Tag Archives: Silly Synodality
History will not soon forget the stand which two latter day Maccabees took in defense of Holy Mother Church! Hank Igitur speculates on how history will remember the commando raid which shook the pagans of the Amazon Synod to their core…
Hank Igitur and his associate Hermann Utic discuss the first encouraging news we’ve had from this disastrous Synod on the Amazon.
All the idol worship and pagan rituals taking place on the sacred grounds of the Vatican as part of that Amazin’ Amazon Synod are all abominations, of course. That much simply goes without saying.
Here, however, is a question which we at Catholic Cyber-Militia have not yet heard:
Why are these pagans so sleazy and low-rent?
I mean, if this is your big chance to do that “abomination of desolation”** thing in St. Peter’s Basilica, shouldn’t you be swinging for the fences? Instead, all we get is a blanket with some cheezy talismans, a couple of carved idols, and a bunch of aging white hippies shuffling alongside some indigenous types in what can only be described as pathetic and amateurish skits. We expect more from our pagans, as Hank Igitur explains…
** “When therefore you shall see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place: he that readeth let him understand.” Matthew 24:15, Douay-Rheims Bible
Hey there, friends! I know you’re just counting the days until the infamous Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon kicks off in October. (If you’re not excited, then you simply haven’t been paying attention.)
This will be a game-changer for the Church. If you’re a “Modern Catholic” type, this will be the big break you’ve been waiting for: by approving lady deacons, married clergy, “eco theology,” and generally tapping into native pagan wisdom, we will accomplish many wonderful things:
- We’ll save the environment, and Mother Gaia will surely thank us for that.
- We’ll end the oppression of women because lady deacons will open the door for lady priestesses.
- Having elder married shamans saying Mass will allow them to impart ancient lost earth-wisdom on us. The Church has been off-track from the beginning, don’t you know, and a little mysterious Amazon spirit-healing is just what the (witch)doctor ordered!
Why, I can feel the Earth’s temperature starting to come down to pre-industrial levels just at the very thought of all the great things that will happen.
If, on the other hand, you’re one of those sad and schismatic rigid and hateful traditionalists, you are probably viewing the upcoming synod with trepidation. Do please be ashamed of yourselves for that. (And if you happen to be an American, then double shame on you! The Holy Father does, however consider your criticism a badge of honor.) But at least there are people pretty high up in the Vatican who are not afraid of schism; they’ve told us so.
Here’s a name you should know when it comes to the Amazin’ Amazon Synod: Leonardo Boff. An eco-theologian, Boff, likes to boast that Pope Francis used his material for Laudato Si. We suspect that Boff might have had a hand in the Amazon Synod’s working paper as well.
Now that we’ve gotten the preliminaries out of the way, we can move on to the good stuff:
Crisis Magazine has come up with a dandy list of Five ways YOU can prepare yourself for
the Amazon Synod. Do please consider going over to their website and read the article in its entirety. For those of you not really ready for another click of the mouse, however, here is part of the article for your consideration:
- Think of yourself as Earth. Love yourself as Earth.
Want to be able to say, with the indigenous peoples quoted in the synod’s Instrumentum Laboris, “We are water, air, earth, and life of the environment”? Just stop thinking of the Earth as an object—and start loving yourself as Earth.
“Love leads us to identify ever more with the Earth,” explains Boff. “We must think ourselves as Earth, feel ourselves as Earth, love ourselves as Earth. Earth is the great living subject feeling, loving, thinking and through us knowing that it thinks, loves, and feels.”
“Then we can be mountain, sea, air, road, tree, animal,” promises Boff.**
2. Learn about the “new world order” and the new “universal religion.”
To ensure the salvation of the planet, Boff proposes a bold “new world order” in which Earth is “Gaia” and all beings in nature—mountains, plants, the atmosphere—are citizens of a “sociocosmic democracy.” He suggests a “central government” to “manage matters having to do with all of humankind”—and a “universal religion” to attend it.
“The new paradigm that is coming to birth—that of connectedness—will be the basis of a universal religion that will only be truly universal if it seeks convergences in religious diversity,” explains Boff. He says the universal religion’s convergent “supreme value” will be the preservation of planet Earth.
