It’s worse than expected…
Monkey Business at the Amazon Synod: A First Review
The long-awaited and much-touted Pan-Amazon Synod in the Vatican is in full swing, and the first week has seen fireworks. Whether it be an idolatrous ceremony held in the Vatican Gardens, prelates bewailing “ecological sins”, churches being profaned with paganism and indecency, Francis preparing his sheeple for a deluge of “newness”, a nun at the Vatican press conference saying she “hears confessions” in the Amazon region, or the general relator attacking priestly celibacy in his opening address — you name it, the first synod week had it on sale!
In fact, one can probably say that things have been worse than most people expected, and expectations were not high. Even an indigenous protest at St. Peter’s Basilica right after the opening “Mass” was part of the synodal experience, at least until Vatican police took care of the problem. That there are heretical “German fingerprints on this synod” need hardly be mentioned. But either way, before you read on, make sure you fasten your seatbelts: It’s going to be a wild ride!
Spiritual Crime Scene in the Vatican Gardens
The inofficial kickoff for the synod was the gathering in the Vatican Gardens on Oct. 4, an event which was marketed as a dedication of the synod to St. Francis of Assisi. Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope” Francis) himself presided over the celebration and stood by watching when his quasi-prophets from the Amazon began dancing around idols they had placed on the ground and prostrated themselves before them, as we reported in a separate post.
The casual mention of “Mother Earth” — otherwise known as “Gaia” or “Pachamama” — at a subsequent Vatican press conference fit right in with that, and when the professional Bergoglio admirer Austen Ivereigh tried to get “Bishop” David Martínez de Aguirre Guinea to tell the world that the image of a naked fertility goddess apparently worshipped in the Vatican Gardens was really an Amazonian version of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the latter declined to do so. Instead, he answered that there was no need to give it any particular interpretation and that it “probably represented ‘Mother Earth, fertility, woman, life.'” Oops!
To counteract that, Francis’ loyal subjects at Where Peter Is were busy scraping the bottom of the barrel to make the scandalous Oct. 4 event in the Vatican Gardens into a Catholic celebration of the Mother of God, on the grounds that the woman who subsequently handed the carved image over to Francis reportedly said, “[This is] Our Lady of the Amazon.” They furthermore found one “missionary priest for indigenous peoples in Peru” who identifies it as “an image of a [sic] Blessed Mother, who is pregnant. She is the Virgin, and we have called her Our Lady of the Amazon.” But then he elaborates most interestingly: “She represents the Amazon, because what is the Amazon? The Amazon is a woman, she is female, she has a female face. Why? Because the earth is a mother, the earth gives life. So that is the Amazon.” In other words: Mother Mary = Mother Earth = Gaia? Is that where they’re going with this?
It should be pretty clear that merely calling an idol “the pregnant Virgin” or even “Our Lady” does not make it into the Blessed Mother — just as worshipping the moon under the title “queen of heaven” (cf. Jer 7:18) doesn’t make one a Marian devotee — especially when the thing looks more like the Whore of Babylon (cf. Apoc 17:1-5) than the Mother Most Pure. While it is standard Novus Ordo apologist practice to find all kinds of excuses for the “papal” status quo, it is actually not the job of the common lay folk to look for ways to make what to all appearances is abominable idolatrous creature worship into a perfectly Catholic ceremony. Rather, it would be incumbent upon the Vatican to ensure that no scandalous activities take place there, and that anything exotic or unusual that is nevertheless perfectly fine is properly explained beforehand to ensure that no wrong appearances are given and that no one is presented with an unnecessary occasion of sin.
Thus, even if we assume for the sake of argument that what transpired in the Vatican Gardens on Oct. 4 was an entirely Catholic ritual — and it wasn’t! –, nevertheless it clearly had the appearance of being pagan earth worship, on account of which countless people have been scandalized. Scandal is defined in Catholic moral theology as “any conduct that has at least the appearance of evil and that offers to a neighbor an occasion of spiritual ruin” (Rev. John A. McHugh and Rev. Charles J. Callan, Moral Theology, n. 1447; underlining added). So, let’s keep in mind that the burden of proof, or the blame, is not to be shifted onto those “hermeneuts of suspicion” — really, why would anyone have cause to be suspicious about what goes on in the Vatican in 2019 AD?! — but rather is to be found with those Vatican authorities who authorized this wickedness, above all, the Jesuit apostate Bergoglio.
Profanation of Churches
Alas, the abomination was not confined to the Vatican Gardens. That awful naked pregnant Amazonian statue made its way also into the synod audience hall and St. Peter’s Basilica itself — in a canoe, of course! As far as who or what the carved image actually represents, one will probably get as many answers as the number of people one asks. What is definitely going on there is syncretism — the mixing of Catholic elements with pagan earth worship. Even the Novus Ordo grandson of a former shaman was scandalized.
