Wednesday, July 24, 2019 – Porto Velho
After driving all day yesterday and almost all of today, the caravan arrived back in Brazil at the city of Porto Velho. We started our first campaign in several days at around 4 p.m. After collecting a little more than 1,200 new names, the campaign finished at sunset.
Thursday, July 25, 2019 – Ouro Preto do Oeste: Eighteenth day of Caravan
The caravan is approaching the final stretch. After driving the whole morning, we stopped off in Ouro Preto do Oeste for lunch and a campaign. The campaign did very well; we marched through the street market close to the bus station and after only an hour managed to gather more than 550 signatures.
Friday, July 26, 2019 - Vilhena
This morning we had to change the tires on one our vans. While the mechanics were changing our tires, the power went out. Our van was stuck on the lift with no way of getting it down, faced with this unexpected turn of events, it was decided we could spend our time best by doing campaign in the city until the power came back. The volunteers made their way on foot to the center of the city and started the campaign. One of the other vans had already gone ahead to the next city, and most of the occupants were part of the band. As a result, the campaign was left with only two bagpipers and a drummer. All the same, throngs of people from inside nearby shops and houses flocked to their windows and doors when they heard the music passing by. After an hour and a half, the campaign successfully gathered over 600 signatures.
Saturday, July 27, 2019 – Cuiabá
Today is the final day of the caravan. This morning we returned to Cuiabá, the city where the caravan first started. The campaign started in a different location from the last time, a plaza down the street from the Cathedral Basilica of the Good Lord Jesus that had several crosswalks bustling with people. After some time in this spot, the campaign migrated to the original plaza that borders the cathedral. The people in this plaza were moving slower and it was much easier to stop and explain the petition to them. The campaign managed to collect close to 1,400 signatures.
Repercussions from the campaigns
– A young man that passed by the campaign lit up when he heard what the petition was about. He said that everything planned to be discussed in the synod was absurd. He also said that the way Pope Francis has been doing things doesn’t seem natural, but that his actions seem to be following a pre-meditated plan.
– When one volunteer started to explain the petition to a young couple on the street, the man interrupted saying, “So, you are against the synod?” When the caravanner answered in the affirmative, saying there were many things in the synod documents that could not be approved, the man replied, “You don’t have to explain anything else, give me the clipboard I want to sign.” He also lamented that unfortunately, the Church is in a state of decay.
See the full text of the petition below:
Asking the Synod’s Fathers For a Christian and Prosperous Amazon, Not a Huge “Green Slum” Divided into Tribal Ghettos
WHEREAS the Special Assembly of the Synod for the Pan-Amazon Region will take place in Rome in October, and WHEREAS this Synod aims to seek “new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology” in this region,
WE THE UNDERSIGNED TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO:
1. THANK GOD for the human and natural riches He gave the Amazon region; for the missionaries who brought the Good News of Jesus Christ, freeing the territory from abject errors and practices; and for the civilizing action of settlers who brought it the benefits of progress;
2. STRONGLY REPUDIATE the neo-pagan ideologies, which on behalf a distorted concept of respect for nature and of catastrophic claims lacking scientific basis, contradict the divine mandate: “Increase and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it” (Gen 1:28);
3. REJECT the communist-tribalist utopia with which a minority of neo-Marxist anthropologists and liberation theologians strive to keep our indigenous brothers in underdevelopment, confining them to ethnic-cultural ghettos (real “human zoos”) that deprive them of the benefits of national coexistence and civilization, as Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira prophetically denounced 40 years ago.
4. CONDEM the class and race struggles promoted with a fallacious version of history, as well as the exacerbation of rural and environmental conflicts in areas of agricultural, cattle-raising, extractive and logging activities.
5. BRING to the Synod Fathers a cry of anguish facing the danger that the Amazon may be turned into an immense “green favela” with vast vacant spaces inhabited by scarce and indigent indigenous populations, as happened after the expulsion of farmers from the Raposa Serra do Sol Reservation (Roraima, Brazil).
6. DENOUNCE international Non-Governmental Organizations and activists at the service of spurious interests, who seek to internationalize 200 million hectares of the Pan-Amazon region, undermining the sovereignty of 9 countries; and MANIFESTING OUR PERPLEXITY as a prelate of the Holy See, Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, welcomed the radical activist Martin von Hildebrand to address the “Anaconda Corridor” (or “Triple A”) project, aimed at the said internationalization, which would constitute an unacceptable attack on various national sovereignties.
7. MANIFEST SOLIDARITY with the resolution of Brazil’s authorities to defend the integrity of its territory and with programs to fully integrate our indigenous brothers in the great national family in order to better guarantee their rights and dignity as human persons.
8. BESEECH Our Lady of Aparecida, Queen and Patroness of Brazil, to preserve the Catholic unity of our motherland and its great vocation for the future.