Have you noticed how many times Laudato Si and the Amazon synod’s Instrumentum Laboris denounce forms of “anthropocentrism,” call for a “new paradigm,” and say “everything is connected”? These themes come straight from Boff—and they’re instigators of that “spiritual revolution.”
So could the ecological principles in Laudato Si and the Amazon synod be paving the way for a “surrender sooner or later” on the prohibition against contraception?
“If we accept as a fact that human presence and activity is harmful to the environment and puts the very survival of the planet at risk…we must sooner or later accept emergency measures to stop human activity, such as contraception,” says one critic of Laudato Si and the Amazon synod.
Boff, for his part, is fiercely critical of the “arrogant” anthropocentrism embodied in Gen. 1:28: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.”
“These texts present a clear call to limitless demographic growth and unrestricted dominium terrae,” he warns.
- Acknowledge that our species is the “true Satan of the Earth.”
“Our species is a threat to all other species; it is terribly aggressive and is proving to be a geocide, an ecocide, and a true Satan of the Earth,” warns Boff.
The eco-theologian chillingly predicts that “as a result of excess chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and other polluting ingredients, the Earth-superorganism may be about to devise new adaptations, which will not necessarily be easy on the human species.”
“Gaia may eliminate [our species], very painfully, in order to allow the overall balance to remain and so that other species might live and continue the cosmic thrust of evolution,” says Boff. He wonders whether, after millions of years, new complex beings—“new ‘humans’” with a true devotion to Gaia—may replace our “arrogant” species.
- Recognize “the secret truth of religious polytheism” and the “permanent value” in animism.
What will the new universal religion look like? According to Boff, we need to recover “the aspect of truth in paganism, with its rich pantheon of divinities inhabiting all the spaces in nature.”
“To cure humankind of its polytheism, early Christianity subjected the faithful to a violent and harsh medication. With the existence of the gods denied, many doors of the soul were closed,” Boff laments.
Boff says we also need to recognize the “permanent value” in animism.
“We moderns are also animists to the extent that we…feel part of a living whole in which we are enveloped,” he explains. “Everything sends us a message; everything speaks or can speak: trees, colors, wind, animals, roads, persons, and household things.”
“Shamanism arises out of this interpretation of reality,” the eco-theologian continues. Shamans use “gestures, dances, and rites” to put “energies at the disposal of human beings as they seek balance with nature and with themselves.”
“All must awaken within themselves this shamanistic dimension,” Boff says.
Fortunately for Boff, the Instrumentum Laboris valorizes pagan rituals (n. 87), “dialogue with the spirits” (n. 75), connection with “the various spiritual forces” (n. 13), and indigenous “beliefs and rites regarding the actions of spirits, of the many-named divinity acting with and in the territory” (n. 25). The native peoples idolized by the Instrumentum Laboris “have been liberated from monotheism and have restored animism and polytheism,” as de Mattei puts it.
“Not even witchcraft is sidelined” in the Instrumentum Laboris, others note.
- Embrace ecofeminism and fight patriarchy.
It goes without saying that the new paradigm will deploy ecofeminism against all patriarchal oppression. Boff says ecofeminism’s merit lies in its development of a “new pattern for relating to nature”—“against rationalism, authoritarianism, compartmentalization, and the will to power, which are historic expressions of androcentrism and patriarchalism.”
“[In scripture] even God is presented as Father and absolute Lord. Female, especially maternal, characteristics of pre-neolithic deities, which tend to be matriarchal, are delegitimized,” laments Boff, who promotes female pronouns for God and women’s ordination in The Maternal Face of God and Ecclesiogenesis.
Hence the Amazon synod’s praise for “faith in the God Father-Mother Creator” (n. 121) and its agenda to approve a female diaconate.
Hence Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s description of a coming “‘Amazonian-Catholic’ sect” which “practices the adoration of nature and which will have a female priesthood.”
** If it’s all the same to you, Professor Boff, I’d prefer to remain a human created in the image of God. If, however, becoming an animal or road or whatever is mandatory after
the Amazon Synod, then please put me down for “raccoon.” At least that way I’d still have use of my hands, and the mask will conceal my identity.
