The Amazon Synod (Part 1)

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Dear listeners of daily meditations,

today I combine the answering of questions with a topic, which I have already raised several times and would like to comment again.

I am concerned about the situation of the Church and also about the uncertainty that believers express about some of the developments in this pontificate. These uncertainties come to me as concrete questions.

I am very aware that the Amazon synode is a very sensitive issue that needs to be handled with care. This implies not to close one’s eyes to worrying developments, especially since some things have become public.

Social networks are extremely open to all kinds of information, but they might sometimes not sufficiently tested. But it is the reality today that news are going around the world very quickly, and so certain events in this synod have quickly become known, e.g. the controversial ceremony in the Vatican garden is released as a video.

Together with the spiritual teaching in the interpretations of the Holy Scriptures and related themes, I have repeatedly pointed out some questionable developments in our Church, so that the faithful might have some orientation. At present, with commendable exceptions, clear orientation is rarely given to them by the highest shepherds of the Church.

In the coming reflections, I will address this painful subject of the Amazon Synod and issues which are connected. I ask the saints and the “poor souls” for their intercession. In particular, I entrust this sensitive issue to Our Lady and the holy Angels.

The nature of the daily reflections does not allow me to report very extensively on many aspects of this Synod. So I will first look to what catches to the cause of resentment among believers.

The Amazon Synod convened by Pope Francis, which had received a great deal of criticism in the run-up to the event, especially since the published working paper (Instrumentum Laboris), came to an end on 27 October 2019.

Unfortunately, all possible useful topics have been overshadowed by some events at this Synod, so that the focus is mainly on these negative events.

So what has so upset believers that one even speaks of a serious irritation for the faith?

Auxiliary Bishop Schneider from Kazakhstan describes:

On October 4, 2019, on the eve of the Amazon Synod, a religious ceremony was held in the Vatican gardens, in the presence of Pope Francis and of several bishops and cardinals, which was led partly by shamans and in which symbolic objects were used; namely, a wooden sculpture of an unclothed pregnant woman. These representations are known and belong to indigenous rituals of Amazonian tribes, and specifically to the worship of the so-called Mother Earth, the Pachamama. In the following days the wooden naked female figures were also venerated in St. Peter’s Basilica in front of the Tomb of St. Peter. Pope Francis also greeted two bishops carrying the Pachamama object on their shoulders processing it into the Synod Hall where it was set in a place of honor. Pachamama statues were also put on display in the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina.

In an open letter, the same bishop assesses this process as follows.

Catholics cannot accept any pagan worship, nor any syncretism between pagan beliefs and practices and those of the Catholic Church. The acts of worship of kindling a light, of bowing, of prostrating or profoundly bowing to the ground and dancing before an unclothed female statue, which represents neither Our Lady nor a canonized saint of the Church, violates the first Commandments of God: “You shall have no other gods before Me” and the explicit prohibition of God, who commands: “Beware lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and worship them and serve them, things which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven” (Dt 4:19), and: “You shall make for yourselves no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall you set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God” (Lev 26:1).

The former prefect of the faith Cardinal Müller also made his comments clear. (Source: Interview with EWTN editor-in-chief Raymond Arroyo )

The liturgy in the Vatican Gardens on October 4, in the presence of Pope Francis, contained “a certain devotion, even worship of idols,” a violation of the first commandment, because Jesus Christ, present in the sacraments, “is the only Redeemer.” Although Catholics have “sacred images, but we do not worship them”, we “revere” only the images representative of these holy persons. “Adoration” is not for human beings or creation “in any way,” Müller explained, referring to the theology of  St. Paul.

“Bringing gods into the Church was a grave sin, a criminal act against the divine right”

 There is therefore a charge of idolatry and with that a serious violation of the first commandment. Since all this has been done in public, and especially in Rome and the Vatican – the seat of the Catholic Church – we have to adress to this affair. It concerns the whole Church and the mission entrusted to her to announce the Gospel to the peoples. That is why we have to continue with this theme.