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The Vatican Synod’s Amazon Dream

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The Amazon Synod to be held in Rome in October is all focused on “listening”. This word occurs 45 times in the Instrumentum laboris. The Synod itself is understood as “a process of synodal listening”, a “privileged instrument of listening”, a “dynamic process of listening” (no. 1:5). What do they really want to “listen” to? Considering the Amazon a “new theological subject”, the Synod wants to “listen to this area”, to “listen to the people and the land”: “Listening implies recognizing the dramatic emergence of the Amazon as a new subject” (no. 2).

The Synod therefore upends the Church’s two-thousand year approach: it does not want to evangelize the Amazon but rather to “amazonize” the Church. It does not seek a missionary Church but a “listening Church”; not a Church that teaches but a Church that learns (No. 144). It does not want an Amazonian Christianity but rather “a Church with an Amazonian face” (nos. 7, 110, 111).

The Synod manages to pull this incredible tour de force by turning the concept of Revelation upside down. Following in the footsteps of Indigenous Liberation Theology, the Instrumentum laboris insinuates that there is a primitive Revelation inherent in nature, in the light of which one should interpret the Revelation of Jesus Christ. According to the Vatican document, the Amazon is a “theological place”, epiphanic places where the reserve of life and wisdom for the planet is manifest, a life and wisdom that speaks of God” (No. 19). While we Westerners have supposedly lost our way, the natives maintained contact with the primitive Revelation: “The life of Amazon communities not yet influenced by Western civilization is reflected in the beliefs and rites regarding the actions of spirits, of the many-named divinity acting with and in the territory, with and in relation to nature” (no. 25).

Also: “The original peoples of the Amazon have much to teach us. We recognize that for thousands of years they have taken care of their land, water and forest, and have managed to preserve them until today so that humanity can benefit from enjoying God’s free gifts of creation. The new paths of evangelization must be built in dialogue with the ancestral wisdom in which the seeds of the Word become manifest” (no. 29).

To substantiate these and other similar statements, the Synod document mentions ecclesial bodies and NGOs linked to so-called “indigenist” currents. Some Amazonian leaders, such as the Kayapó chief Raoni Metuktire, are also presented with great fanfare. According to the Instrumentum laboris they are “the voice of the Amazon” (Part 1).

The big question is: do these agencies and leaders really represent the Amazon Indians? Are they really their “voice”? In other words, is the Synod “listening” to the real Amazon or to an imaginary Amazon, a dream Amazon created by indigenist currents according to certain ideological preconceptions?

“We initially believed in the NGOs that spoke on behalf of indigenous peoples, but now we have awakened,” says the Brazilian Indian Kayna Munduruku, spokeswoman for the Fundação Estadual do Indio (Indian State Foundation), an advocate for the rights of Amazonian peoples for decades. “These self-proclaimed ‘indigenist’ organizations pretend to tell us who we are,” Kayna continues, but “who gave them the right to speak in our name? We, indigenous people, are the ones who know who we are. We do not need indigenists or anthropologists. We, the peoples of the forest, know who we are. I believe that indigenous NGOs have meddled into affairs that do not concern them.”

She then makes a point that the European media are trying to dodge at all costs: the big turnover behind the NGOs: “These are millionaire NGOs. The indigenous leaders who have joined NGOs are extremely well off from the economic point of view, while the indigenous peoples themselves remain in extreme poverty. We, natives, ask: why give so much money to NGOs if it does not benefit our peoples?”

The words of Kayna Munduruku seem to be confirmed by the extraordinary success that the “Amazon Caravan” promoted by the Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute is encountering. They are about forty young people traveling through the Amazon regions of Brazil collecting signatures for a petition to Pope Francis asking him not to listen to indigenous currents but to authentic natives of the area. “We want to preserve our Catholic traditions and the moral values ​​of our peoples,” the document reads. They collect an average of one to two thousand signatures daily, a fact that clearly shows how Amazon populations reject every attempt at ideological manipulation.

A similar caravan has left Lima for the Peruvian Amazon taking a pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima. In addition to traveling through several cities in the regions of Amazonas, San Martín and Loreto, the caravan is also visiting remote indigenous villages which can only be accessed by pirogue.