You can find the entire article here: Five Ways to Prepare for the Amazon Synod
It’s definitely worth a read.
Is “Trainwreck” too harsh a word to describe the disaster awaiting the Church at October’s Amazon Synod? We don’t think so. And neither do Two men we respect very much here at CCM. Raymond Cardinal Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider have called for 40 days of prayer and fasting.
Looks like Hank Igitur’s in. We’re in. Are you? Let us know!
Hopefully, the readers at CatholicCyber-Militia.com (all two dozen of you!) have been paying attention to the fact that this October there is going to be another synod going on. This time it’s the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon. (That’s the full title; normally it’s just shortened to the “Amazon Synod.”)
And, if you’ve been paying attention, you know that some of the proposals being put forth in the working document (Instrumentum Laboris) of the synod are quite controversial. Some have called them dangerous…or worse.
The concern for the impact which the Amazon Synod might have on our Church is significant enough that two leading prelates have issued an urgent prayer request. Raymond Cardinal Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider have requested a “Crusade of Prayer and Fasting to Implore God that Error and Heresy do not pervert the coming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon.”
Cdl. Burke and Bp. Schneider lay down a detailed description of the prayer and fasting request, the reason for making the request, and provide an extensive summary of the grave concerns they have about the material in the working document.
Various prelates and lay commentators, as well as lay institutions, have warned that the authors of the Instrumentum Laboris, issued by the secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, to serve as the basis for discussion in the coming Special Assembly for the Pan-Amazon, have inserted serious theological errors and heresies into the document.
We invite Catholic clergy and laity to participate in a crusade of prayer and fasting to implore our Lord and Savior, through the intercession of His Virgin Mother, for the following intentions:
- That the theological errors and heresies inserted in the Instrumentum Laboris may not be approved during the synodal assembly;
- That particularly Pope Francis, in the exercise of the Petrine ministry, may confirm his brethren in the faith by an unambiguous rejection of the errors of the Instrumentum Laboris and that he may not consent to the abolition of priestly celibacy in the Latin Church by introducing the praxis of the ordination of married men, the so-called “viri probati”, to the Holy Priesthood.
We propose a forty-day crusade of prayer and fasting to begin on September 17 and end on October 26, 2019, the day before the conclusion of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the PanAmazon. Anyone who first learns about the Crusade after the date of its beginning can naturally join the Crusade at any point.
During the forty-day crusade of prayer and fasting, we propose to pray daily at least one decade of the Holy Rosary and to fast once a week for the above mentioned intentions. According to the tradition of the Church, fasting consists in eating only one full meal during the day, and additionally, one may eat up to two smaller meals. Fasting on bread and water is also recommended to those who are able to do so.
It is our duty to make the faithful aware of some of the main errors that are being spread through the Instrumentum Laboris. By way of premise, it must be observed that the document is long and is marked by a language which is not clear in its meaning, especially in what regards the deposit of faith (depositum fidei). Among the principal errors, we especially note the following…
The letter in its entirety can be found here: Crusade of Prayer and Fasting to Implore God that Error and Heresy do not pervert the coming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon or at the following link:
Part three of Gerhard Cardinal Müller’s On the Concept of Revelation as presented in the Instrumentum Laboris (IL) for the Amazon Synod
- The Difference between Incarnation of the Word and Inculturation itself as a Way of Evangelization
The “Theologia indigena and the eco-theology” (IL 98) is a brainchild of social romantics. Theology is the understanding (intellectus fidei) of God’s Revelation in His Word in the Faith-Profession of the Church, and not the continuously new mixture of world feelings and world views or religious-moral constellations of the cosmic feeling of all-in-one, the mixing of the feeling of one’s own self with the world (hen kai pan). Our natural world is the creation of a Personal God. Faith in the Christian sense is thus recognition of God in His Eternal Word which became Flesh; it is illumination in the Holy Spirit, so that we recognize God in Christ. With the Faith, the supernatural virtues of hope and charity are communicated to us. That is how we understand ourselves as children of God, who, through Christ, say to God in the Holy Spirit Abba, Father (Rom 8:15). We put our whole trust in Him, and He makes us His sons, who are free of the fear of the elementary forces of the world and of the demonic appearances, gods and spirits, which maliciously await us in the unpredictability of the material forces of the world.