But perhaps the worst of it all took place at the Roman church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, roughly 1,300 feet (400 meters) away from the Vatican. The following tweets show pictures/video of the horrific profanation that took place there under the label of “Amazonian spirituality” (caution! contains nudity):
A report by the so-called Catholic News Agency states:
The Amazon spirituality meeting Oct. 9 included singing and testimonies gathered around various objects from Amazon communities, including a wooden canoe, displayed at the foot of the sanctuary of the church, and a controversial wooden figure of a pregnant woman, which has been described as both a Marian image and as a traditional indigenous religious symbol of the goddess Pachamama, or Mother Earth.
The meeting included a moment where a woman sitting in the canoe was lifted up by participants, and concluded with the praying of the Our Father and Hail Mary.
In addition to posters displaying images of missionaries who have worked, and in some cases died in the Amazon, a poster was displayed in the Church of a woman holding a baby while breastfeeding a small animal.
(“Amazon spirituality events organized by network of Latin American and European groups”, Catholic World Report, Oct. 10, 2019)
Yes, you read correctly! The poster displayed a woman breastfeeding an animal! The vile image, obviously containing nudity, was marketed under the theme of “Everything is connected” (“Todo está conectado”), a quote from Francis’ eco-encyclical Laudato Si’ (n. 117)!
An Oct. 11 Life Site report offers additional details, in case your stomach can still take more. And just as we were preparing this post for publication, Life Site‘s editor John-Henry Westen released a brand new video with yet more details about this obscenity:
Interestingly enough, Westen mentions that the Vatican press office has still not responded to their request for information about what that indigenous ceremony in the Vatican Gardens was all about, and specifically what that hideous carved image represents.
If you can’t take it anymore at this point and simply need some comedic relief, a traditionalist member of the Vatican II religion who humorously calls himself Hank Igitur produced a hilarious clip on this madness:
But back to the actual synod.
The “Spirit” bloweth inside the Synod Hall
Francis himself had already prepared his sheeple at the opening “Mass” for the synod on Sunday:
Prudence is not indecision; it is not a defensive attitude. It is the virtue of the pastor who, in order to serve with wisdom, is able to discern, to be receptive to the newness of the Spirit. Rekindling our gift in the fire of the Spirit is the opposite of letting things take their course without doing anything. Fidelity to the newness of the Spirit is a grace that we must ask for in prayer. May the Spirit, who makes all things new, give us his own daring prudence; may he inspire our Synod to renew the paths of the Church in Amazonia, so that the fire of mission will continue to burn.
(“Pope Francis Opens Synod of Bishops for Amazon with Mass in Vatican Basilica”, Zenit, Oct. 6, 2019; italics given; underlining added.)
The next day, at the synod’s first blather session, he expressed his displeasure at having heard someone complain of an indigenous man bringing up the gifts (i.e. bread and wine) during the prior day’s liturgy in St. Peter’s while wearing a feathered Indian headdress. “Tell me”, the pseudo-pontiff asked his underlings gathered in the synod hall, “what difference is there between wearing feathers on his head and the three-cornered hat used by some officials in Vatican Departments [i.e. the biretta]?”
There we see the profound spiritual wisdom of Jorge Bergoglio on full display: It’s all the same. All head coverings are the same; all traditions are the same; all times and places are the same; all religions are the same. Hey, everything’s connected, right? So beware: The next time Francis creates bogus cardinals, he may just put Indian feathers on their heads instead of a red hat. At this point, he might as well.
“Cardinal” Claudio Hummes, relator general of the synod, gave the first address after Francis delivered his remarks, and he got right down to business, checking off all of the magic buzzwords in his opening paragraph:
From the very beginning of his papal ministry, Pope Francis has emphasized the Church’s need to move forward. The Church cannot remain inactive within her own closed circle, focused on herself, surrounded by protective walls and even less can she look nostalgically to the past. The Church needs to throw open her doors, knock down the walls surrounding her and build bridges, going out into the world and setting out on the path of history….
(“Introductory Report on Amazon Synod by General Relator, Cardinal Hummes (Full Text)”, Zenit, Oct. 7, 2019)
Where have we heard this before? At Vatican II, of course! John XXIII threw open the windows to the world, and a few years later Paul VI feigned surprise that somehow the “smoke of Satan” had entered the church.
Hummes also immediately touched upon that thorn in the flesh that has been piercing the Modernists from time immemorial: priestly celibacy. We may surmise that the approach he took did not catch anyone by surprise:
It will be necessary to define new paths for the future. During the consultation stages, indigenous communities, faced with the urgent need experienced by most of the Catholic communities in Amazonia, requested that the path be opened for the ordination of married men resident in their communities, albeit confirming the great importance of the charisma of celibacy in the Church. At the same time, faced with a great number of women who nowadays lead communities in Amazonia, there is a request that this service be acknowledged and there be an attempt to consolidate it with a suitable ministry for them.
