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The third and final week of the Synod begins with a splash

The press was most interested in the comments of Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, Archbishop of Vienna, Austria, on the final Monday of the Pan-Amazonian Synod.

Pope Francis attends a session of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon at the Vatican Oct. 21, 2019. Also pictured are Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops and Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, relator general of the synod. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

October 21, Rome: The Pan-Amazonian Synod entered its third and final week today. The draft document, a compilation of proposals from 12 small discussion groups (known as circoli minori), will be kneaded into shape this week and presented as a final document to 184 bishops.

Immediately before the daily Vatican press briefing, assembled journalists learned that the controversial, naked fertility “Pachamama” statues (seen throughout Vatican precincts during the Synod) had been thrown into the Tiber. Two unidentified men entered the church early in the morning, removed what some have identified as idols, walked a block to the Ponte Sant’ Angelo, and tossed the statues into the Tiber River. Before questions could be asked about the wooden figures, the briefing followed its normal format with opening statements from the panel.

Dr. Paolo Ruffini, chief of Vatican communications, opened the presser with a notation that Cardinal Hummes, relator general of the Synod, presented to the Synod assembly the draft of the final document. Cardinal Hummes stressed to participants that the process of listening was not over. The draft of the Relatio (official document to present to the Pope) was now presented to them; however, throughout the week, there would be further discussion of content that could find its way into the final Relatio. On Friday afternoon, during the 15th general congregation of the Synod, the final draft will be read. After a day to pray and reflect, the Synod Fathers gather again on Saturday afternoon and their votes on the Relatio will be recorded.

Dr. Ruffini also said that members heard presentation in Synod hHall today by climate expert Hans Joachim Schellnhuber. In June 2015, Schellnhuber gave an address at the same location at the launch of Laudato si’, concluding with the statement, “The care for our planet therefore does not have to evolve into a tragedy of the commons. It may well turn into a story of a great transformation in which the opportunity was seized to overcome the profound inequalities.” An atheist and advocate of population control, Schellnhuber was made a ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the summer of 2015 by Pope Francis.

The first member of the briefing panel to be introduced was Ms. Marcivanna Rodrigues Paiva, who is a representative of a Brazilian ethnic group that migrated into urban centers from their Amazon villages after an earthquake. Her ethnic group speaks sixteen different languages and resettlement is difficult; they suffer discrimination in the cities. Paiva described the importance of women’s contribution, the necessity reconstruction of their lands using only sustainable methods, and how pleased she is to be in Rome at the Synod where her people’s voices are respected.

Journalists heard more in this vein from Bishop Domenico Pompili and Fr. Dario Bondi, the latter a missionary priest in Colombia. Large corporations, they stated, particularly companies engaged in extraction of gold and other minerals have destroyed territories and polluted land and river alike. Indigenous people have suffered from mercury poisoning and other contaminants. Each described efforts their organizations have made, as part of the universal Church, to combat Amazonian degradation.

The press was most interested in the comments of Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, Archbishop of Vienna, Austria. On the testy topic of the ordination of viri probati (virtuous married men) as a remedy for the dearth of priests in the Pan-Amazonian region, the Cardinal described his satisfaction with the success of the permanent diaconate in his diocese. “I am in favor of this” he said. “I am here to listen” he added, in reference to the pastoral challenges in the Amazon territories where he “spent two weeks” via listening. Of the Amazon, he noted, “we mustn’t say it’s the lungs of the world, but it is important.” In contrast to earlier panelists, Schoenborn did not elaborate on viri probati terminology. Instead he was careful to use the phrase “permanent diaconate.” Later, during the question segment of the briefing Schoenborn underscored the need for indigenous vocations.

The Cardinal further stated, “Giving voice to these people is a special focus for Pope Francis.” The Synod, he said, has given bishops an opportunity to think about the pastoral challenges in the Amazon region.

As soon as s the panel completed their statements, journalists pressed Dr. Ruffini for the Vatican’s response to the video of the now infamous-wooden statues dunked in the Tiber. Ruffini said he had only now heard the report as he entered the Sala Stampa (Vatican Press Office). “It’s too soon to expect us to have a statement,” he said. “I can say that stealing… it’s a gesture of bravado. It’s not in the spirit of dialogue.”

