Volume 1, Issue 1, Spring 2018
Reframing Catholic Social Teaching
Dr. Kim Lamberty
Preferential Option for the Poor Reconsidered
This article contends that churches in the United States have in large measure interpreted the principle of preferential option for the poor in a way that bestows more benefits on the wealthy than on the poor. In support of that contention, the author examines the original meaning of the option for the poor principle, which has its roots in the reflections of theologians working in poverty-stricken contexts. She briefly surveys the work of Gustavo Gutierrez and Jon Sobrino—two theologians who have led Church thinking on poverty—and then suggests a revised praxis of preferential option for the poor for Catholics in the United States.