There’s nothing like using an old Vatican II strategy: Get your foot in the door with a revolutionary premise (ordaining married men), then immediately slam the brakes by emphasizing the importance of tradition (“the great importance of the charisma of celibacy”). This way the groundwork for revolution is laid but tempered with a big “however” that is subsequently dispensed with. (Vatican II did this, among other things, with the use of Latin in the Roman liturgy, and we know how that ended.) Now of course we all know that if a married clergy is good enough for Amazonia, then it’s good enough wherever else there is an “urgent need” for priests. After all, when the “Spirit” speaketh, who shall contradict it?!
As for that “suitable ministry” for Amazonian women, even if Club Francis eventually decides against women priests or deacons, there’s no reason why the Bergoglian god of surprises might not reveal some other calling for them, especially considering the “rich tradition” surrounding Gaia, Pachamama, or Mother Earth — entities that are distinctly female.
Towards the end of his report, Hummes even managed to provide the initial premises from which later a kind of pantheism — the idea that everything is God — will be able to be drawn:
Integral ecology teaches us that everything is connected, human beings and nature. All living beings on the planet are children of the earth….
The Son of God too became a man and his human body comes from the earth. In this body, Jesus died for us on the Cross to overcome evil and death, he rose again among the dead and now sits to the right of God the Father in eternal and immortal glory. The Apostle Paul writes, “For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him (…) whether those on earth or those in heaven.” (Col. 1,19-20). In Laudato si’ we read that, “This leads us to direct our gaze to the end of time, when the Son will deliver all things to the Father, so that “God may be everything to everyone” (1 Cor.15:28). Thus, “the creatures of this world no longer appear to us under merely natural guise because the risen One is mysteriously holding them to himself and directing them towards fullness as their end” (LS, 100). It is thus that God has definitively connected Himself to His entire creation. This mystery is accomplished in the sacrament of the Eucharist.
It won’t take long before someone in the Vatican II Sect will conclude that by worshipping the earth, we are really worshipping God, since, you know, “everything is connected”. And then it simply won’t matter anymore whether we are adoring God the Father or Mother Earth, Jesus Christ or Pachamama, the Holy Ghost or the spirits of the forest, the Holy Eucharist or mere bread. Problem solved! Anything else would mean falling into a ridig black-and-white/either-or mentality that is obviously not open to the “newness of the Spirit”!
Nun says she hears Confessions
A curious incident occurred during the very first day’s press conference. A Novus Ordo nun, Sr. Alba Teresa Cediel Castillo, was part of the Vatican panel, and when she was asked about the work women religious do in the Amazon, she happily shared her experience — including this detail:
Sometimes we also had to listen to confessions. Of course we cannot give absolution but at the bottom of our hearts we place ourselves in a position of listening with humbleness, thinking about the person who comes to us for a word of comfort, somebody who perhaps [is] before death, and so the presence of women in Amazonia is very great and very fertile….
What made this more explosive still is that she preceded these remarks by referring to herself as a “woman priest” or “priestess” — and this also confused the translator somewhat because she garbled the sentence a bit, and Sr. Alba’s rapid flow of words didn’t help things.
What the Novus Ordo sister actually said, in Spanish, was this: “Qué hacemos? Por lo que puede ser también una mujer desde el bautismo, como mujeres sacerdotes, como reinas, y como prophetas.” In English: “What do we do? Well, what a woman can also do on account of baptism, as priestesses, as queens, and as prophetesses.” The curious mention of “priestesses, queens, and prophetesses” is a reference to the Novus Ordo teaching that all the baptized are incorporated into Christ’s triple office of Priest, Prophet, and King (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1241; cf. n. 436). If all the baptized are priests, prophets, and kings in that sense, then it follows that baptized females are priestesses, prophetesses, and queens, right? Perhaps this is the opening that will be used to try to get women ordained in the Vatican II Sect. Considering the context of the synod, the remarks by “Bp.” Adriano Ciocca Vasino, and the “hearing of confessions” the same sister also mentioned, it certainly cannot be ruled out.
But the story doesn’t end there. The Vatican apparently thought Sr. Alba’s words were explosive enough to step in: Although Vatican Media had already put up the full video and audio of the press conference with simultaneous translation on its English language YouTube channel, the video was suddenly removed, without explanation (it is still available, without the translation, on the international Vatican Media channel). Thankfully, we had saved an audio version of the entire press conference in English and thus still have the full clip — the relevant Q&A excerpt can be accessed here.
