The guiding documents for the upcoming Amazonian Synod contain “the blueprint for a new Church,” are permeated with “tribalism,” and present “witchcraft” as a new paradigm for theology, a Peruvian author has claimed.
Julio Loredo, author of Liberation Theology, a life jacket for the poor made of lead [Teologia della liberazione. Un salvagente di piombo per i poveri (Cantagalli, 2014)], says that “for the average reader, the idea of tribal society as a model for the West, and Amazonian witchcraft as a new paradigm for theology may sound baffling.” But, he adds: “for someone who has studied the historical revolutionary process, it makes perfect sense.”
LifeSite spoke with Mr. Loredo ahead of an Oct. 5 conference in Rome titled, “Amazon: The Stakes.”
Loredo, who serves as editor and a regular to the “Pan-Amazon Synod Watch” and will moderate the Oct. 5 event, said its purpose is to “delve deeper into the underpinnings” of the Amazon Synod and “bring the voice of the real Amazonian Indians to Rome.”
The conference will feature speakers representing the indigenous Amazonian peoples as well as experts in the fields of climatology, philosophy and liberation theology.
“Europeans need to realize that many, if not all, of the figures that appear on the media circuit are in fact mere mouthpieces of the environmentalist lobbies,” Loredo said, citing Pope Francis’s recent meeting with Chief Raoni, an internationally renowned defender of the Amazon’s delicate ecosystem.
“They are flown in private planes and received at the highest levels, attracting huge media coverage. They, however, do not represent the Amazon,” he said.
In the interview, Loredo also expresses concern about the “overwhelming role” that “progressive German bishops” are taking at the Amazonian Synod. German prelates, in fact, have played a key role in pre-synod meetings and financing of the October Synod, being held Oct. 6-27 at the Vatican.
“The Germans are using the Amazon River to help the Rhine flow into the Tiber,” Loredo said. “Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck, of Essen, who is one of the Synod organizers, was very clear about its goals: ‘After the Synod, nothing will be the same in the Church. [The Synod] will mark a break in the Church.’”
Here below is our interview with Mr. Julio Loredo.
Mr. Loredo, you will be serving as Moderator for the Conference “Amazon: the Stakes,” being held in Rome one day before the opening of the Amazon Synod. What is the aim of the conference, and what are the issues that will be discussed?
Our international conference in Rome has several aims, which I will try to summarize here.
First of all, it intends to inform the public about the real situation in the Amazon region. The Synod, as indeed the encyclical Laudato si’ from which it draws inspiration, is largely based on pseudo-scientific data spread by the environmentalist lobbies. For this purpose, we have invited several experts to speak at the conference, beginning with Prince Bertrand d’Orleans e Braganza, Prince Imperial of Brazil and author of the best-seller Environmentalist Psychosis. Then there is Professor Luiz Carlos Molion, a well-known climatologist from the University of Alagoas, Brazil. An important speaker will be Jonas Macuxí de Souza, an indigenous leader from the Macuxí tribe in Roraima. He will bring the voice of the real Amazonian Indians to Rome.
A second aim of the Oct. 5 conference is to delve deeper into the doctrinal underpinnings that inform the Synod. Few people in Europe are familiar with so-called Indigenous Theology, which is derived from that Liberation Theology formally condemned by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, and then rehabilitated by Pope Francis. The encyclical Laudato Si’ and the Amazonian Synod itself draw heavily on this theology. Indeed, both the Synod’s Preparatory Document and the Instrumentum Laboris were clearly written by people who belong to this heretical current.
Referring to Liberation and Indigenous Theology, Peruvian Cardinal Pedro Barreto declared that the Synod “brings to completion a process begun in the Latin American Church forty years ago.” Having studied the subject for almost half a century, I can say that the fingerprints of Liberation Theology are all over the place, albeit in more up-to-date and radical versions, already tending towards pantheism.
The task of analyzing the doctrinal underpinnings of the Synod will be divided among several speakers: James Bascom, from the TFP Washington Bureau, Prof. Stefano Fontana, from the Osservatorio Cardinale Van Thuan, Professor Roberto de Mattei, President of Lepanto Foundation, and José Antonio Ureta, author of The Change of Paradigm of Pope Francis.
The third and, indeed, most important aim of our conference is to instill a sense of confidence and hope. Holy Mother Church is going through troubled times, which did not begin with the current Pontiff, but are certainly reaching a climax with him. We want to proclaim ourselves devoted sons of the Church, while pointing out the pitfalls toward which she is heading if the Synod has its way. It is a cry of love and concern for the Holy Roman Catholic Church. The Church, however, is immortal and will rebound in even more radiant holiness. Our conference will close with a message of fidelity and hope.
You have mentioned that the conference features a talk given by a leader of one of the Amazonian tribes in Brazil. What will he discuss, and what questions do you believe his presence will raise regarding the Amazonian Synod?
We actually had several Indigenous leaders wanting to participate. We had to choose one, and so chose Jonas Macuxí de Souza. As I said, he will bring to Rome the voice of the real Amazonian Indians, and not the bogey ones paraded by the media. Europeans need to realize that many, if not all, of the figures that appear on the media circuit are in fact mere mouthpieces of the environmentalist lobbies. They are flown in private planes and received at the highest levels, attracting huge media coverage. They, however, do not represent the Amazon.
