Cardinal Brandmüller Rejects the Preparatory Document of the Synod on the Amazon

Source: FSSPX News

Walter Cardinal Brandmüller, president of the Pontifical Council for Historical Sciences from 1998 to 2009 and co-author, in 2016, of the famous dubia on Amoris Laetitia—to which Pope Francis never replied,—has accused the Instrumentum laboris (working document) of the upcoming Synod on the Amazon of heresy and apostasy

His statement was published by Vaticanist Sandro Magister on June 27, 2019, ten days after the publication of the Roman document. He wondered about the need for this synod on the Amazon, saying, “One has to ask in principle why a Synod of Bishops should deal with topics, which—as is now the case with three-fourths of Instrumentum Laboris—have, at the most, marginally anything to do with the Gospels and the Church. Obviously, there takes place here on the part of the Synod of Bishops an aggressive intrusion into the purely worldly affairs of the state and society of Brazil. One asks oneself: what do ecology, economy, and politics have to do with the mandate and mission of the Church?”

“And most of all: which professional expertise authorizes an ecclesial Synod of Bishops to make statements in these fields?”

“Should the Synod of Bishops truly do this, this would be a stepping over boundaries and a clericalist presumption, which the state authorities would then have to reject.”

The high prelate emphasizes,  “A further aspect is being added, which is to be found throughout the whole Instrumentum Laboris: namely, the very positive assessment of natural religions, to include indigenous healing practices and the like, yes, even mythical-religious practices and forms of cults. In the context of the call for harmony with nature, there is even talk about the dialogue with the spirits (no. 75)…the territory—that is to say, the forests of the Amazon region—is even being declared to be a locus theologicus, a special source of divine Revelation. Here are places of an epiphany where the planet’s reserves of life and wisdom show themselves, which speak of God (no. 19). The anti-rational rejection of the ‘western’ culture which stresses the importance of reason is characteristic of the Instrumentum Laboris.  Meanwhile, the subsequent regression from Logos to Mythos is being raised to a criterion of that which the Instrumentum Laboris calls the inculturation of the Church. The result is a natural religion with a Christian masquerade.”

Cardinal Brandmüller points out two of the objectives of this synod and the negation of the hierarchy of the Church which follows: “It is impossible to conceal that the ‘synod’ is especially to help implement two most cherished projects that heretofore have never been implemented: namely, the abolishment of celibacy and the introduction of a female priesthood—starting first with female deacons. In any event, it is about ‘accepting the role, the leadership of the woman inside the Church’ (129a3). In a similar manner, they will now ‘open up new spaces for the creation of new ministries, as this historic moment calls for it. It is time to listen to the voice of the Amazon region...’” (no. 43).

“But here the fact is omitted that, lastly, John Paul II also stated with highest magisterial authority that it is not in the power of the Church to administer the Sacrament of Holy Orders to women. Indeed, in 2000 years, the Church has never administered the Sacrament of Holy Orders to a woman (Ordinatio sacerdotalis, May 22, 1994). The demand which stands in direct opposition to this fact shows that the word ‘Church’ is now being used purely as a sociological term on the part of the authors of the Instrumentum Laboris.”

“In a similar manner—though expressed rather in passing—no. 127… ask[s] as to whether it would not be opportune ‘to reconsider the notion that the exercise of jurisdiction (power of government) must be linked in all areas (sacramental, judicial, administrative) and in a permanent way to the sacrament of Holy Orders.’ From such a wrong view stems then (in no. 129) the call for the creation of new offices which correspond to the needs of the Amazonian peoples.”

All these considerations bring the German prelate to directly affirm, “The Instrumentum Laboris burdens the Synod of Bishops, and finally the pope, with a grave breach with the Depositum fidei (deposit of the faith), which in its consequence means the self-destruction of the Church or the transformation of the Corpus Christi mysticum (Mystical Body of Christ) into a secular NGO with an ecological-social-psychological mandate…We are witnessing a new form of the classical Modernism of the early 20th century.”

Hence Cardinal Brandmüller’s firm conclusion: “It is to be stated now with insistence that the Instrumentum Laboris contradicts the binding teaching of the Church in decisive points and thus has to be qualified as heretical. Inasmuch as even the fact of divine Revelation is here being questioned, or misunderstood, one also now has to speak, additionally, of apostasy.”