Two other interesting exchanges closed out the briefing. First, an Australian inquired of Cardinal Schoenborn about the level of criticism leveled at Pope Benedict XVI and John Paul II during the Synods on the Family “Why do you think there is so much animosity toward Pope Benedict XVI?” A Reuters correspondent followed with the charge that, in fact, there was much criticism of a Pope Francis by “young people on the internet.” These “unqualified” critics “even called the pope the Anti-Pope!”

Cardinal Schonboern, in reply, observed that he had lived through many pontificates. Criticism, he noted, is not unusual. But, he assured the room, he had “never seen the slightest” criticism from Francis of his predecessors. “Every Pope has his own story… it’s very clear to me to be loyal to the pope, full stop.”

The second exchange concerned the extraction of gold in sections of the Amazon. Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J., asked the panel if the Church, in this synod, had considered renouncing gold. Would the Church, he asked, cease using golden vessels in churches and decline to marry couples with golden rings? It would send a message that the Church opposes mineral extraction which destroyed the lands of indigenous people of the Amazon. Two members of the panel mumbled a mild agreement, yes, it would send a message.


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About Mary Jo Anderson 31 Articles
Mary Jo Anderson is a Catholic journalist and speaker whose articles and commentaries on politics, religion, and culture appear in a variety of publications. She is a frequent guest on EWTN's "Abundant Life." She was appointed to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops National Advisory Council (NAC), 2010-2014 and served as member of the NAC Executive Committee in 2011. Follow her on Twitter @maryjoanderson3.

24 Comments

  1. “The second exchange concerned the extraction of gold in sections of the Amazon. Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J., asked the panel if the Church, in this synod, had considered renouncing gold. Would the Church, he asked, cease using golden vessels in churches and decline to marry couples with golden rings? It would send a message that the Church opposes mineral extraction which destroyed the lands of indigenous people of the Amazon. Two members of the panel mumbled a mild agreement, yes, it would send a message.”

    Will Jesuit universities stop accepting millions of dollars from nations, governments where human rights and liberties are not respected? Forced abortion? Not able to freely and publicly be a Catholic or Christian there?

    Does having Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber (atheist/pro-abortion/population control), a contributor to Pope Francis’Laudato Sí, address synod fathers private session? but not providing the content of that address to reporters or the Catholic laity…send a message?

    Will the gold in Jesuit Counter-Reformations Churches be removed to send a message..or is this a from here on kind of thing?

    Reese would decline to marry a couple with gold rings?…but give communion to “discerning” adulterers. He’s the same Jesuit ?who said, and I paraphrase, the purpose of Mass is not for “adoring Jesus” but apparently no comments lately about adoring Pachamama…

    As far about “destroying land” or affecting the environment anywhere? Why should Catholics and priests and bishops and Jesuits be allowed to drive a car or travel by plane?

    “The first member of the briefing panel to be introduced was Ms. Marcivanna Rodrigues Paiva, who is a representative of a Brazilian ethnic group that migrated into urban centers from their Amazon villages after an earthquake. Her ethnic group speaks sixteen different languages and resettlement is difficult; they suffer discrimination in the cities.”

    Apparently, the solution of education only applies to those who attend Jesuit prep schools, universities and of course the Jesuits themselves.

    The notion that “guilty” developed societies have much to change and “indigenous peoples” have little need to change anything about their beliefs and behaviors is a huge part of the convenient narrative at this Amazon Synod (for forwarding German led Globalist agendas). Perhaps it might be self-defeating, if you’re not a Jesuit, to speak 16 languages almost no one else outside of your group speaks in a major urban center? and to speak them all at what? level.

    BTW one of Brazil’s biggest myths? That race does not matter much there. It is arguable that statistically Afro-Brazilians still suffer the effects of racism, poverty and violence the most in Brazil.

    No mention of Brazil’s 63,880 homicides (2017) a year in a nation with no death penalty? The majority of the victims? Young black males…from the favelas, the slums not the Amazon.

    In short, concern for human life at the Amazon Synod? Well, human life and the environment…with an asterisk.

