The Pan-Amazon Synod: Towards a New “Church With an Amazonian Face”

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The Pan-Amazon Synod: Towards a New “Church With an Amazonian Face”
The Pan-Amazon Synod: Towards a New “Church With an Amazonian Face”

It is now clear: the promoters of the Pan-Amazon Synod to be held in Rome in October want to reinterpret the Church from the ground up. They want to reshape Her doctrine, Sacraments, constitution and discipline according to an “Amazonian” style. They speak of a new “Church with an Amazonian face,” different from the Church of the last two thousand years.

Such ambitions are the typical reformist dreams of all heresiarchs who have caused so much affliction in the Church in recent centuries. From Modernists to liberation theologians, they have all sought to “reinvent the Church.” It seems this old dream is now about to come true at the very heart of Christianity.

According to the preparatory document published by the Vatican, the Synod’s aim is “to forge a Church with an Amazonian face” through a “culture of encounter” with the primitive tribes of the forest, assuming their “harmony” and “sobriety.” The Church, the document continues, must undergo a profound “ecological conversion” inspired by the “ancient wisdom of the Amazonian peoples.” The synod will be “listening to indigenous peoples … as the first interlocutors of this Synod [which] is of vital importance for the universal Church.”

I believe this is the first time in Church history that the Vatican convenes a synod of bishops to learn from the primitive tribes about how the Church of Christ must be! Such lessons cannot be trusted for the voice of these “indigenous peoples” are always mediated by organizations linked to the “indigenist” extreme left, a radicalized offshoot of the same liberation theology condemned by John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

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This proposed remodeling of the Church touches every aspect of Church life: her “biblical-theological dimension,” “social dimension,” “ecological dimension,” “sacramental dimension,” “prophetic dimension,” and “ecclesial-missionary dimension.”

Take, for example, the proposals linked to “ministries with an Amazonian face.”

The preparatory document states that the “Church with an Amazonian face must seek a model of alternative…development.” It claims there is an “urgent need to evaluate and rethink the ministries that today are required to respond to the objectives of ‘a Church with an Amazonian face and a Church with a native face.’”

It, therefore, proposes “new ministries,” identifying, for example, “the kind of official ministry that can be conferred on women, taking into account the central role which women play today in the Amazon Church.” The document also proposes “new paths” for celebrating the Eucharist, bearing in mind that “all the People of God share in the priesthood of Christ.”

This remodeling of the Church thus affects the Sacraments, by reinterpreting them to conform to an ecological-immanentist vision that holds that “the universe unfolds in God, who fills it completely.”

Thus, the preparatory document states that “the sacraments are a privileged way in which nature is taken up by God.” One does not receive a transcendent and infinite God through the Sacraments, but rather a God immanent in nature. In this way, we are told that “in the Eucharist, the community celebrates an act of cosmic love … in which human beings, together with the incarnate Son of God and all creation, give thanks to God.”

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Another example is a reinterpretation of Baptism in which water would not only be a “sign” of divine grace (as traditional theology teaches), but would itself be imbued with divinity. Thus, “since the water of Baptism purifies the baptized of all sins, its celebration allows the Christian community to adopt the value of water and ‘the river’ as a source of purification, thus facilitating the inculturation of the water-related rites that come from the ancient wisdom of the Amazonian peoples.”

The part of the preparatory document that causes the most concern is the central role that it attributes to Amazonian sorcerers. These “wise elders” supposedly “promote the harmony of people among themselves and with the cosmos.” Indigenous peoples “are a living memory of the mission that God has entrusted to us all: the protection of our common home.” According to the Vatican document, we must learn the “good life” of our human condition by converting to “integral ecology,” which it identifies with the Kingdom of God.

If what the Scripture (Ps. 95:5) teaches is true, that “omnes dii gentium daemonia (all the gods of the Gentiles are devils), then we must ask ourselves who is the true inspirer of this “Church with an Amazonian face.”

More articles like this may be found on Pan-Amazon Synod Watch, at

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