The Incarnation is a unique event in history which God has freely determined in His universal will of salvation. It is not an inculturation, and the inculturation of the Church is not an incarnation (IL 7;19;29;108). It was not Irenaeus of Lyon, in his 5th book of Adversus haereses (IL 113), but Gregory of Nazianzus who formulated the principle: “quod non est assumptum non est sanatum – that, which has not been assumed, is not redeemed either.” (Ep. 101, 32) What is meant here was the completeness of human nature against Apollinaris of Laodicea (315-390) who thought that the Logos in the Incarnation only assumed a nature, without a human soul. That is why the following sentence is completely abstruse “Cultural diversity calls for a more robust incarnation in order to embrace different ways of life and cultures.” (IL 113)
The Incarnation is not the principle of secondary cultural adaptation, but concretely and primarily also the principle of salvation in the “Church as Sacrament of salvation of the world in Christ” (Lumen Gentium 1:48), in the Church’s Profession of Faith, in her Seven Sacraments, and in the episcopacy with the Pope at the head, in Apostolic succession.
Secondary rites from the traditions of the peoples can help to ingrain in culture the Sacraments, which are the means of salvation instituted by Christ. They may, however, not become independent, so that, for example suddenly marriage customs become more important than saying “I do” to the very Sacrament of Matrimony itself. The sacramental signs, as they have been instituted by Christ and the Apostles (word and material symbol), cannot be changed at any price. Baptism cannot be validly administered in any other way than in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and with natural water, and in the Eucharist, one may not replace with local food the bread made of wheat and the wine from the vine. That would not be inculturation, but an inadmissible interference with the will of Jesus as founder of the Church, and also would constitute a destruction of the unity of the Church at her sacramental center.
When inculturation here is referring to the secondary external celebration of divine worship and not to the Sacraments – which is ex opere operato, through the living Presence of Christ, the founder and true giver of Grace in these sacramental signs – then the following sentence is scandalous, or is at least thoughtless: “Without this inculturation the liturgy can be reduced to a ‘museum piece’ or ‘property of a select few.’” (IL 124)
God is not simply omnipresent and equally present in all religions, as if the Incarnation were merely a stereotypically Mediterranean phenomenon. In point of fact, God as Creator of the world is present as a whole and in each individual human heart (Acts 17:27seq) – even if the eyes of man are often blinded by sin, and his ears are deaf to God’s Love. But He comes by way of His Self-Revelation in the history of His chosen people Israel, and He comes very close to us ourselves in His Incarnate Word and in the Spirit which has been poured into our hearts. This self-communication of God as a Grace and life of each man is spread in the world by way of the Church’s proclamation of her life and her cult – that is to say, by way of the mission for this world according to the universal mandate of Christ.
But He already works with His helping and prevenient Grace also in the hearts of those men who do not yet know Him expressly and by name, so that, when they hear about Him in the Apostolic proclamation, they can identify Him as the Lord Jesus, in the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:3).
- The Criterion of Discernment: the Historical Self-Communication of God in Jesus Christ
What is missing in the IL is a clear witness to the self-communication of God in the verbum incarnatum, to the sacramentality of the Church, to the Sacraments as objective means of Grace instead of mere self-referential symbols, to the supernatural character of Grace, for which reason the integrity of man does not just consist in communion with biological nature, but in the Divine Sonship and in the grace-filled communion with the Holy Trinity and for which reasons eternal life is the reward for the conversion to God, the reconciliation with Him, and not only with the environment and our common world.
One cannot reduce the notion of integral development to merely mean the provision of material resources. For man receives his new integrity only by way of perfection in Grace. We receive it presently in Baptism, whereby we become a new creature and children of God, and one day in the Beatific Vision in the community of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit and in communion with His saints. (1 John 1:3; 3:1 seq).
