Unfortunately, we Brazilian Catholics are facing yet another contradiction in the policy of Cardinal Hummes, Rapporteur of the Amazon Synod, regarding the Brazilian government.
The UOL website reported on October 4 that while “Pope Francis has vetoed the presence of incumbent Brazilian politicians and military leaders” at the Rome Synod, at the same time, the “Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (Repam), an entity chaired by Cardinal Hummes, invited congressmen from leftist parties such as the PT, PSB, and the Sustainability Network. They are supposed to participate in the activities of the ‘Common Home’ tent, an open and collective space linked to the synod and organized by Repam, Caritas, the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI), and the Global Catholic Climate Movement”1
Archbishop Hummes had already caused surprise by attending a leftist event at the theater of the Catholic University (TUCA). On September 4, the site FratresInUnum.com commented, “Alongside dozens of left-wing politicians was none other than the Archbishop Emeritus of São Paulo, Cardinal Dom Claudio Hummes, rapporteur of the Pan-Amazonian Synod to be held in Rome in a month.”
“In an earlier interview with O Estado de S. Paulo, the archbishop, speaking about disputes between the Amazon Synod and the government, stated, “All this began in the election campaign. The right-wing government considers the church to be leftwing. But the church is not a political party. It is not leftist. It does not accept this qualification, this label. The church is for everyone”
Undoubtedly, the Church is not leftist, but Most Rev. Claudio Hummes is once again aligning himself with the left.
Cardinal Hummes was a Lula supporter during worker strikes in the suburbs of São Paulo in the 1980s, as was widely reported in the media.
Collaboration between Church and State is Necessary
The Vatican’s decision to exclude elected politicians, and the statements of Cardinal Hummes refusing to collaborate with the government while inviting left-wing politicians, are doctrinal and practical errors.
Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira recalls: “Undoubtedly, it is the Church that possesses the proper means to promote the salvation of souls, but society and the State have instrumental means for the same end, that is, means which, set in motion by a higher agent, produce an effect superior to themselves.”2
“Through legislative, executive, and judicial action, the State must organize itself and organize family, education, labor, and property according to Catholic social doctrine”3
We are in this paradoxical situation: Why does the Vatican refuse a joint action with the Federal Government, while at the same time Cardinal Hummes cozies up to leftwing politicians?
Catholics Do Not Feel Represented by Leftist Bishops
How can the Brazilian conservative current, which arose against the socialist dictatorship (openly supported by the Bishops’ Conference) and seeks to strengthen moral values and abolish many socialist laws and decrees supporting abortion and gender equality, approve of the attitudes of churchmen such as Cardinal Hummes or the contradictions of the Pan-Amazon Synod?
The Brazilian media like to say there is a confrontation between the government and the Church over the Pan-Amazon Synod. The confrontation is between leftist bishops and the government.
Church doctrine condemns socialism and communism. Through the voice of the Popes, the Church defends private property and the evangelization of all peoples.
May we Catholics know how to distinguish the voice of true Shepherds.
Translated by the staff of Pan-Amazon Synod-Watch.