    • There is a prevailing assumption that human suffering due to development in the Amazon takes greater priority because it is an icon of what the the whole world will suffer “in ten years” if “something” isn’t done. My question is if we be,Wivel the earth is “burning” and will combust in10 years, shouldn’t the concern for souls be all the greater?

    • All I can say at this stage is, Thank God for people like you. Just when I think I’m too far down the rabbit hole on what is happening in Church and society to scramble to the surface, some vouce like yours recalls me to commonsense.

  2. And this is why it’s arguable that for all the expressed concern for “indigenous peoples” in the Amazon Synod, and for Spadaro’s accusations of “racism” towards those who criticize the Amazon Synod…in its disregard? for Afro-Brazilians and the statistics of their sufferings (yes, they are not “indigenous”…historically they were brought there as slaves)…this is arguably really one selectively racist Synod! Of course off-topic concern for Afro-Brazilians…this does not promote the globalist, eco-heresy or woman deacons…women priests…infanticide and euthanasia. That concern doesn’t have the required “Amazon cred.” And Blacks in Brazil from the favelas have statistically left the Church in very very high numbers…for Evangelical, Pentecostal Churches…and have done better that way even personally even economically… opting for Christ, the 10 Commandments vs Marx plus Syncretism.

    Well, we already know the opinion (later retracted) of the benevolent, theologically enlightened, not-a racist-bone-in-his-body Cardinal Kasper (and other German hierarchs?) regarding the Bishops and the Church in Black Africa…

    In short, let’s not exploit “indigenous people” when it comes to gold, minerals and land…but let’s really use them to achieve German, Globalist goals (while destroying the Catholic Church)…while ignoring the deaths in the Synod (“Hey, that’s off topic!”) of Black and poor Brazilians (non-Amazonian)…apparently lower in the hierarchy among polyglot Jesuits. Also, because this might lead to assessing…that there’s no death penalty there…except for infanticide, euthanasia (Amazonian) and of course abortion.

    As long as the Germans and Italians are REALLY in charge at the Synod…we’re OK.

  3. St. Paul, just last Tuesday at Mass, addressed the Jungle Synod and their pagan goddess Pachamama:

    “While claiming to be wise they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man, or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the last of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies…. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, committing shameless acts….”

    Romans Chapter 1…apt to the Romans of 2000 years ago…and today.

  4. “Dr. Ruffini also said that members heard a presentation in Synod Hall today by climate expert (sic) Hans Joachim Schellenhuber. In June 2015 , Schellenhuber gave an address at the same location at the launch of Laudato Si… An atheist and advocate of population control, Schellenhuber was made an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in the summer of 2015 by Pope Francis.”
    Schellenhuber was just one of the so-called climate ‘experts’ and population controllers invited to speak at the Vatican by Bishop Sorondo, who heads up the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and who is also involved in this synod.
    How much more proof does anyone need that this Pontificate has gone off the rails?

    • The Synod might have more gravitas, more credibility if scientific experts with a different analysis of climate change had also been included at the Synod.

  5. Joseph and Chris, WOW and thank you. In defense of our natural environment and mother earth, (James Martin), has anyone realized what a destructive action to one”s closest and most personal environment it is to try to change and manipulate the GOD given sexual creation identity. All the hormones and surgery treatments are hardly natural. Funny to sneak this in with the Amazon. Slight of hand maybe?

  6. The only good news about this synod except Cardinal Schonnborn’s careful response about married priest. Is the WARNINGS is probably only a heart beat away. Praise be
    Jesus Now and Forever. Amen

  7. A big round of APPLAUSE to those who, in a true prophetic catholic gesture (Deuteronomy 12:3), threw those repulsive idols into the river!! Repulsive, because idolatry condemns any culture to dehumanizing corruption and misery on all levels, even the mighty ancient empires, their “glory” crushed by their own “Pachamamas” (a cheap mockery to the True Mother Mary). This “Synod” has been a Homosexual-Guilt-And-Shame-Mongering-Hypocrisy (HGASMH) from the very start. This HGASMH has worked evil wonders on the general society and the world and now it is officially rammed into the Catholic Church.