Rather than proposing an obscure approach comprised of vague religiosity and a futile attempt to turn Christianity into a science of salvation by sacralizing the cosmos, nature’s biodiversity and ecology, one must turn to the very center and origin of our Faith: “In His goodness and wisdom God chose to reveal Himself and to make known to us the hidden purpose of His will by which through Christ, the Word made flesh, man might in the Holy Spirit have access to the Father and come to share in the divine nature.” (Dei Verbum 2)
You can read Cdl. Müller’s remarks as reported by the Catholic News Agency in their entirety here: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/full-text-of-cardinal-muellers-analysis-on-the-working-document-of-the-amazon-synod-78441
History teaches us how destructive a rampaging column of German tanks can be. We’re also learning how dangerously destructive a rampaging gruppe of heterodox German cardinals can be as they prepare a blitzkrieg against the Faith at the upcoming Synod on the Amazon. (Just ask Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen. He boasted to reporters that the October Amazon Synod in Rome will lead to a “break” in the Church and that “nothing will be the same as it was.”)
Thanks be to God that we have men like Gerhart Cardinal Müller.** He stands for the Faith, and against his fellow Rhinelanders when it comes to some of the more nonsensical provisions in the Instrumentum Laboris ( IL, or “working document”) they’ve prepared in advance of the Synod.
Here is Part Two of a three part breakdown of Cdl. Müller’s remarks as reported by Catholic News Agency in July.
Part Two: Inverted Hermeneutics and “Cosmovisions”
Part two of Gerhard Cardinal Müller’s On the Concept of Revelation as presented in the Instrumentum Laboris for the Amazon Synod
- Upside-down Hermeneutics
Has the Church of Christ been put by her Founder, as though she was some kind of putty, into the hands of bishops and popes, so they may now – illuminated by the Holy Spirit – rebuild her, into an updated instrument with secular goals, too?
The structure of the text presents a radical U-turn from the hermeneutics of Catholic theology. The relationship between Holy Scripture and Apostolic Tradition on the one hand, and the Church’s Magisterium on the other, has been classically determined in such a way that Revelation is fully contained in Holy Scripture and Tradition, while it is the task of the Magisterium – united with the sense of the Faith of the whole People of God – to make authentic and infallible interpretations. Thus, Holy Scripture and Tradition are constitutive principles of knowledge for the Catholic Profession of Faith and its theological-academic reflection. The Magisterium, on the other hand, is merely active in an interpretative and regulative manner (Dei Verbum 8-10; 24).
In the case of the IL, however, the very opposite is the case. The whole line of thought revolves, in self-referential and circular ways, around the latest documents of Pope Francis’ Magisterium, furnished with a few references to John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Only little is quoted of Holy Scripture, and the Church Fathers barely at all, and then only in an illustrative manner, for the sake of supporting pre-formed convictions. Perhaps one wishes thereby to show a special loyalty to the Pope, or one thus believes oneself to be able to avoid the challenges of theological work when one constantly refers back to his well-known and often repeated keywords, which the authors call – in a pretty sloppy manner – “his mantra” (IL 25). This flattery is then being carried to its extreme when the authors also add – after declaring that “the active subjects of inculturation are the indigenous peoples themselves” (IL 122) – the following odd expression: “As Pope Francis has affirmed, ‘Grace supposes culture.’” As if he himself had discovered this axiom – which is of course a fundamental axiom of the Catholic Church herself. In the original, it is Grace which presupposes Nature, just as Faith presupposes Reason (see Thomas Aquinas, S. th. I q.1 a.8).