The two groups of young people will meet at the border in the middle of the forest, where they will pray a Holy Rosary together for the Catholic greatness of their continent.

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26 thoughts on “The Vatican Synod’s Amazon Dream

  1. We desperately need Julio Laredo’s book on liberation theology translated into English.
    Thank you

  2. While need continues to exist for uncovering “the” answer, the driving force is the journey itself. A need to continue the journey calls into question any presumption that scripture is complete or even of its veracity; hence this journey. Similarly, my own personal journey continues.

  3. It is indeed a tragedy that the one institution that was imparted the capacity by Christ to bring the inhabitants of earth to heaven has chosen instead to attempt its own self centered and corrupt version of imparting heaven to the inhabitants of the earth. Until sixty years ago, it was universally known and accepted that the latter is simply the disguised and well traveled road to Hell for leaders and followers alike. It is the teaching of the Church itself which has now become the greatest impediment to eternal life with God since it imparts expectations of Him which are either entirely inadequate or entirely false. In this case they are entirely false. With a hierarchical administration now so corrupt it cannot precisely or even possibly identify just why Christ’s Church was established, it is small wonder that the institutional church is crumbling into dust on their watch into under its own dead weight as its foundations are continually eroded by agenda driven fools. Our Church lives in denial of the one and only mission that imparts legitimacy to its existence which is its establishment by Jesus to encourage and enable the very communion with God it can no longer even reliably identify, even among its own clergy. This is not a Church in decline. At the moment, it is simply the corrupt residue of a Church long dead at its own hand for more than half a century now. This is a fate inflicted by Church upon itself. By its own hand it surrendered the expectation of personal communion with God, not only for itself but for all of its members. It did so as it adopted every self centered interest imaginable over the one mission for which it was established. Without the sustained embrace and encouragement of communion with God by our clergy, our Church has become little more than a religious wasteland; a self serving corpse attending to what it believes are the constructs of its own preservation rather than its attendant and selfless surrender to God for His pleasure alone, which is all that was ever required of it.
    A casual reading of the life of any great saint of our Church will reveal and illustrate the selfless disposition of Christ in which all Catholics were intended to become participants as members of His Church. Preservation of the Church and the conduct of its mission were never intended by God to be more than a product of the one selfless determination of Christ with respect to our Father which is that we should exist not to sustain ourselves but only to please Him. The irony in all of this is that literally all others who observe the goings on in the Catholic Church are repulsed by patronizing and self centered activities like this that they observe and can easily identify them exactly for what they are. There is none better than the devil at revealing to the world the hypocrisy and abdication of mission now resident within the Church while hiding it from Church authorities and multitudes Catholics. It is only the hierarchy and many clergy of the Catholic Church, those who construct its frequently self centered efforts and policies, that can no longer identify the simple truth amid its now vast constructions of falsehood. Except that Catholics become determined in attendant and sustained personal surrender to God alone, ignoring the nearly continuous foolish declarations and misadventures of those who now lead our Church, we leave little of value with respect to genuine Catholic teaching to impart to our Children. I thank God for the the genuine Catholic tradition that was known to our fathers which unfortunately now, our Church leaders have abandoned. It is that tradition that will sustain us while we wait for leaders faithful to the Gospel to emerge. Pray that God will raise them up quickly since the situation is now more dire than most can even imagine.

    1. Terry! You are absolutely correct in your statement – it is the TRUTH!!! Thank you! The Works of Mercy include more than, feeding, listening, hugging, kissing – the greatest Mercy is teaching Jesus Christ & His Truth. I wish everyone would read theLiturgical Year which compels you to read the Holy Scripture. We are now in the time when Jesus warns the Jews of the destruction of their Temple! On the Nineth Sunday the Holy Scriptures will tell us how in 70 AD God the Father allowed the Romans to dig trenches & surround the Temple. The Temple will be destroyed as Christ prophesied & the Jews will be scattered – this is punishment for crucifying Christ & is a prophetic message to us Catholics who do not remain faithful to Christ & His Church!!!

