At the opening of the Synod in the Vatican gardens, embarrassing tribal rites for “Mother Earth” are celebrated under the eyes of the Pope. Meanwhile, the faithful outside, amid conferences, public prayers, and testimonies countering claims about the Amazon, wonder about what is going on.
For many Catholics, the last few days of the past week were full of initiatives and concerns. On Sunday, the Synod on the Amazon was officially opened. Its Preparatory Document, the Instrumentum Laboris, has been the object of many declarations, position statements, and warnings from theologians, scholars and cardinals (some close to the reigning Pontiff), who found some of its statements heretical or apostatic.
The October 4 ceremony at the Vatican gardens in the presence of the Pope did nothing to allay those concerns. In some ways, it was embarrassing. At the center of the ceremony, a “mandala,” a carpet, was laid on the grass. On it were placed statues and objects, including a male puppet with its member (disproportionate large in relation to the whole figure) proudly erected…
The concern of Catholics throughout the world about this event and the situation of the Church in general was expressed in a series of meetings and lectures, as well as a public prayer for the Church at a very special moment. It was held on Saturday afternoon at the John XXIII Square at the end of Via della Conciliazione, within view of Saint Peter’s and attended by about seven hundred people from all over Italy. It was a special moment because its organizers were “street Christians” with no organization behind them. Many faraway online participants “spiritually” followed the event, as it emerged on social media. It was a prayer for the Church in her passion, a concept affirmed clearly and forcefully on Friday afternoon at in a round table in Rome (broadcast in streaming all over the world, with over 5,000 viewers). It was titled, “Our Church: Reformed or Deformed?”
Present were big names of Anglo-Saxon Catholicism (the conference and answers were all in English), including John Henry Westen, founder of LifeSiteNews, Michael Matt, Michael Voris, Taylor Marshall, Roberto De Mattei, Jeanne Smits, José Antonio Ureta, and the author of these lines. The speeches highlighted several critical points: the Abu Dhabi document, which seems to place all religions on the same level (“willed” by God); the proposal of female ordination; the attack on priestly celibacy; the infiltration to destroy the Church from within; and of course, the non-Christian proposals present in the preparatory document of the Synod.
Also discussed was the disappearance of traditional missionaries and religious orders. John Henry Westen said, in short, that being worried about the situation and saying so “is not to say we don’t love Pope Francis. Indeed, it would not be love at all to gloss over these monumental concerns and be silent about them, because they harm him most of all. He will have to answer to Christ at judgement just as we all will.” On the Abu Dhabi document, disseminated without correction by all Catholic institutions, its phrase “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race, and language are willed by God in His wisdom” was called “explosive:” “Its implications are obvious: if God wanted … the existence of several religions, it can be deduced that all religions are divine will and, therefore, each person is free to choose the religion that best suits him.”
On Saturday was held the conference – centered on the Amazon and its Synod – organized by the Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute (IPCO). Among the many valuable lectures, let us recall two that contradict the unfortunate clichés present in the preparatory document of the Synod and the mentality of many of its organizers. The first was by an Indian, Jonas Marcolino Macuxi, of the Macuxi Amazonian ethnic group. He recounted that he hunted and fished until the age of twelve. His parents were illiterate. He studied mathematics and graduated in law. Today, he is a leading exponent of the United Indigenous of Northern Roraima’s Defense Society. There are about 12,000 Macuxi in Raposa Serra do Sol. Jonas says that “70% are against the delimitation of the reserve …. We are integrated since 1988, have electricity, cars, buses, and live in productive villages. The absolute majority of the Indians in the Brazilian Amazon are asking for progress. The problem is that some would like us to go back to the Stone Age.”
And Luiz Carlos Baldicero Molion, Brazilian meteorologist, professor and researcher at the Federal University of Alagoas, essentially said that there is no human-caused climate change or global warming, but natural climate variations. Concrete physical arguments suggest that global warming between 1916 and 1945 was caused by solar activity (the largest in the last 400 years); the 1976-2005 warming period, attributed to human activities, was caused instead by a 5% reduction of cloud cover and by the great frequency of events like El Niño. For the next few years, there is a tendency toward cooling (cloud cover increases) in the Pacific Ocean, which is the most important factor for the global climate. In Europe, there will be longer winters in the coming years. Molion denied the cliché that the Amazon is the green lung of the world. He posits that the Amazon is not essential for the distribution of rainfall in other regions far from South America because the Amazon is not a source of humidity for the atmosphere. The forest consumes more oxygen than it produces. The forest does not actually produce water, but recycles water that has fallen in previous rains.
Certainly, time will tell how many of these truths and doubts will make inroads at a Synod so ideologically prefabricated and pre-established. They will probably be very few, as the experience of previous synods shows that what happens behind Vatican walls has little influence on the future results of the event, established even before the works begin.
Source: La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.
Translated by the staff of Pan-Amazon Synod Watch
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