    This Synod should have been about the sinful scandals in the Church to start a purification and revival inside the Church. Instead, this monumental, grotesque, paganistic and repulsive “Synod” was called. This “Synod” is designed to distract, cover up, justify and enable the very homosexual clergy and their supporters that brought those very scandals and horrific crimes. Liberalism anywhere is just a cover-up for a growing criminal royalty, insane for more power.

    What’s a little homosexuality among the Clergy with their supporting, power-psychopathic, activist ordained women when the world is about to end in environmental apocalypse with the sea drowning all of us in revenge (the Obama’s got a huge mansion close to the sea, so even they know it’s just political, sentimental, stupidifying garbage). FALSE GUILT to confuse, distract and substitute for REAL guilt and responsibility is the biggest problem and most lethal weapon. Jesus nailed all lies and false guilt on His Holy Cross. Let’s charge ahead with Jesus!! The one inside of us is infinitely, infinitely, infinitely greater than the one inside of them!! (1 John 4:4)

  8. The Splash heard around the world resounds off deaf ears as shown by Catacombs Pact devotee Fr Thomas Reese, S.J. Who asked the panel if the Church, in this synod, had considered renouncing gold. Forgive me for immediate recall of the Betrayer admonishing Mary for anointing Jesus feet with expensive balm money that would better benefit the poor. Cardinal Schonboern suffers similar hearing deficiency regarding the new Catacombs Pact and the common Catholic man’s angry perception. Not a Tolkien last homely Home Rivendell. Bilbo wouldn’t feel quite at home in an Amazonia Pachamamamania home setting rather more like suffering the terrors of Mirkwood Forest. Will the jettisoning of Pachamamamania continue? With the planetary Chief Engineer pulling the levers apparently against the will of the universal Chief Engineer we’re stymied for a positive response. The Catacombs Pact is “rehashed” 1965 stuff as well analyzed by Mary Jo Anderson. It’s really nothing more than a secular humanist Manifesto devoid of definition. Except secular humanists would likely state their Amazonia case more intelligently without the sacrilegious pretension of religion.

    • “The splash heard round the world…” Bravo, Father, for such a succinct, profound, and hilarious phrase! May it be truly heard and heeded. It certainly roused a positive response in this unworthy Antiochian Orthodox priest and abbot.

      • Abbot Theodore how good and pleasant it is when brothers laugh in common unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! Thanks for the compliment.

  9. “The third and final week of the Synod begins with a splash”
    ***********
    Many thanks for the humor. That’s the first thing related to the synod that’s made me smile.
    🙂

  10. Cardinal Schoenborn profoundly steers clear of viri probati (virtuous married men) becoming priests, and instead points to the permanent diaconate. So far so good, but this is CODE LANGUAGE: The Cardinal is on record as saying the door is open to a [politically triangulated and invalid] female diaconate.

    He then waxes scientific to counsel that “we mustn’t say it’s [Amazonia’s] the lungs of the world, but it is important.” But, WHY NOT the “lung” thing? The Amazon basin accounts for 2.1 million square miles of global rain forest, out of a total of 7.1 million square miles (figures vary), and is credited with producing 20% of the world’s oxygen. A world on alleged life-support should hang onto this breathing straw as more than simply “important.”

    Interesting thing, too, this recurring “lung” thingy. . .

    St. John Paul II, whose mother was Byzantine (rather than Mother Nature!), advocated a Church that breathes with BOTH LUNGS (Eastern and Western), and Pope Francis himself gets along with ONE LUNG (50%).

    And then there’s the hybrid LUNGFISH which has yet to be elevated along with Pachamama as a substitute for the Crucifix. The lungfish has both gills AND lungs—-and survives seasonal droughts by first burying itself in the drying mud, then surrounding itself with a slime ball, and then for months breathing in and out in slow hibernation until the rains come again to set it free.

    Such, now, is the CHURCH itself which finds itself in the drying landscape of arid globalism, next buries itself in a hybrid of post-modern secular compromises and pre-modern pagan symbolism, and then slimes itself with two synodal narratives from membership-parched Amazonia and Germania, and now this month slowly inhales and exhales scripted findings and recommendations.