  4. The liberation theology I was exposed to was subtle and likewise demonic that eradicated the Good Shepherd finding the lost sheep, replaced by class warfare, the Western capitalist colonialist down to the simple shopkeeper vs people of color, Mozambique, 1975.

    Now it is 2019 in America, through public education that has likewise permeated a Catholic higher education and eradication of the history Western Christian civilization, we are now in the turmoil and hatred of neo Marxism. We are now reducing whites to simply their color without origin, they the enemy.

    EWTN has a documentary, ‘Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing’, the explains how Marxism came about in America, — as well as its solution, the paradigm of Mary and the return to God and the family as foundation of society.

    1. I just watched “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” – quite an eye opener though I did know Alinsky’s background and agenda.
      Is there a sequel to this – exposing P. Francis and his Alinsky type deception?

      I know that the LePanto Institute has done an expose of Francis and his Marxist agenda.
      Marxists in the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences – https://www.lepantoin.org/marxists-in-the-pontifical-academy-of-social-sciences/

      We are living in a time of massive deception when Alinsky’s agenda is coming to fruition – may Our Lady help us.

  5. THE DANGER OF RICHES. ANOTHER TIME A MAN CAME UP TO HIM AND SAID, “TEACHER, WHAT GOOD MUST I DO TO POSSESS EVERLASTING LIFE?”
    HE ANSWERED, “WHY DO YOU QUESTION ME ABOUT WHAT IS GOOD? there is one who is good. if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
    — Book of Matthew Chapter 19 Verses 16-17 —

    IDEA: America Needs Fatima, please print on computer the TEN COMMANDMENTS so all of us
    can print them off and start covering the worlds’ people with them in obedience to GOD ALMIGHTY.

  6. Didn’t Revelation end with the Apostle John who lay close to the bosom of the Son of God? And didn’t Jesus in Mt. 28 command us to evangelise all nations? Didn’t God the Father at the Transfiguration identify Jesus as His Son the chosen one and command us to listen to Him? Isn’t the Amazon Synod therefore a waste of time and money, a subtle ploy of satan to distract from the Word of God as he distracted Adam and Eve? Are we being led to a second Fall?

  7. This needs to be cancelled. They need to discuss the Homosexuality in the church….if priest or bishops are found guilty need to be kicked out. Maybe we need to go back to Moses’s time…. “Eunuchs” maybe this would solve a lot of problems in the long run.
    Silence is not golden in this case… and we are not going to do nothing this time.

  8. I think it is sad that the Heads of the Church in Rome and here in America, are becoming very liberal. God Nevers changes what He expects from us! He gave us the Ten Commandments to follow, not global warming rules & doing what feels good to you rules.

  9. Just say NO! to the Pan-Amazon Synod. Just say NO! to the socialist agenda trying to ingrain itself into the Catholic Church.
    Just say NO! to Francis, his toadies and all who would wish for a new and improved Church. Just say NO!

  10. It is wisely said that what man proposes God disposes but what God proposes no man can dispose. Let us remember how God hardened the heart of Pharaoh to lead him and his army into destruction in the Red Sea. Today, God has hardened the hearts of those in the hierarchy to lead them to self-destruction – as the Bible says: “The Lord said, “They are my people; they will not deceive me.” And so he saved them……..but they rebelled against him and made his Holy Spirit sad. So the Lord became their enemy and fought against them. ” (Isaiah 63:8-10); “…You were angry with us, but we went on sinning; in spite of your great anger we have continued to do wrong since ancient times. All of us have been sinful; even our best actions are filthy through and through. Because of our sins we are like leaves that wither and are blown away by the wind. No one turns to you in prayer; no one goes to you for help. You have hidden yourself from us and have abandoned us because of our sins.” (Isaiah 64:5-7). Let us turn to God in prayer and invoke the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary by praying the Holy Rosary. May Our Blessed Mother intervene and save the barque of Peter from shipwreck as she has always come to the aid of the Catholic Church.