Next to the confusing of the roles of Magisterium on the one side and of Holy Scripture on the other, the IL even goes so far as to claim that there are new sources of Revelation. IL 19 states: “Furthermore, we can say that the Amazon – or another indigenous or communal territory – is not only an ubi or a where (a geographical space), but also a quid or a what, a place of meaning for faith or the experience of God in history. Thus, territory is a theological place where faith is lived, and also a particular source of God’s revelation: epiphanic places where the reserve of life and wisdom for the planet is manifest, a life and wisdom that speaks of God.” If here a certain territory is being declared to be a “particular source of God’s Revelation,” then one has to state that this is a false teaching, inasmuch as for 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has infallibly taught that Holy Scripture and Apostolic Tradition are the only sources of Revelation and that no further Revelation can be added in the course of history. As Dei Verbum states, “we now await no further new public revelation” (4). Holy Scripture and Tradition are the only sources of Revelation, as Dei Verbum (7) explains: “This sacred tradition, therefore, and Sacred Scripture of both the Old and New Testaments are like a mirror in which the pilgrim Church on earth looks at God, from whom she has received everything, until she is brought finally to see Him as He is, face to face.” “Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, committed to the Church.” (Dei Verbum 10).
Besides these striking statements and references, the organization Rete Ecclesiale Panamazzonica (REPAM) – which has been tasked with the preparation of the IL and which was founded for that very reason in 2014 – as well as their authors of the so-called Theologia india [Indian Theology] mostly quote themselves.
It is a closed group of absolutely like-minded people, as can easily be gleaned from the list of participants at pre-synodal meetings in Washington and Rome, and it includes a disproportionately large number of mostly German-speaking Europeans.
This group is immune to serious objections, because such objections could only be based on monolithic doctrinalism and dogmatism, or ritualism (IL 38; 110; 138), as well as on clericalism incapable of dialogue (IL 110), and on the rigid way of thinking of the pharisees and on the pride of reason of the scribes. To argue with such people would just be a loss of time and a wasted effort.
Not all of them have direct experience with South America, and are only invited because they toe the official line and determine the agenda at the synodal process of the German bishops’ conference and the Central Committee of German Catholics currently underway (i.e. abolishing celibacy, [ordaining] women to the priesthood and promoting them to key positions of power so as to tackle clericalism and fundamentalism, conforming Catholic sexual morality to gender ideology and an appreciation for homosexual practices) that is simultaneously taking place.
I myself have been active in the pastoral and theological field in Peru and other countries for 15 consecutive years, always for two to three months on end. It was mainly in South American parishes and seminaries, and thus I do not now judge with a purely Eurocentric perspective, as some would like to tell me in a reproachful manner.
Every Catholic will agree with one important intention of the IL, namely that the peoples of the Amazon may not remain the object of colonialism and neo-colonialism, the object of forces solely dedicated to profit and power at the expense of the happiness and dignity of other people. It is clear in Church, society, and state that the people who are living there – especially our Catholic brothers and sisters – are equal and free agents in their lives and work, their Faith and their morality, and this in our common responsibility before God. But how can this be achieved?
- The Point of Departure is God’s Revelation in Christ Jesus
Without doubt, the proclamation of the Gospel is a dialogue which corresponds to the Word (=Logos) of God addressed to us – as well as our response to it by the free gift of obedience to the Faith (cf. Dei Verbum 5). Because this mission comes from Christ the God-Man and because He passed His Mission on from the Father onto His Apostles, the seeming tensions between a dogmatic approach “from above” versus a pedagogical-pastoral approach “from below” are rendered pointless, unless one were to reject the “divine-human-principle of pastoral ministry” (Franz Xaver Arnold).
However it is man to whom Jesus addresses the universal missionary mandate (Matthew 28:19), “the universal and sole mediator of salvation between God and all mankind” (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Tim 2:4 seq.), and man can reflect, by way of reason, upon the meaning of life, from birth to death, a life shaken by the existential crises of human existence, and he sets in life and death his hope in God, the origin and goal of all being.
A cosmovision with its myths and the ritual magic of Mother “Nature,” or its sacrifices to “gods” and spirits which scare the wits out of us, or lure us on with false promises, cannot be an adequate approach for the coming of the Triune God in His Word and His Holy Spirit. Much less can the approach be a scientific-positivistic worldview of a liberal bourgeoisie which accepts from Christianity only a comfortable remnant of moral values and civil-religious rituals.
In all seriousness, in the formation of future pastors and theologians, shall the knowledge of classical and modern philosophy, of the Church Fathers, of modern theology, of the Councils now be replaced with the Amazonian cosmovision and the wisdom of the ancestors with their myths and rituals?
