Skip to comments.[Catholic Caucus] Synod’s day one features ecology, married priests, an Amazon rite and blowback
Posted on 10/08/2019 10:32:31 AM PDT by ebb tide
Pope Francis walks in procession on the occasion of the Amazon synod at the Vatican, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. Pope Francis opened a three-week meeting on preserving the rainforest and ministering to its native people as he fended off attacks from conservatives who are opposed to his ecological agenda. (Credit: Claudio Peri/ANSA via AP.)
ROME - During the two-year run-up to the event, Pope Franciss Oct. 6-27 Synod of Bishops on the Amazon was expected to generate strong ecological consensus, firm support for indigenous cultures and peoples, and movement toward married priests for the Amazon inside the hall - not to mention, of course, a fair bit of consternation about all those ideas in broader Catholic debate.
The first full working session of the summit Monday afternoon certainly lived up to its billing, on basically every one of those fronts.
According to a news bulletin released by the Vatican late Monday Rome time, climate change and fossil fuels came in for discussion by the roughly 300 participants in the synod, including 184 bishops from the nine South American nations that share a portion of the Amazon rainforest.
The climate is a global good, it was said, a good which must be cared for and preserved for future generations, the bulletin quoted participants as saying. It was suggested to stop using fossil fuels, above all in the most industrialized countries which have the greatest responsibility for pollution.
As is the Vaticans practice, the bulletin did not identify which speakers inside the synod made this point or how many of them spoke on the issue. Its impossible at this stage, therefore, to assess whether the points presented represent a consensus among participants, or are merely indicative of some of the topics touched upon.
The Vatican summary also indicated that protection of the regions water supply was a concern.
An appeal was raised to protect aquifers from chemical contamination deriving from multinational productions, so that the indigenous populations may survive, it said.
Several times bishops recalled the necessity of respecting both human and environmental rights, the bulletin said, because a truly integral ecology requires a new balance between man and nature.
At another point, the bulletin reported that some in the synod used the example of teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg and her School Strike for Climate as an example of the social commitment of youth, capable of pushing the Church to be prophetic in this area.
Ironically, the praise for Thunberg came on the same day that she was hung in effigy from a Roman bridge, with a sign around the mannequins neck reading, in English, Greta is your God. A previously unknown group calling itself Gli Svegli, or The Awake, took to Twitter and Facebook to claim responsibility.
It doesnt appear there was any connection between the gesture and the current synod, especially given the bridges location seven miles from the Vatican and the lack of any explicit reference to the pontiff or his summit. Nevertheless, the incident does illustrate a broader blowback against the ecological movement thats also been part of criticism of the popes initiatives around the Amazon.
On the issue of married priests - more specifically, proposals to ordain so-called viri probati, or tested married men, to serve the Amazons isolated rural communities - the bulletin reported both support and caution.
The viri probati are a matter of a legitimate necessity, it was said in the hall, but it must not prompt a substantial reconsideration of the nature of the priesthood and its relationship with celibacy as required by the Church of the Latin rite, the bulletin said, summarizing synod discussion.
Perhaps the most intriguing idea to emerge on day one came in the context of synod conversation about the need to demonstrate respect and appreciation for indigenous cultures. According to the bulletin, someone floated the idea of creating a special form of the Catholic Mass for the Amazon blending in certain native customs and expressions.
One of the proposals advanced was that of thinking about establishing - ad experimentum, and based on sound theological, liturgical and pastoral discernment - an Amazon Catholic rite for living and celebrating faith in Christ, the bulletin said.
At bottom, it was underlined in the hall, just as theres an ecological ecosystem, theres also an ecclesiastical ecosystem, it said.
As for consternation, it could be glimpsed in a variety of ways on Monday, including reaction to what seemed a fairly harmless papal laugh line earlier in the day.
During the morning session, Francis devoted a good chunk of his remarks to urging participants to avoid ideologies that tend to disrespect indigenous cultures and religiosity. Along the way, he said that just yesterday hed heard someone object to a native person wearing a colorful feathered headdress in the Vatican.
Whats the difference between that and the triangle hat some of the cardinals of our dicasteries wear? he quipped, referring to the biretta thats a traditional part of the finery for Princes of the Church.
That brought a barbed response from Radio Spada, a widely-read traditionalist Catholic outlet in Italy.
We believe that this phrase captures in full the Bergoglio-thought (which is the heart of modernism), according to which one religion is just as good as another, a staff comment said.
Whatever concern the synod may be eliciting, it clearly doesnt seem to be cowing Francis, who is missing no opportunity to put the Amazon and Amazonians in the spotlight.
