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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

AMAZON SYNOD: Vatican I or Assisi IV?

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AMAZON SYNOD: Vatican I or Assisi IV?

The recent three-week Amazon Synod in the Vatican is still sending shockwaves throughout the Catholic world for a number of reasons, one of them being certain “ceremonies” performed in the Vatican gardens, St. Peter’s basilica and the nearby church of Santa Maria in Traspontina in via della Conciliazione in honor of an Amazon pagan goddess called Pachamama or Mother Earth.    

The controversy was mostly focused on the use of little wooden statues of naked pregnant women, called Pachamama. As reported in Catholic World News (October 29th, 2019) on October 4, during a Vatican Garden event in which Pope Francis dedicated the synod to St. Francis, 15 persons in attendance, including a Franciscan friar, knelt in a circle around the statues and bowed their heads to the ground. During the synod’s final week, two men removed the statues from a Roman church and threw them into the Tiber River, leading to a papal apology. After the statues were retrieved, they were displayed in a canoe on October 26, the final day of synod discussions.

Subsequently, one of those responsible for the brave and admirable removal of the statuettes came forward with a video posted on YouTube: Alexander Tschugguel, a young traditionalist Austrian Catholic, who motivated his gesture with the fact that those pagan symbols were “out of place” in a Catholic church.

Many Catholics were so stunned and outraged by these events, as if they were unprecedented, but this is nothing new and it is really inexplicable that the secular and non-secular mainstream media did not remind us of this. Yet, what happened in the Vatican during last October can be regarded as a sort of follow up to what happened in Assisi during the interreligious meeting for world peace on October 27th, 1986.

On that occasion it was said that the situation had gone out of hand, in the sense that contrary to the proclaimed intention for the meeting to be an occasion “to be together to pray”, it ended up being an occasion “to pray together”, thus lending itself to the accusation of religious indifferentism, relativism and syncretism, synonymous with the media-created “spirit of Assisi”.

It is true that this mistake was not repeated in Assisi II (24 January 2002) and Assisi III (18-20 September 2016), but the precedent had already been set in Assisi 1, when objectively outrageous (to say the least) acts did occur: chickens being slaughtered on the altar of Santa Chiara according to tribal rituals, a statue of Buddha being placed on the altar of the church of San Pietro and clergy being “blessed” with rituals performed by shamans and a medicine man. As far as is known, all this was amply documented with a vast selection of unequivocal pictures only by Centro Culturale Lepanto (CCL), whose exhaustive reportage was promptly circulated to the main Catholic and non-Catholic media outlets. Although ostensibly and predictably the alarm sounded by CCL fell on deaf ears, evidently the promoters of the anti-Christian revolution inside and outside the Church did take notice, as shown by the fact, as already said, that these acts were not repeated in Assisi II and Assisi III. That’s why what happened during the Amazon synod could well be termed Assisi IV, and not for example Vatican I, also not to create confusion with a council whose orthodoxy is out of question.

assisi 2

According to the masterful lesson of the late Brazilian Catholic leader and thinker, Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira, in his Revolution and counter-Revolution, what he calls the gnostic and equalitarian Revolution par excellence with capital R, anti-Christian in its essence, advances its goals with steps forward and step backward.

In all likelihood, the steps in Assisi 1 proved somewhat bold, perhaps too bold, hence the decision to wait for a more propitious future occasions, which materialized with the Amazon synod. On this occasion, the Revolution made what in Marxist terms is described as a “quality leap”, whose impact was far more relevant than the events in Assisi 1:

“In those rites there is the devil”, Msgr. José Luiz Azcona Hermoso, Amazon bishop emeritus of Marajó in the state of Pará, was quoted as saying in la Bussola Quotidiana (October 25th, 2019).

These rites did not take place in the Italian province, in a remote little town like Assisi, albeit world-renowned due to St. Francis, but in the very heart of Universal Catholicism. If the bishop’s analysis is correct, this time it was not Satan's smoke to make its way into the temple of God through a crack, as in the words of “Saint” Paul VI in 1972, but the devil himself, and not through a crack, but through an entrance wide open, if not the main entrance.

On the one hand the absence of Pachamama as such at the mass ending the synod, also due to the action of the above Austrian faithful, can be considered a step backward. But on the other hand, if the non-Christian religious usages and practices of the Amazon people are something we Catholics should learn from, as stated in the Preparatory Document for the Synod for the Amazon, the pastoral agency of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Missio, was quite quick in publishing a prayer to Pachamama in an April 2019 publication devoted to the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region. The prayer was described as a “prayer to Mother Earth of the Inca peoples” (Catholic World News, cit.).

Moreover, Corriere del Veneto (October 29th, 2019) reported that a shorter version of the Pachamama prayer was already used during a missionary vigil at the parish church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Verona on Friday, October 25th, 2019, sparking a row among the local faithful, who inundated the local bishop’s curia with phone calls and emails to protest against the initiative:

Pachamama of these places,
drink and eat as much as you like this offer,
so that this land may be fruitful.
Pachamama, good Mother
Be propitious! Be propitious!
Let the oxen walk well,
and that one does not drink.
Make the seed taste good,
that nothing bad happens to her,
that frost does not disrupt it,
that produces good food i.
We ask you:
give us all.
Be propitious! Be propitious!
(Prayer to the Mother Earth of the Inca peoples)
English translation by Michael Hitchborn

It would seem that certain aspects of the Synod have become operational even prior to the conclusion of its proceedings and one may well wonder what the next “quality leap” will be.


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Last modified on Tuesday, November 12, 2019