Decay, the 1950s to the Early 1980s.

There were several important grass roots, social developments during the 1960 and early 70’s that fed the flames of civil strife.

[1] Pope John XXII preached on the social responsibility of the Church… led to the formation of “liberation theology”.

[2] With encouragement from the Vatican, Catholic priests and nuns became important catalysts of change among the rural and urban poor.

[3] Clergy helped them form cooperatives, organize community action projects and leagues, press authorities to redress grievances. In general to raise social consciousness and empower those marginalized.

[4] Brought the Church, clergy and peasants into direct opposition to the state; making them targets for brutal reprisals.

Note: The successors to Pope John have backed away from the social gospel and John Paul II has all but repudiated social and political Church activism.

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