On September 6th and 7th the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) and the ecclesial Pan-Amazon Network (REPAM), held a meeting in the city of Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, to discuss the upcoming Synod of Bishops which will take place in the Vatican from Sunday, October 6th to Sunday, October 27th 2019, on the topic “The Amazon: new paths for the Church and integral ecology.”
In the final communiqué of the meeting, the President of CELAM, Monsignor Miguel Cabrejos, and the President of REPAM, Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, after expressing their “joy at the convening of the Synod by Pope Francis”, reaffirm “the hope of continuing to promote a Church with an indigenous, Amazonian face and of continuing the process of its implementation.” On the sidelines of the Bogotá meeting, the newly-elected Cardinal Michael Czerny, special secretary for the Amazon Synod, declared: “Amazon is the first word in the title of this Synod. You could say that the Amazon, with its people, its reality, its territory and inhabitants, is the subject of the Synod; you could say that it is its focus. Therefore, as its first or rather I’d say its very first concern, is the people, the people and in particular the indigenous people.”
However, as always happens at these meetings, what counts are not the official declarations, but the private meetings taking place among the key men and the documents circulating among them, in order to better organize the strategies whereby their objectives are achieved. One of these documents, under the title “Hacia el Sínodo Panamazónico: Desafíos y aportes desde América Latina y el Caribe” is the fruit of a previous meeting also in Bogota, during the month of April this year, at the initiative of the Amerindia and Repam organizations.
On September 3rd, LifeSiteNews published this text “Radical theologians push for overthrow of Catholic Doctrine at Amazon Synod”* which revealed that at the meeting in Bogotá, there were four individuals closely involved with Pope Francis in the preparation of the Synod: Father Paolo Suess (close collaborator of Bishop Erwin Kräutler, member of the pre-synod council); Mauricio López (Secretary of REPAM and also member of the council); the indigenous advisor, Father Justino Sarmento Rezende, and Peter Hughes (also advisor). These four people are allegedly the principal authors of Instrumentum Laboris, which the Synod Fathers will work on in October.
As the authors of the article Maike Hickson and Mathew Cullinan Hoffman highlighted, the Bogotá document threatens to subvert or overturn the fundamental elements of Catholic Doctrine, sustaining that the Church does not have the “monopoly on salvation” and the pluralism and diversity of religions are expressions of a wise divine will; the non-Christian religions are able to bring “salvation” to people and the pagan religious traditions of the indigenous in the Amazon ought to be re-evaluated; the text redefines the Eucharist as a symbolic act of the community; it attacks the hierarchic priesthood of the New Testament, envisaging the creation of new ministries for the laity, the possible ordination of women to the diaconate and the ordination of married men to the priesthood; it promotes a new indigenous, feminist ecological theology and the proposal of exporting this model in order to create a Church with an “Amazon face”. In fact, Cardinal Gerhard Müller pointed out:
“If estimable men living declaredly stable unions (whether they be canonically valid or not?), with the aim of providing (!) the Sacraments to the community – even without theological formation (IL 129, 2) – why shouldn’t this be the leverage for introducing the viri probati in Germany, where the celibate is no longer accepted in society and where many married theologians would be willing to occupy vacant places as priests in the celibate clergy?”**
Last August 14th, in the city of Bogotá, which is becoming one of the main centres for the diffusion of the Amazonian errors, Isodoro, a shaman of the Inga tribe in Colombia, during a preparatory meeting for the Amazon Synod, imparted his benediction to the religious priests and sisters in a park at the Colombian Episcopal Conference’s central office. The photo that depicts it, found on the site of La Nuova Bussola Quotidiano***, is making its rounds worldwide on the internet and confirms to what extent the process of distorting the doctrine and constitution of the Church is going. Archbishop José Luis Azcona, Bishop Emeritus of the Marajo Prelature is not wrong then when he said in an interview to ACI Prensa that he fears the risk of a schism. **** Also in Germany Cardinal Rainer Woelki, Archbishop of Cologne in a declaration made to Kirchenzeitung Köln, *****expressed his fear that the “synodal path taken by the German Episcopate leads to a schism in the German Church as well as the Universal Church.”
In the history of the Church ordinarily schisms pave the way for heresies as happened with the Anglican schism in the 16th century. Today the diffusion of errors and heresies is paving the way for an ecclesial fracture, also because normally there is a separation from the Church against the Pope, whereas it is in the name of the Pope, that some bishops are preparing their separation from the Church. What will Pope Bergoglio do if and when the fight is out in the open?
On September 10th, on the flight back to Rome from Africa, Pope Francis declared: “I pray that there won’t be any, but I’m not afraid of a schism in the Church.” Even for the Pope then, the eventuality of an intra-ecclesial division is not remote. But the Vicar of Christ is wrong not to fear the laceration of the Mystical Body. Catholics who truly love the Church are horrified by schisms and heresies and are ready to defend until the shedding of their blood the purity and integrity of Christ’s teachings. It is for this reason that resistance is growing against a Synod that could possibly go down in history as the “Schismatic Synod on the Amazon”.
If the Pantheistic, Pelegian and Lutheran errors present in the Bogotá document and in the same Instrumentum laboris are not corrected, the Amazon Synod risks being an openly schismatic Synod, like the Pro-Arian Synod of Milan (355), the Monophysite Synod of Ephesus (449), the Nestorian Synod of Constantinople (553), the Conciliar Synod of Basel (1438), and the Jansenist Synod of Pistoia (1786).
In Milan, in the 4th century, very few bishops against Arianism (among which were St. Eusebius of Vercelli and St. Paulinus of Trier) had the courage to resist the assembly, by challenging the Emperor Constantius II, who had convoked the Synod and expected to impose his political will at it. Very few Cardinals and bishops seem to be disposed today to resist the politics of Pope Francis with the heroism the circumstances demand, but among priests and laity the signs of fidelity to the Church are expanding, not only in America, as the Holy Father retains, but in countries all over the world.
We are the sons and daughters of a Militant Church, which does not admit and include error, but combats error and defends the truth. A Church that wants to win souls and all of society for Christ. A Church that separates itself from those, in the inside, who profess a different religion. A Church that we entrust to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, so that with Her Angels She protects it in the upcoming decisive weeks.
Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana