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Option for the Poor

The option for the poor reminds us of God’s preferential love for the poorest and most vulnerable people. God’s love is universal; he does not side with oppressors, but loves the humble.

This principle is believed to have originated from the Liberation Theology movement in Latin America. For the first time, people living in poverty in the slums were holding the Bible in their own hands and imagining a world free from injustice. This radical thinking shaped CAFOD’s early work in the 1960s. 

More recently, some Catholic theologians have spoken about an ‘option for the earth’. Pope Francis writes, “the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor” Laudato Si’ #2.

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