Take, for example, Caiapó chief Raoni Metuktire, who was recently received by Europeans leaders, including Pope Francis and President Macron. According to indigenous leader Kayna Munduruku, “Raoni does not represent us, Amazonian peoples.” According to Kayna, Raoni simply represents the NGOs “that have abusively assumed the right to speak for us. Who gave them this right? We know who we are and what we want. We don’t need the NGOs which, by the way, are millionaires while the Amazonian peoples suffer.”
To best describe the message we wish to convey at the Rome conference, I will use the words of another Indigenous leader, Silvia Nobre Waiãpi, Federal Secretary for Indigenous Health in Brazil. She said:
“We natives want to be protagonists of our own history. We do not want to continue to depend on people and organizations, such as NGOs, that tell us what to do. Some NGOs do a good job, but most are nothing more than political and ideological instruments. Those who want to keep the Indians in the wild, simply want to cut them off from development, in order to exploit their lands. Instead, we want the Indians to integrate, to be informed, to have access to decision mechanisms, to take their future into their own hands.”
Since its origin, the Church has evangelized by civilizing and civilized by evangelizing. Faith and culture, as Pope John Paul II recalled, are intertwined in the Church’s mission. This point has to be stressed. The promoters of the Synod, on the other hand, flatly deny that the Church has to evangelize, let alone civilize. They say that the Church has to learn both the real faith and the real civilization (so-called “good-living”), from the Amazonian Indians. Not the other way around. Thus, they turn upside down two millennia of evangelization.
The real Amazonian Indians want to be evangelized. A shocking proof of this is the huge surge of Evangelical sects in the region. As the Church abandons its missionary spirit, this void is being filled by the Protestants.
What importance does this conference have for the world outside the Amazon region and for the universal Church? In other words, why should readers take notice of this conference and regard it as important?
Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck, of Essen, who is one of the Synod organizers, was very clear about its goals: “After the Synod, nothing will be the same in the Church. [The Synod] will mark a break in the Church.” A tale-telling sign is the overwhelming role progressive German bishops are assuming in the Synod. It seems obvious that they want to take advantage of it to push through their agenda. To borrow Father Ralph Wiltgen’s metaphor, the Germans are using the Amazon River to help the Rhine flow into the Tiber. No wonder some promoters are calling the Synod the “III Vatican Council.”
Synod organizers and promoters are quite explicit that they want to “reinvent” the Church, using the expression coined by liberation theologian Leonardo Boff, a main contributor to Laudato si’. The Synod intends to revamp the Church ab imis fundamentis, giving it an “Amazonian face.” In other words, the Synod wants to reinterpret the whole Church – its doctrine, its liturgy, its sacraments, its organization – from what they (abusively) call an “Amazonian” perspective. In this sense, the importance of the Synod goes way beyond the boundaries of the Amazon region.
In reading the Preparatory Document and the Instrumentum laboris, one clearly sees the blueprint of a new Church. These documents contain a new theology that produces a new pastoral approach. And this will affect the whole Church. For example, these documents contain a new concept of Revelation, that is immanentist and no longer transcendental. They contain a new model of Church, that is communitarian rather than hierarchical. They contain a new theology of the Sacraments, no longer signs that convey grace but acts that share the imminent divine. They contain a new concept of “ministry” that would even include the Amazonian witch doctors.
Some optimists (I would call them naive) claim that the Synod merely wants to open a few exceptions, like ordaining married men and accepting women to the deaconate, within a very restricted region, i.e. the Amazon, for very specific pastoral needs. We know full well how the game goes: you open an exception for a specific need, and the next thing you know, it becomes the universal practice throughout the Church. Communion in the hand and “extraordinary” ministers of the Eucharist are classical examples.
Is there anything you wish to add?
For the average reader, the idea of tribal society as a model for the West, and Amazonian witchcraft as a new paradigm for theology may sound baffling. However, for someone who has studied the historical revolutionary process, it makes perfect sense.
In “The Origin of Private Property, the Family and the State,” Friedrich Engels affirms that tribalism is the final goal of Communism. After the dictatorship of the proletariat, and a transition phase of self-managing socialism, the final Communist society – “socialism at a higher level” – would be like the tribe, where there is no private property, no family and no State and, therefore, no “alienations.” Marxist thinkers considered tribalism the “original Communism,” to which history will return, thus completing its evolutionary cycle.
That’s why Communism has always promoted indigenism as a way of furthering the Revolution, especially in Latin America. The first Inter-American Indigenist Congress took place in 1940 in Pátzcuaro, Mexico. All the indigenous thinkers and leaders in the 20th century belonged to the Communist or Socialist parties.
Later, Liberation Theology began to present the Indians as an “oppressed” class in need of “liberation.” Hence the birth of Indigenous Theology, which was later adopted by several Latin American episcopates, particularly in Brazil.
In 1977, Brazilian philosopher Professor Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira wrote a ground-breaking book: “Indian Tribalism: The Communist-Missionary Ideal for Brazil in the Twenty-First Century.” In it, the Catholic leader denounces the tribalist and indigenous currents that had taken over the Bishops’ Conference.
Chapter after chapter, he shows how these currents abandoned the missionary ideal. For them, it is no longer a question of evangelizing the Indians but of learning from them, who supposedly maintained a sort of primordial innocence in communion with nature, which Western society has now lost. They present the tribe both as a religious and social ideal. In this light, says Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, the Amazonian peoples would be the true evangelizers of the world.
Leafing through this 1977 book, one almost has the impression of reading passages from the Instrumentum laboris of the Amazon Synod set for next October. All of it has been predicted …