Why should they have it so bad when we have it so good?
That is what Quality of Life in the Americas is all about. It is Nelson A. Rockefeller’s 137-page report to President Nixon on conditions in Latin America. Blunt, grim, yet optimistic, it presents a special challenge to North American Christians on the plight of their neighbors down the road.
Rockefeller makes one explicitly religious reference to the Roman Catholic Church in an unusual context.
Although it is not yet widely recognized, the military establishments and the Catholic Church are also among today’s forces for social and political change in the other American republics. This is a new role for them. For since the arrival of the Conquistadores more than 400 years ago, the history of the military and the Catholic Church, working hand in hand with the land-owners to provide “stability,” has been a legend in the Americas.
Few people realize the extent to which both these institutions are now breaking with their pasts. They are, in fact, moving rapidly to the forefront as forces for social, economic and political change. In the case of the Church, this is a recognition of a need to be more responsive to the popular will.…
Modern communications and increasing education have brought about a stirring among the people that has had a tremendous impact on the Church, making it a force dedicated to change—revolutionary change if necessary.
Actually, the Church may be somewhat in the same situation as the young—with a profound idealism, but as a result, in some cases, vulnerable to subversive penetration; ready to undertake a revolution if necessary to end injustice but not clear either as to the ultimate nature of the revolution itself ...1
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