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Leonardo Boff (photo: Manuela D'Avila / Wikimedia Commons)

Why has Pope Francis been so willing to draw on the thoughts and words of a man whose radical ideas and actions so comprehensively contradict Catholic teaching?

Originally billed as an international gathering at Assisi, last month’s event “The Economy of Francesco” was held online due to coronavirus restrictions. Involving dozens of speakers and hundreds of participants under the aegis of Pope Francis, the event presented itself as an historical watershed: it aimed at changing the economy of the planet by changing the very mentality of contemporary man, proposing a “new integral human development.” Judging by ratings and media coverage, it looks like the event missed the mark by a full mile.

The conference, however, worked as a launching pad for some radical schemes. One keynote speaker was Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff, who is appearing more and more like a sort of presumed spokesman for Pope Francis with some of his most audacious proposals. He claimed to be a major contributor to the encyclical Laudato Si.  …

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