    All the while remaining open during this final week to yet more patronizing LISTENING to the echo chamber of hand-picked assembly members. Commentary from outside the bubble—-from the universal and perennial Church?—-is, what, acknowledged but “inadmissible”? REVERSING Evangelii Gaudium: “the part is [now] greater than the whole!”

    As for the prophet Fr. Reese, instead of renouncing gold, why not renounce ALCHEMY? What ever happened to a Church not of the swamp, but that sets out into deep waters? And what of the discarded (never actually criticized!) John Paul II who proclaimed without ambiguity or alloy—-as this week to each get-along-go-along member of the synod: “Be Not Afraid”!

  11. One need ask when it become morally incumbent to walk away from institutionalized pathology sporting the mask of Roman Catholicism. This cast of characters is nothing less than mortifying. Schönborn, Reese, Ruffini, Pompili, Bondi appear to inhabit a clown car emerging from an alternate reality. Not dissimilar to what one would observe at a feminist book club in Cambridge in the mid-seventies.
    These individuals are nothing less than bizarre.

  12. The most “rich” comment this week? After the fertility idols were circled devoutly, after Amazonian Catholics?, European Catholics and a few Franciscans fell as prostrate as humanly possible before these idols, nearly suffocating themselves in grass and dirt (Pachamama’s “caress?”) and after these flown-first-class-by-the-Germans Amazonians installed? maybe 5 idols in a consecrated church before altars on which the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Logos, the Savior of the World was elevated in prayer to the Eternal Father…Jesuit meme for all things Rainbow James Martin expressed his outrage over the “hatred” towards the Amazonians displayed by tossing those idols in the river (and “breaking into the church” he claims in his tweet), his well-discerned outrage (after 20 minutes of a self-validating variety of “Examen”) yes outrage over the “hatred”towards the humble yet forever self-referential Bergoglio and for those not “welcoming the stranger” and why all this “hatred?” Because these Amazonians, and I paraphrase Martin, have “a form of Christianity that is different…it seems” from the haters…and their form of “Christianity.” The fact that even Vatican spoke persons could not clearly identify these statues? Irrelevant! And is he also saying that Bergoglo has a a “different Christianity” which inspires “hatred?”

    Yes, their “Christianity”, Martin’s “Christianity” and Bergoglio’s “Christianity” along with the Eco-Marxist-Rainbow Bishops and Cardinals “Christianity” does indeed “seem” different..because it is NOT “Christianity” but a UN/Globalist approved New Religion where “Christ” is NOT the unique Savior…but what the faithless “world” and the truly hateful Evil One want, a Satan who is NOT a mere symbol but a very real Satan who knows who the real Christ yet seeks to be worshiped in place of Christ, preparing his welcome with idolatry, sexual depravity and apostasy…though this fallen angel knows it leads to eternal loss in hell.

    Human Rights Watch stated that over a decade appropriately 300 Brazilian Amazonians have died, over a decade, in murder related to land in the Amazon at that hands of crime networks. This is not to trivialize the deaths of these human beings but in 2017 Brazil had a record high number of homicides, 63,880, in one year alone, most of them poor black males…in a country without a death penalty.

    In short, the only “cause” they care about about is the “cause” that promotes their own “cause.” There is no “liberation” beyond that.

    Somehow other non-Amazonian deaths are just off topic…along with the number of abortions.

    As far as Martin’s psychology, he attempts to assuage himself through self-talk really that there are just various but equivalent “forms of Christianity” and that life-giving sexual love between a man and woman in marriage is “just another form of love” alongside homosexuality though in his honest moments he must, being such a good listener, know the true differences, details, and dynamics. And this applies to Bergoglio who said to the laicized pro-gay priest James Allison 2 years ago by phone: “Do you understand? I give you the power of the keys.”

    The Church and the faith are just playthings…”make a mess.” Watch nearby as Catholics and Franciscans bow down before Pachamama….and bow down yourself before Muslim politicians in South Sudan.

  13. Have any of you readers encountered anyone who thinks we should distinguish between new Pachamama idols and old ones, because the old ones are “art”?

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