  11. Learn from the Amazonian people? Of course!! in an apocalyptic,c world they will teach us how to survive in the jungle if it survives, like my uncle that was climbing trees, harvesting the tall coconuts and some of the dozens of varieties of banana plantain and driving his motor boat in the middle of the piranha ridden Amazon river. It is not that bad, it just destroys wherever it goes if it decides to change its course. Amazonian people are very resilient, how do you think they survived among mosquitoes that causes malaria, boas constrictors, poisonous frogs and spiders? of course by the Grace of God and their own ingenuity.
    When pope Francis visited Madre de Dios in the jungles of Peru, I saw on TV, that he was not happy to see people half naked wearing the traditional jungle attire, it is so hot there sometimes, that you have to wear what you have to wear. Well, he was not happy to see them in this attire, but I really do not know if this was just a show that the leaders of this non-per-profit organized under the directive of communist sponsors.
    The Amazonian people in Peru are great and the Catholic church does not have too much influence there, there are more protestant and evangelical churches. The Catholic schools that were there in the century XX run by French nuns had to leave because the communist government prohibited foreigners or clerics to lead schools in the 70’s. The schools became public after they left.
    Amazonian people have a sad story of belonging to countries where the governments are corrupt and inefficient, natural resources extraction companies of oil and minerals that do not have the best practices in the extraction of this natural resources and take their land without compensation. They survive the way they can.
    Let see what happens with this Synod. We have to trust God. I know, the actual administration of the Catholic Church has a lot of problems, but God knows His people and the hearts of us, imperfect humans. Maybe the Amazonian people can teach us something after all. We have to trust God.

  12. PLEASE LISTHEN. I STAND BY THE BLESSED TRINITY. KEEPING MY FAITH GROUNDED. HURT & PAIN FROM THOSE WHO HAVE COME UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF THE DARK ONE. WE ARE IN TIMES THAT WE MUST STAND WITH ST. MICHEAL. “WE ARE ALL BEING TESTED” SOME MORE THAN OTHERS. WHAT WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND IS OK, WE JUST TELL JESUS IN PRAYER TO ENLIGHTEN US, IF WE NEED TO KNOW MORE & IF IT IS THAT IMPORTANT. THERE WILL BE MANY TRIALS GOING ON WE DON’T UNDERSTAND ALL OF IT, OR DID NOT HEAR ABOUT, WE MUST NEVER DOUBT, JUST WALK W/ JESUS. HE WILL SHOW US THE WAY. DON’T GET DOWN ON YOURSELF BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THE EVIL ONE WANTS. STAY STRONG. anneippi

  13. The upcoming synod is a great tragedy in the church, but then so was the new mass, removal of the tabernacle to a side office, removal of the altar rail, replacement of the crucifix with a plain cross, the ressurected Christ or a picture, doing away with the confessional for a face to face confection, and turning the altar around to face the people to make it more protestant friendly. What we need most is prayer. Pray every day for the church and for Christians, and get family and friends to pray. Hundreds of Christians in the mideast are still being crucified every year. Pray before we lose our church!

  14. We have the teachings, sacraments, and traditions of the Catholic Church as given to us by Jesus Christ (the Son of God) and handed down to us from the Apostles. Why in Heaven’s name, after over 2000 years, do we need an “Amazonian Synod”?

  15. At a time when we need the Church to affirm its beautiful teachings and tradition without apology in the face of an increasingly de-Christianized world and left-wing assaults on religious liberty, having such a “synod” and producing such destructive working document makes no sense. I pray through the intervention of St Peter for change in Rome.

  16. I’m an American Protestant whom believes that the lives of indigenous peoples of the Amazon are more important than what the oil industry wants, especially since such corporations want to take their land away.( I understand Shell is the worst one) I do believe in reaching the Amazon’s indigenous peoples’ as portrayed in the 2005 movie End of A Spear, but with the Biblical gospel, not Catholic dogma. Catholics should know too that many pagans they reached just incorporated Catholic beliefs into their own religion while still worshiping their pagan gods. Today there are Native Americans in the United States whom do practice Evangelical Christianity, and can even incorporate their “native style” dancing rituals into worshiping the God of the Bible rather than the gods their ancestors worshipped.

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