There have long been lingering suspicions that the Amazon Synod is going to be a progressive festival, especially considering its key call for the “abolition of celibacy” for pseudo-pastoral reasons. However, concrete evidence to document this suspicion was lacking. Now, this evidence is gradually beginning to emerge.
The Jesuit’s Georgetown University in Washington D.C., long known for its extravagant theological experiments, recently held a symposium to prepare for the Amazon Synod.
Thus, the Catholic News Agency of the German Bishops Conference (KNA) reported on the discussions: “Adveniat, an aid organization for Latin America, has expressed its support for clear goals: ‘absolute priority should be given to a comprehensive protection for the marginalized poor and the wounded creation,’ Chief Executive Michael Heinz stated.”
Concretely, this means that supposedly pastoral goals are being bundled into a program to protect both the “marginalized social class” and a wounded “creation.”
This connection may sound strange to non-Latin American ears, but it is quite common among the progressive reformers of Catholic circles in Latin America. The link to ecology represents an evolution of classical liberation theology (which uses the Catholic religion as a cover to promote class struggle and communist goals) toward a fusion with neo-pagan and socialist ecology.
Over the last thirty years, ecological currents have entered into an alliance with liberation theology, especially in Latin America. This agreement was reinforced even more after Cardinal Ratzinger condemned liberation theology in 1984. After the condemnation by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, liberation theology hid under the cloak of environmental protection. Thus, religious activists now claim that the free market economy exploits not only the so-called proletariat but also the environment. Their old goal is always the same: building a socialist society camouflaged in Catholic trappings.
Progressives claim that “exploitation” must be overcome by abolishing private property and establishing a Marxist regime. Such a society would bring humanity back to its “primordial state” where all would live in a primitive fashion without civilization but in harmony with nature. Deep down, this is a “religion of nature” with a Catholic varnish. It is pursuing Marxist political goals under a “Catholic” cloak.
The goal of the Synod is to proclaim this revolution in a much more universal way. There is no reason why it must be limited to the inhabitants of the Amazon. Thus, the Catholic News Agency (KNA) quotes Thomas Wieland, who represented the group Adveniat at the Georgetown symposium: “The rights of indigenous peoples are regularly trampled underfoot when oil is drawn from the Amazon for our cars, when coal is extracted for our mills, or when cattle are fattened to quench our hunger for meat.”
Such rhetoric clearly repeats the classic socialistic slogans of the sixties and seventies. In this case, these associations of socialist-populist ideas apply the themes to the poor Southern hemisphere exploited by the wealthy North.
The truth is quite different. Thanks to free-market reforms and investments (from the hated “North”), Latin American countries are now technologically and economically in step with industrialized countries. This was done through trade and economic exchanges with capitalist countries such as the United States, Germany and Japan.
When Latin American countries used to revolve around the periphery of communist dictatorships such as the Soviet Union or Cuba, they remained underdeveloped and achieved minimal growth rates. This disaster is especially true for countries on the Amazon basin.
All this changed in the eighties and nineties when free-market economic reforms allowed a massive number of the poor to enter the middle class. Progressives never mention this achievement in Europe or the United States because they want to cultivate the image of an underdeveloped and poor Latin America.
After attending the symposium, Cardinal Reinhard Marx also spoke in Berkeley. KNA reports that “Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German Episcopal Conference, stressed the political importance of the Synod of the Amazon (to be held) in the autumn.”
All these emerging hints allow, so to speak, the “rabbit to come out of the hat.” Everyone can see that the Synod is revolving around politics and, indeed, socialist politics. This is not about the conversion of peoples to the Catholic Church or the spread of the Catholic faith in the Amazon.
No. The Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region is about creating a new socialist, ecological and anti-Western paradigm, a primitive church in the jungle to serve as a model for the universal Church. It is an abandonment of the Benedictine ideal of the Church, which always linked promoting the Catholic faith with fostering the civilizing progress of humanity.
Written by Mathias von Gersdorff