“This is even more justified in light of the fact that the Instrumentum Laboris uses a purely immanentist notion of religion and that it considers religion as the result and form of expression of man’s own spiritual self-experience. The use of Christian words and notions cannot conceal that these are being merely used as empty words, despite their original meaning.”

Instrumentum Laboris for the Amazon Synod constitutes an attack on the foundations of the Faith, and in a way that has not heretofore been thought possible. Thus it must be rejected with all decisiveness.”


Stefano Fontana, in his editorial in La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana on June 19, also asked the bishops to reject this working document. Robert de Mattei did the same on the American web site Rorate Cœli, on June 20, “Will the bishops, successors of the apostles be silent? Will the cardinals, the pope’s advisors in the governing of the Church be silent, in the face of this political-religious manifesto which perverts the doctrine and praxis of the Mystical Body of Christ?”

Stefano Fontana, in the editorial cited above, resumes speaking of Instrumentum Laboris in a  pithy manner: “Two Gnosticisms converge in the document. The first is the idea that salvation derives from a practice, that of a Christianity revised from a historical situation (of exploitation): this is the voice of liberation theology. The second is represented by the ecological primitivism of life in the ‘whole’ of Mother Earth in which the Amazonian peoples who are today exploited would become the owners. Two Gnosticisms in one. Two little Amazonian Gnosticisms, very much of western exportation, conceived in the pulpits of the new European Catholic theology.”

This modernist European influence, especially German, is confirmed by the recent conduct of the non-public meeting in Rome. Edward Pentin describes it in his article [“Pre-Amazonian Synod ‘Study Meeting’ Held in Rome”] in the National Catholic Register on June 26. “A private meeting held to discuss the upcoming Amazonian synod and involving largely German-speaking prelates and experts took place on Tuesday (June 25) in Rome.” The participants invited to the study meeting, which “took place at a convent and retreat center on the outskirts of Rome run by the Ancelle di Cristo Re Congregation…included Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the general relator of the synod and president of REPAM [Red Eclesial Pan-Amazonica],…Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, and Cardinal Walter Kasper, a close theological adviser to Pope Francis.”

“Also in attendance was Austrian Bishop Emeritus Erwin Kräutler of the Territorial Prelature of Xingu in Brazil, whom Pope Francis appointed as an expert consultant to the synod. Bishop Kräutler has argued for ordaining married men in the Amazon, and voiced his support for women priests. He is thought to have helped write the synod’s controversial working document published last week.”

“Other participants included Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, Germany, the head of the German bishops’ Latin America commission, which through its aid organization Adveniat provides significant financial and pastoral support to Latin America. Last month, Bishop Overbeck said the synod will lead the Church to a ‘point of no return,’ and, thereafter, ‘nothing will be the same as it was.’”

“None of the participants seen on a list of attendees at today’s meeting are noted for their orthodoxy. They included Fr. Hubert Wolf, a theologian and Church historian, said by one informed source to be ‘theoretically and practically against clerical celibacy.’ An alumnus of the University of Tubingen, he was ordained to the priesthood in his home Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart in the 1990s when Cardinal Kasper was the diocesan bishop.”

“And despite a strong emphasis on listening to the ‘voice of the Amazon’ in the working document, a significant and common factor in this meeting is the large number of European and particularly German prelates and theologians taking part, and the seemingly few or absent Amazonian voices.”

“The strong input from German-speaking prelates and theologians has led concerned observers to believe that the synod is a means of them imposing and implementing their own ideological agenda—especially mystifying to some, given the less-than-robust state of the Catholic Church in German-speaking countries and other Churches in Europe.”

“Reporting on the Second Vatican Council, the American priest Ralph Witgen wrote the famous book, The Rhine Flows into the Tiber [newly retitled, The Inside Story of Vatican II]. This recorded the German Church’s influence on that meeting. We ask on June 21 if the Rhine is now flowing into the Amazon, German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told the Register: ‘We see that it’s not a good influence because the Church is going down in Germany.’” 

“‘They [German Church leaders] are not aware of the real problems [in the Church today] and they are speaking about sexual morality, celibacy and women priests,’ he said, ‘but they don’t speak about God, Jesus Christ, grace, the sacraments, and faith, hope and love, the theological virtues.’” 

During the Council, faced with the modernist subversion coming from the German-speaking countries, a reaction came forward through the group Cœtus Internationalis Patrum which distinguished Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. It is hoped that a similar reaction will arise to stem the Rhine pollution. This is the only “integral ecology,” entirely Catholic, which can prevail over the widespread theological disorder. All the rest is only fiction.