Gustavo Gutierrez, Gerhard Ludwig MuellerThe founder of liberation theology, the Latin American-inspired Catholic theology advocating for the poor, received a hero’s welcome Tuesday at the Vatican as the once-criticized movement continues its rehabilitation under Pope Francis. The Rev. Gustavo Gutierrez of Peru was the surprise speaker Tuesday at a book launch featuring the head of the Vatican’s orthodoxy office, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller; one of Francis’ top advisers, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga; and the Vatican spokesman. The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spent much of his tenure at Mueller’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith battling liberation theology and disciplining some of its most famous defenders, arguing that they had misinterpreted Jesus’ preference for the poor into a Marxist call for armed rebellion. That interpretation was powerfully attractive to many Latin Americans in the 1960s and 1970s who were raised Catholic, taught by Marxist-influenced teachers and outraged by the inequality and bloody repression around them. More