Monday morning began with a procession featuring the pope flocked by 17 indigenous persons from the Amazon, holding aloft a fishing net as well as a canoe and paddles with a statue of the Madonna as an indigenous woman, along with a few typical products of the region. They were singing hymns in both native languages and in Spanish, brandishing images of their heroes - St. Oscar Romero of El Salvador, naturally, as well as Father Rodolfo Lunkenbein, a German missionary in Brazil shot to death at his Salesian mission in 1976, and Galdin Pataxo, an indigenous activist murdered in Brazils capital city by five upper-class youth in 1997.
The procession included figures such as Italian father Alex Zanotelli, a famed Comboni missionary in Africa who, early on, was accused of syncretism for his incorporation of native dress and rituals into the Catholic liturgy, and was later removed from the direction of a church-sponsored magazine for allegedly playing fast and loose with Catholic principles.
Clearly, having Zanotelli be part of the scene was another way for the pope to encourage such experimentation.
The group filed down the nave of an empty St. Peters Basilica, singing and swaying, then made its way from the front of the basilica through an equally empty St. Peters Square to end up at the Vaticans synod hall for the first working session of the Oct. 6-27 assembly. The square had been completely cleared to accommodate the procession, producing the unusual site of one of the worlds most popular tourist destinations briefly barren.
Altogether, both the choreography and the casting of the procession Monday morning seemed to make a simple point, though the pope likely would never address his critics quite this directly: Say what you will, were moving ahead.
Clearly, the pope ain’t catholic. Isn’t there any church doctrine that prevents a heretic from being pope?
Fr. Mark has a great 3 minute statement:
“a special form of the Catholic Mass for the Amazon blending in certain native customs and expressions”
They can use the Vatican garden pagan ritual as a template.
I don’t get it.
If these people are Catholic then they are obviously
attending the Mass as it currently exists.
Pray the Rosary daily for the demise of the Amazon and other synods.
If praying the Rosary kept the Moslems out of Europe, it should work here, too.
Would some FReeper who knows something about Canon Law jump in and explain ?
As understand it (and I'm no a canon lawyer) there is a canon against a heretic having ANY office in the Catholic Church, since this person has placed himself out of communion by his heresy. However to be judged (canonically) a heretic, one has to not only hold to an erroneous view, but it has to be proved that you did so deliberately, after you had had it adequately explained to you, after you had been warned that you were in the wrong, etc.
The basic thing is, you can't just accuse someone ("That guy's a heretic!") and have him removed from office and declared excommunicated. Procedural due process must be observed, and that means a trial, the right to confront accusers, the right to answer the charges, etc.
And in the end, the right to appeal to the highest authority, which would be the pope; after which there is no other appeal.
If the pope is the final authority, the final appeal, IS there any canonical way to convict the pope himself of canonical heresy?
There's the rub!
Historically, it has happened --- I think, twice--- that a pope was seriously publicly accused of heresy.
Once was the case of Pope John XXII, who denied that the just experience the Beatific Vision immediately after heir particular judgment at the time of their death
Prominent bishops argued with him, and he was persuaded that he was wrong and needed to retract. Which he did.
The second was the case of Pope Honorious, (7th century), who supposedly embraced the heresy of Monothelitism (that Jesus had no human will.)
But Honorius seems to have been afflicted with vagueness --- he wrote something ambiguous, and he died before he had a chance to explain the truth in a clear, prompt, and forceful way. A subsequent council condemned him for heresy; but his own successor, Pope Leo II, did not condemn him for heresy, but only for employing a vague expression which could be used by others to the detriment of the Truth.
So it's his successor, the Pope, who had the ruling authority, finding him not guilty for promoting intentional, manifest heresy, but just for failing to adequately clear things up.
All this sounds tiresomely esoteric to us now. The upshot is, only a pope can definitively condemn a pope for heresy.
I guess if we can't get a face-to-face with Bergoglio to "pressure" him to recant, we'd have to wait for his successor. Or --- omigosh --- Pope Benedict XVI, that silent, thoughtful, fading man walking the Vatican gardens.
Grant this O Lord!
They want to make over the Church and the Mass in their own image and likeness.
What if said pope's election was deemed invalid, per canon law regarding electioneering?
Yes, I know +Rene Gracida and others see it that way. But even then, per canonical due process, there would have to be a trial, evidence, witnesses. In my opinion, that’s never going to happen.
And without due process, all you’ve got is opinions.
Yes, I understand.
Whether we’re in an interregnum or not, I do not know. I pray we are in one.
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