Interview of the Synod Watch Editor with Il Giornale
TFP leader Julio Loredo: “The Pope has legitimized Liberation Theology. But the faithful seek tradition.”
Liberation Theology is still a problem. Indeed, with the current pontificate, this way of understanding Catholicism has gained space and prominence, as many in the multifaceted, so-called “traditional world” are convinced. Julio Loredo is the president of the Italian “Tradition Family Property” Association, which has also distinguished itself for its criticism of the deliberations of the Pan-Amazon Synod.
But the interviewee’s examination touches on more points.
The Pan Amazon Synod has helped to bring out conflicting positions. You are among those who consider an urgent supranational intervention in those territories unnecessary. Am I wrong?
The Amazon region belongs to Amazon countries – Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Suriname, Guyana, French Guyana – which have full sovereign rights over their territory. Introducing a logic of internationalization of areas declared to be of supranational interest would open a very dangerous slope. First, who would declare an area to be of supranational interest? Then, with what kind of force would they intervene? With military force? What would happen to the legitimacy of national governments? Would they be ipso facto ousted, or at least coerced by a world authority? What would then remain of democracy?
What consequences would a supranational approach have?
It would clearly establish an interventionist and imperialist logic with unpredictable consequences. Moreover, it raises suspicions that this argument is used almost exclusively against Brazil. For example, since many European Union countries depend on Russian gas, should we declare Siberia an area of supranational interest? Ditto with the Persian Gulf with regards to oil? That said, it seems to us that objective data – economic, social, cultural, environmental – show that the Brazilian government is doing a satisfying job in the Amazon. In other words, there is no reason for urgent and supranational intervention in those territories.
From a doctrinal point of view, is it correct to speak of a return to traditionalism?
It is a fact that traditionalism is growing everywhere. Just look at the numbers. That is not so much from a “doctrinal point of view;” it is rather a sociological fact that shows a profound change in trends in public opinion. It is certainly a “return,” but with a fundamentally innovative note. In fact, the vast majority of people involved in this phenomenon are young.
But are traditionalists nostalgic?
They are people who cannot be accused of nostalgia, that is, of wanting to return to something they had known. What is it that attracts a growing number of young people towards Tradition? It is a complex phenomenon impossible to analyze in a few lines. I would say that it is something like the Prodigal Son of the Gospel. Since the world revolutionary process has reached truly disconcerting excesses – abortion, LGBT agenda, drug addition, euthanasia, and so on – a desire for Order is arising from the depths of many souls, which then translates in various ways.
How is this traditional explosion expressed in religion?
This renewed vigor of traditionalism is evident in the religious field, for example, with the exponential increase of Masses in the Old Rite, frequented above all by young people, and celebrated by young priests. Or in the great growth in contemplative religious orders of strict observance. There is a desire for religion and concretely from the religion of always, not softened by liberal elements. This trend is also evident in the political sphere, with the widespread progress of center-right parties. The recent regional elections in Umbria are a clear example of this. The ‘wind’ of history is clearly changing.
Is liberation theology still a problem?
Its condemnation by John Paul II in 1984, and above all the failure of the political project that served as its carrier – that is, real socialism – marked a period of decline for Liberation Theology. The election in 2013 of a Latin American Pope sympathetic to ithas led to its rebirth. They first talked about “redeeming it,” then, “making it become part of the life of the Church.” Today, I believe it is one of the pillars of the current pontificate.
You have raised a series of perplexities about the Pan Amazon Synod.
A proof of this is the recent Special Synod for the Amazon region, conceived, organized and carried out by people and organizations belonging to the Liberation Theology movement both in its original forms — of Marxist inspiration –, and in its updated forms, that is, Indigenous Theology and Ecological Theology. In this sense, it is obvious that Liberation Theology is still a problem. And with this Synod, its adepts have demonstrated a high degree of ideological organization and motivation, not to mention the gigantic propaganda machine at its service.
Does a majority still support Liberation Theology in its countries of origin?
“The question is whether it relies on the support of Latin American public opinion. The answer, I think, is a sharp ‘No.’ Back in the sixties and seventies, the Liberation Theology movement was already the stuff of very aggressive minorities supported by a few equally aggressive prelates. The immense majority of the clergy and faithful remained silent, giving the impression that the movement was strong and unstoppable. Today, the situation has changed somewhat.”
Clergy and so-called grassroots have begun to react.
The reaction against Liberation Theology is growing as more bishops, priests, and the faithful break their silence. For example, the reaction against the Amazon Synod has deployed into social media and newspapers as a profound and powerful shockwave, involving a huge number of people. Undoubtedly, the action promoted by the Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute, especially through the Pan Amazon Synod Watch website, has been an important element in this reaction.
What do you think of Pope Francis’ approach to the priorities of the South American continent?
We need to go over some history. In the sixties and seventies, South America was shaken by violent revolutionary processes encouraged by Cuba, which, with the help of Liberation Theology, brought socialist and even communist governments to power. Without exception these socialist experiments failed, causing great suffering for the populations. In the 1990s, the continent slowly but surely began to rise, experiencing so much progress that it now boasts four countries in the category of “emerging powers.” In just over two decades, the poverty index was halved while the distribution of wealth improved. The exceptions are Cuba and Venezuela, which have sunk more and more into poverty thanks to socialism.
What is the situation in South America now?
While most South Americans are happy with the renewed vigor of the continent, those nostalgic for socialism are trying to return to the past. There is a clash between two opposing conceptions of man, of society, and even of the Church, competing for the leadership of the continent, a clash concerning both doctrine and concrete projects. From the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has shown sympathy for one side of the debate, encouraging and supporting people and organizations linked to the currents of the Left. That has caused great confusion not only for the doctrinal implications of these positions but also for their concrete consequences, already proven bankrupt in the eyes of all.
Source: Il Giornale
Translated by the staff of Pan-Amazon Synod Watch.
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