Amazon: Jair Bolsonaro Challenges the Vatican

May 07, 2019

Unhappy with the interference of the Catholic Church in the domestic politics of his country, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wants to organize a “counter-synod” in Rome next September in response to the Synod on the Amazon scheduled for the month of October: a challenge to Pope Francis in the heart of the Eternal City.

The Catholic Church is organizing a Synod on the Amazon from October 6 - 27, 2019, during which priests and bishops from the nine Amazonian countries in Latin America are expected to discuss issues related to the environment, indigenous peoples, and climate change.

Jair Bolsonaro, the man who, since January 1, 2019, has presided over the future of Brazil, one of the most Catholic countries in the world, has an unfavorable view of this synod, which he regards as foreign interference detrimental to the sovereignty of his country. It should be noted that the President of the Federative Republic of Brazil is himself Catholic.

Also, in order to express its opposition to the Amazonian synod, the government is considering organizing in Rome, one month before the meeting in the Vatican, a competing symposium highlighting “Brazilian concern for the Amazon and its indigenous peoples.”

The two points of view are opposed in this thorny issue: for its part, Brazil considers the Amazon as a national resource to be freely exploited by man, while the Holy See insists, since the beginning of Francis’ pontificate, on the right of indigenous peoples to remain on their land, with their traditional way of life.

The tension has not decreased in recent weeks: while the Vatican accuses the head of the Brazilian state of [bleeding the amazon with monetary enticements], this is worrying for a Church playing into the hands of progressives and globalists: “the United Nations (UN) is discussing with the natives the possibility of creating new countries in Brazil,” said Jair Bolsonaro in a radio interview on April 9, 2019.

General Augusto Heleno Ribeiro, head of the Institutional Security Cabinet of President Bolsonaro, had already warned the Vatican, as FSSPX.News indicated on February 20, 2019: “The policy concerning the Amazon falls under national defense; the sovereignty of Brazil is at stake.”

In Rome, the challenge launched by Jair Bolsonaro was a surprise: Lorenzo Cardinal Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, acknowledged that “priority attention” would be given to the indigenous populations of the Amazon region. However, he stressed that “the reflections of the synod (would go) far beyond the Amazon region, because they concern the whole of the Church and the future of the planet”—who knows, perhaps these reflections may also concern the preaching of the Catholic Faith?

Within the Church, several voices have risen, fearing that the future synod organized by the Vatican will also be an opportunity to revive the debate on priestly celibacy by introducing the possibility of having married men enter the priesthood.