Should the expression “cosmovision” merely mean that all created things are interdependent, it would be a mere commonplace. Due to the substantial unity of body and soul, man stands at the intersection of the fabric of spirit and matter. But the contemplation of the cosmos is only the occasion for the glorification of God and His wonderful work in nature and history. The cosmos, however, is not to be adored like God, but only the Creator Himself. We do not fall on our knees before the enormous power of nature and before “all kingdoms of the world and their splendor” (Matthew 4:8), but only before God, “for it is written, the Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:10) It is thus that Jesus rejected the diabolical seducer in the desert.
The full text of Cdl. Müller’s remarks can be found here: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/full-text-of-cardinal-muellers-analysis-on-the-working-document-of-the-amazon-synod-78441
**Editor’s Note: You’ll see the good Cardinal’s name spelled both as “Mueller” and “Müller.” In this article, we’ve gone with the umlauts. You just can’t get enough umlauts when you’re talking about Germans, ist das nicht wahr? 🙂
The upcoming Amazon Synod is going to be a big deal. That’s not just some hokey blogger going by the odd moniker “CCM” jabbering (though he is, most admittedly, prone to jabber). According to Katholische.de, the official website of the German Catholic Bishops, Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck, the ordinary of Germany’s Essen diocese, told reporters that the October Synod in Rome will lead to a “break” in the Church and that “nothing will be the same as it was.” Not all Germans are in agreement as to the benefits to be realized from the synod. As you might expect Gerhard Cardinal Mueller has a considerably different opinion.
Cardinal Mueller’s analysis (from a Catholic News Agency article dated 16 July 2019) is divided into three parts, which we’ll promulgate over the next couple of weeks. The full text of Cdl. Mueller’s remarks can be found here: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/full-text-of-cardinal-muellers-analysis-on-the-working-document-of-the-amazon-synod-78441
Part One: Methodology and Ambivalence
On the Concept of Revelation as presented in the Instrumentum Laboris for the Amazon Synod
Cardinal Gerhard Mueller
- On the method of the Instrumentum Laboris (IL)
Nobody would question the goodwill of all those involved in the preparation and implementation of the synod for the Church in the Amazon, nor their intention of doing everything possible to promote the Catholic Faith among the inhabitants of this vast region and its fascinating landscape.
The Amazon region is to serve for the Church and for the world “as a pars pro toto, as a paradigm, as a hope for the whole world.” (IL 37) The very wording of these terms of reference suggest the notion of an “integral” development of all of humankind at home on the one Earth, for which the Church now declares herself responsible. This notion appears again and again in the text of the Instrumentum Laboris (IL). The document is divided into three parts: 1) The Voice of the Amazon; 2) Integral Ecology: The Cry of the Earth and of the Poor; 3) A Prophetic Church in the Amazon: Challenges and Hope. These three parts are put forward following a pattern also applied in Liberation theology: Seeing the situation – judging in light of the Gospels – acting to achieve better living conditions.
- Ambivalently defined terms and goals
As is so often the case when texts are produced as a team effort, by groups of people with a similar mindset contributing, there are many tiresome redundancies. If one were strictly to take out all the repetitions, the text could easily be cut down to half the length or less.
The main problem however is not quantitative, is not the excessive length. Rather, it is the fact that the key terms are not clearly defined and then excessively deployed: what is meant by a synodal path, by integral development, what is meant by a Samaritan, missionary, synodal, open Church? By a Church reaching out, the Church of the Poor, the Church of the Amazon, and other such terms? Is this Church something different from the People of God, or is she to be understood merely as the hierarchy of Pope and Bishops, or is she a part of it, or does she stand on the opposite side of the people? Is the term People of God to be understood sociologically or theologically? Or is she not, rather, the community of faithful, who, together with their shepherds, are on the pilgrimage unto eternal life? Is it the bishops who should hear the cry of the people, or is it God Who, just as He once did it with Moses during Israel’s slavery in Egypt, now tells the successors of the Apostles to lead the faithful out of sin and apart from the godlessness of secularist naturalism and immanentism unto his salvation in God’s Word and in the Sacraments of the Church?