Twomey, Gerald S. Books

Rev. Gerald S. Twomey, Ph.D., received his B.A. at SUNY-Geneseo, his M.A. at the Catholic University of America and his Ph.D. at the Graduate Theological Foundation. Dr. Twomey has served as adjunct professor at St. John's University, St. Joseph's College, Molloy College and the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception. Dr. Twomey also edited Thomas Merton: Prophet in the Belly of a Paradox (Paulist Press, 1978), and is the author of When Catholics Marry Again: A Guide for the Divorced. Their Families and Those Who Minister to Them (Winston Press, 1982), and Remembering Henri: The Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen (Oribis, 2006).

“preferential Option for the Poor” in Catholic Social Thought From John XXIII to John Paul II
2005 0-7734-6213-9
The stance towards the poor in Catholic social teaching found new impetus with Pope John XXIII. His encyclicals emphasized the Church's role of engagement with the world. Progress originated in Latin America. Vatican II continued this advancement. The theme of “development” characterized Pope Paul VI's Populorum Progressio, the Synod document Justitia in Mundo and the apostolic exhortation, Octagesima Adveniens. In Latin America, Juan Luis Segundo, S.J. and Gustavo Gutierrez pioneered the movement of liberation theology.

In 1967, Gutierrez coined the term, the "preferential option for the poor." The concept appeared at the Latin American Bishops' Conference at Medellin and found expression at Puebla. Aspects of Marxist terminology and methodology utilized by its postulators caused it to be viewed as reprobate by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and by Pope John Paul II. Eventually, the idea was later refined and incorporated into papal and episcopal documents. It now serves as a cornerstone of official Catholic Social Teaching, reflected in documents of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and in the later allocutions and writings of Pope John Paul II such as Centesimus Annus, Pastores Gregis, Tertio Millennio Adveniente and Ecclesia in America.