Catholics and their Church are often blinded to the fact that “we are living in a society of classes with antagonistic interests. Objectively, the poor are poor because the way society is organized, since they have the strength to work but not the capital, they are placed on the margin.” Boff explains to his readers the categorical need for the “structural change of society” [hard to imagine that without State direction or support or sans any ‘determinate political program’]. For Boff, the Church must come out in full support of “movements that are born of the base–free unions, people’s associations” that defend those without power, which includes their culture and rights. Many Catholics and their Church are loath to admit freedom for the poor involves struggle, what Boff understood as nonviolent revolution, not trickle-down reform, and such “Freedom is never freely granted; it must be attained in an arduous process of freedom.” As Boff writes, “Everything in Francis invites practice: exire de saeculo, leaving the imperial system in an alternative act that makes more real devotion toward others, more gentleness with the poor, and greater respect for nature.” The “spirit and way of life” of Francis of Assisi is no mere “formula, idea, or ideal,” but made manifest in social and political practice, individually and collectively.
Read too the works of the late Penny Lernoux (1940–1989) to see why there has never been a pope to take the name of Francis of Assisi. And take a look at the comparative significance of The Catholic Worker movement in Catholicism generally to begin to see why the faith of Francis has been and remains a considerable distance from the Church.
 See, for example, Phillip Berryman’s classic introduction, Liberation Theology… (Pantheon Books, 1987). Liberation theology and praxis was able to critically absorb analytical insights from the Marxist tradition, as well as ideas and methods from such individuals as the philosopher Enrique Dussel, and Paulo Freire, a philosopher of education.
- Barbé, Dominique. Grace and Power: Base Communities and Nonviolence in Brazil. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1987.
- Barbé, Dominique. A Theology of Conflict and Other Writings on Nonviolence. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1989.
- Berrigan, Daniel. The Steadfastness of the Saints: A Journey of Peace and War in Central and North America. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1985.
- Boff, Leonardo. St. Francis: A Model for Human Liberation. New York: Crossroad, 1984.
- Boff, Leonardo and Clodovis Boff. Introducing Liberation Theology. Maryknoll, NY: Oribis Books, 1987.
- Brown, Robert McAfee. Liberation Theology: An Introductory Guide. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1993.
- Coles, Robert. Dorothy Day: A Radical Devotion. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1987.
- Coles, Robert. A Spectacle Unto the World: The Catholic Worker Movement. New York: Viking, 1973.
- Coy, Patrick, ed. A Revolution of the Heart: Essays on the Catholic Worker. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1988.
- Douglass, James W. The Nonviolent Cross: A Theology of Revolution and Peace. New York:Macmillan, 1968.
- Douglass, James W. Resistance and Contemplation: The Way of Liberation. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1972.
- Dussel, Enrique. A History of the Church in Latin America: Colonialism to Liberation (1492-1979). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1981.
- Ellis, Marc. A Year at the Catholic Worker. New York: Paulist Press, 1979.
- Ellis, Marc. Peter Maurin: Prophet in the Twentieth Century. New York: Paulist Press, 1981.
- Ellsberg, Robert, ed. By Little and By Little: The Selected Writings of Dorothy Day. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1983.
- Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Herder and Herder, 1972.
- Gutiérrez, Gustavo (Caridad Inda and John Eagleson, tr.). A Theory of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1973.
- Lernoux, Penny. The Cry of the People: The Struggle for Human Rights in Latin America—The Catholic Church in Conflict with U.S. Policy. New York: Penguin Books, 1982.
- Míguez Bonino, José. Toward a Christian Political Ethics. Philadelphia, PA: Fortress Press, 1983.
- Musto, Ronald G. The Catholic Peace Tradition. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1986.
- O’Connor, June E. The Moral Vision of Dorothy Day: A Feminist Perspective. New York: Crossroad, 1991.
- Roberts, Nancy L. Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1984.
- Rowland, Christopher, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Liberation Theology. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
- Smith, Christian. The Emergence of Liberation Theology: Radical Religion and Social Movement Theory. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1991.