Wednesday, March 14, 2007


ROME — The Vatican is preparing to discipline Father Jon Sobrino, a well-known proponent of liberation theology who worked for decades in El Salvador even as fellow priests were murdered, church sources said Tuesday.

Sobrino will be sanctioned for alleged errors in his teachings and writings about the divinity of Jesus, according to members of his Jesuit order in Rome. A Vatican spokesman this week confirmed to reporters that an investigation was underway.

Sobrino, who resides in San Salvador and is affiliated with the University of Central America there, was expected to comment on the punishment after the Vatican makes a formal announcement later this week, associates at the school said.

Although the censure was expected to focus on specific theological points, Sobrino's supporters immediately decried what they saw as the silencing of an important voice for the poor and disenfranchised.

His punishment reportedly will include a ban on future teaching and publishing. However, other colleagues noted that the 68-year-old priest was weakened by diabetes and semiretired, so it was unclear how great an impact the restriction would have.

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