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Views Differ On The Future Of The Amazon Basin

October 19, 2019 Frontpage No Comments


The gathering in the Vatican known as “The Amazon Synod” has managed to assemble a gold-star guest list. Reports from the scene feature a gaggle of leftists, liberation theologians, internationalists, pro-aborts, and anti-capitalists, sprinkled with a cornucopia of curiosities variously described as indigenous, shamans, infanticide apologists, and ideologues.
The purported focus of the meeting is the Amazon basin of Brazil. Ironically, while former UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was invited, along with a cohort of secular internationalist bureaucrats, the Catholic president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, didn’t receive an invitation.
Bolsonaro’s absence might strike one as an unforgivable oversight, even an intentional diplomatic rebuke. Well, the synod will continue through the month of October, and we will eventually have a record on which to draw some conclusions.
But we don’t have to wait for Bolsonaro: He already made his case in another forum — the United Nations. And his presentation there makes clear the reason he wouldn’t be welcome at all in Rome.
In New York, Bolsonaro didn’t pull any punches. “My country has been on the verge of socialism, which has put us in a state of widespread corruption, serious economic recession, high criminality rates and unending attacks on the family and religious values that underpin our traditions,” he said. “Over the past few decades, we let ourselves be seduced by ideologies that sought not the truth, but absolute power.”
We should bear in mind that a majority of the countries represented in the General Assembly are run by corrupt elites seeking not truth, but absolute power.
“Ideology has settled in the domains of culture, education, and communications, dominating the media, universities, and schools,” Bolsonaro continued. “Ideology has invaded our homes and tried to dismantle what is the basic cell matter of any healthy society: the family. It has also tried to destroy the innocence of our children in an attempt to corrupt even their most basic and elementary identity: the biological one. ‘Political correctness’ came to dominate the public debate, expelling rationality and replacing it with manipulation, recurring clichés and slogans.”
It’s pretty embarrassing when a politician has to say what so many of our beloved religious leaders won’t.
Finally, Bolsonaro said, “ideology has invaded the human soul itself to rip it apart from God and from the dignity He has bestowed upon us.”
The synod is focused on Brazil. That country’s Catholic president is fighting to protect the faith in that country. Why isn’t he among the major speakers in Rome? Perhaps because he opposes the very ideology that key Vatican agitators endeavor to advance.

Latin America’s Legacy Of The Catholic Left

For almost half a century, the Church in Latin America has been ravaged by the damage caused by “Liberation Theology.” This rancid cancer on the faith spreads the ideology that Bolsonaro describes. The Wanderer has covered this insidious distortion of the faith for years, but Bolsonaro’s appearance at the United Nations gave the world a unique insight from a head of state regarding how this “religious” movement was actually political — in a word, Communism wearing a Catholic mask.
Bolsonaro condemns previous governments in Brazil, which worked in league with Liberation Theology advocates. They not only brought Cuban spies into Brazil, but ravaged neighboring countries even more, with Venezuela as the prime example of total collapse. “Socialism is working in Venezuela,” he told the delegates. “Everyone is poor and has no freedom.”
Because of the “Catholic” left, the Latin American Church has lost tens of millions of the faithful, most of them leaving for Pentecostal sects. The synod’s “Working Document” blames Protestant sects for having a “negative impact on Amazonian groups,” but doesn’t acknowledge the role of Liberation Theology.
That willful ignorance ignores the basic law of cause and effect. “The Catholic Church preaches politics,” Protestant missionaries tell their flocks. “We preach the Bible.” One observer put it succinctly: “As the hierarchy made what they thought would be a ‘preferential option for the poor,’ the poor made a preferential option for Protestantism.”
From the point of view of the faith, the impact has been nothing short of catastrophic. “Tens of millions of Latin Americans have left the Roman Catholic Church in recent decades and embraced Pentecostal Christianity,” reports the Pew Research Center, based on a survey on religion in 18 Latin American countries and Puerto Rico. In fact, Pew reports, the sects have been so successful in Latin America that their churches there are sending missionaries to the United States.
And what happened here? American bishops had long since infected the Church with their own version of Liberation Theology, driving some 50 million from the pews since 1965. So our newly arrived Hispanic neighbors were an easy target for the Pentecostals. The result? One in four Latinos in the United States is a former Catholic, Pew reported five years ago.
This phenomenon is widely ignored by U.S. Catholic bishops. In fact, they are desperate to fill their own empty pews with Hispanics. According to Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez, these newcomers will form the backbone of the Church in what he calls “The Next America.” Time will tell whether his optimism is grounded in reality.

The Real Issue In The Amazon

Catholic News Agency recounts the experience of Bishop José Luis Azcona, the missionary bishop emeritus of Marajo, a diocese that includes dozens of islands in the Amazon River Delta. A valiant defender of indigenous peoples, Azcona laments that the synod’s Working Document “fails to address the Church’s most pressing challenges: a growing Pentecostal majority; child labor, abuse, and trafficking; and a spiritual crisis.”
Azcona adding a stunning observation that the synod has to face: “The Amazon, at least the Brazilian Amazon, is no longer Catholic,” he said.
In the U.S. and in the Vatican, our hierarchs are more preoccupied with fanciful notions about controlling the weather than they are with the very real problems of the faithful fleeing the pews in both North and South America. (In Europe, they’ve already left.) The synod has been criticized as a stalking horse for an end to mandatory celibacy and women’s ordination, to be sure, but also for its celebration of environmental activism in the name of religion. At the UN, Bolsonaro rejected this pretentious effort outright.
“It is a misconception to state that the Amazon is a world heritage; and it is a misconception, as scientists attest, to say that our forest is the lungs of the world. Resorting to these fallacies, some countries instead of helping have followed the lies of the media and behaved disrespectfully, with a colonialist spirit.
“They have questioned what is most sacred to us: our sovereignty!
“Unfortunately, some people, both inside and outside Brazil, with the support of NGOs, insist on treating and keeping our natives as cavemen.”
That line would have caused a riot at the synod, where many are focused on the task of preserving the primitive condition of indigenous tribes, rather than liberating them.
For instance, one synod prelate suggested that men in the Amazon basin are incapable of celibacy. Bishop Athanasius Schneider disagrees. “I also lived and worked in Brazil for seven years. And I know the Brazilians,” he told LifeSiteNews. “They would never think up married clergy. No, this is an idea put into their heads not by indigenous peoples but by white people, by priests who themselves are not living a deep apostolic and sacrificial life.”
“Perhaps priests lack a deeply committed and sacrificial life in the spirit of Jesus and the apostles and the saints,” Bishop Schneider continued. “They therefore seek human substitutes. Indigenous married clergy will not lead to a deepening and growth in the Amazonian Church.”
So what is to be done? “We need to begin a crusade in the Amazon among these indigenous families, among Christian Catholics, for vocations — imploring God for vocations to the celibate priesthood, and they will come.”
Yes, they will come. But will the Vatican hear them?

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