While the final document of the synod on the Amazon is being drawn up,—invoking the figure of St. Francis of Assisi!—the two weeks of work that have just taken place have been dotted with events as grotesque and shocking as those that opened it.
The church of Santa Maria in Traspontina has been the scene of particularly scandalous spectacles. The images speak for themselves. Dances and pagan rites—vaguely Christianized—giving free rein to shamanic spirits rather than the breath of the Holy Spirit.
The Indigenous Way of the Cross
On October 19, the Stations of the Cross took place to the sound of guitars and tambourines, mixing the instrument of the supreme sacrifice of Christ with pagan incantations, incense, feathers, and bizarre songs, not to mention the outrageous canoe with its oars, its nets and its painted signs.
The stations of the sorrowful route that Our Lord followed gave way to the sufferings of the Amazonian territory: marginalization, social inequalities, indifference, and, of course, environmental degradation, pollution, exploitation, impoverishment.
Cardinal Pedro Barreto, Archbishop of Huancayo (Peru) and vice-president of REPAM (the pan-Amazonian ecclesial network) participated in this indigenous way of the cross: “The Way of the Cross of Christ today is to be found resolutely in the Amazon. That is why, in His image, as a people, we journey from these existential peripheries of Amazonia to the center of Christianity represented by Rome.”
It is no longer the Rhine that flows into the Tiber, it is the river of the deified Mother Earth that carries its syncretistic pantheism and floods the eternal city with its blasphemies.
Amazonian Pact: Vatican II Meets Native Peoples
The following day, in the catacombs of St. Domitilla, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, general rapporteur of the synod, launched a “Pact of the Catacombs for the Common Home,” a kind of commitment “for a Church with an Amazonian Face, Poor and Servant, Prophetic and Samaritan.” Echoing the approach of forty or so Fathers of the Second Vatican Council who had pledged themselves in 1965 to “a servant and poor Church,” the Panamazonian Synod participants have gone further by assuming “the commitment to defend the Amazonian forest” through the “integral ecology,” dear to Pope Francis.
In concrete terms, this means renewing “the preferential option for the poor” and “the native peoples” in order to “help them preserve their lands, cultures, languages, histories, identities and spirituality.” Behind these great words lies the detestation of oneself, the denial of a Church judged to be too Western and having never, finally, been able to understand these peoples and their cultures. Because from now on it is a matter of abandoning “every type of colonialist mentality and position, in our parishes, dioceses and groups, by welcoming and valorizing cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity in respectful dialogue with all the spiritual traditions.” Even pagan?
It also means “walking ecumenically with other Christian communities in the enculturated and liberating proclamation of the Gospel, and with other religions and people of good will, in solidarity with the native peoples.” The legacy of Vatican II mingles with the cultures of primitive peoples rebaptized as “natives.”
What will be the result of these verbose incantations that claim to do better than centuries of patient evangelization? The mists of the Amazon reek of a vast and very mediocre farce.
A Comforting Gesture for the Afflicted Church
The only consolation in this ocean of macabre buffoonery: the brave gesture of a Catholic man picking up the idolatrous statuettes displayed in the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina and throwing them into the Tiber. A return to the sources, or rather the primitive sewers, that one would like to be definitive.
These figurines represent sad pregnant women symbolizing Pachamama (Mother Earth), a pagan goddess worshiped by the Incas. This is a cult that the cult of the Virgin Mary had succeeded in chasing out, thanks to the centuries-long efforts of the Faith and the charity of missionaries. Alas! that was before Vatican II and the inculturation and apostasy of the men of the Church.