That same day, the Vatican’s in-house journalist, Andrea Tornielli, put up an article on the English edition of Vatican News regarding the incident, entitled: “Amazonia: the women religious who ‘hear confessions'”. He gives the following rendition of what Sr. Alba said:
We are present everywhere and we do what a woman can do by virtue of her Baptism: we accompany the indigenous people, and when priests cannot be present, we perform baptisms. If someone wants to get married, we are present and we witnesses to the love of the couple. We have often had to listen to confessions, but we have not given absolution. In the depth of our hearts, though, we have said that with the humility with which this man or woman approached us because of illness, or because they were close to death – we believe God the Father intervenes there.
One thing is notably absent: Tornielli chose to omit Sr. Alba’s words about being priestesses, queens, and prophetesses in virtue of baptism — without even so much as indicating the omission through an ellipsis, as is standard professional practice.
After this wild first day of the synod, we produced a 17-minute podcast with commentary on what had transpired. We have embedded it here:
But wait, there’s more!
On Wednesday of the first week of the synod there was proposed an “Amazonian rite of Mass” — as though the liturgical freak shows of the annual diocesan Religious Education Congress in Los Angeles weren’t exotic enough yet. What such an “Amazonian rite” might look like, we can only imagine after seeing the atrocities shown above. Trying to prepare the way to a married priesthood, Austrian “Bp.” Erwin Krautler, a retired “missionary” in Brazil, claimed that the indigenous inhabitants of Amazonia just “do not understand celibacy” — no doubt a most difficult concept to explain in between teaching catechism lessons on the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation of God the Son, and Transubstantiation.
At the press briefing of Oct. 12, the sixth day of the synod, a journalist seriously asked why it would be important to evangelize the Amazon region when the indigenous there already have a religion. That such a question would be raised by anyone attending a Vatican press conference shows what the last six decades of “interreligious dialogue” and “mission” have accomplished. Roughly 100 years earlier, the great Pope St. Pius X, in a beautiful encyclical letter on the indigenous of South America, spoke of his desire “to deliver the Indians, where their need is greatest, from the slavery of Satan…” (Encyclical Lacrimabili Statu, n. 6). How’s that for an answer!
By the way: Amazonians who disagree with Francis’ leftist agenda, do not have much of a voice at the synod, unsurprisingly. “A Synod exists to listen constantly to the Holy Spirit”, Vatican News proclaims, but, as Robert Royal so aptly put it: “The ‘listening Church’ that we have heard so much about in recent years seems very much to listen with the left ear, not the right.” Touché!
At the same time, of course we must give credit where it’s due: At least there were clear calls to conversion at the synod. Granted, the context was ecological conversion, but at least in that one regard conversion isn’t optional and proselytism is still permitted — so much so that “the Church must speak with a prophetic voice in order for the issue of integral ecology to enter the agenda of international bodies”, a decisive affirmation the likes of which one will search for in vain with regard to the Social Kingship of Christ, about which Pope Pius XI proclaimed less than a century earlier: “While nations insult the beloved name of our Redeemer by suppressing all mention of it in their conferences and parliaments, we must all the more loudly proclaim his kingly dignity and power, all the more universally affirm his rights” (Encyclical Quas Primas, n. 25).
Besides conversion, confession of sins too was a hot topic during the synod’s first week — confession of ecological sins, that is, and to priests rather than female religious:
A desire was also expressed for an “ecological conversion” that would allow people see the gravity of sins against the environment as sins against God, against our neighbour, and against future generations. This would imply a need to produce and spread more widely a theological literature that would include “ecological sins” alongside traditional sins.
(“Amazon Synod Day 2: The Church confesses ‘ecological sins'”, Vatican News, Oct. 8, 2019)
Perhaps the only way to prevent the mass production of pertinent “theological literature” would be to remind people that printed paper requires the use of trees, which are a precious ecological resource that surely we cannot afford to waste. “Everything is connected”, we have learned, and who’d want to mess with that cycle?
The “Resistance” speaks — sort of
With all this madness going on in the Eternal City, Novus Ordo conservatives were disappointed to find that their “only friend in the Vatican”, “Cardinal” Robert Sarah, had preemptively shot down any suggestion that he might be a voice of opposition to the Jesuit apostate from Buenos Aires. In an interview published in the Italian press on Oct. 7, Sarah declared:
The truth is that the Church is represented on earth by the vicar of Christ, that is by the pope. And whoever is against the pope is, ipso facto, outside the Church…. Those who place me in opposition to the Holy Father cannot present a single word of mine, a single phrase or a single attitude of mine to support their absurd – and I would say, diabolical – affirmations…. I would add that every pope is right for his time. Providence looks after us very well, you know.
(“Cardinal” Robert Sarah, quoted in Cindy Wooden, “Cardinal Sarah: To oppose the pope is to be outside the Church”, Crux, Oct. 9, 2019.)
As Scripture says: “Put not your trust in princes” (Ps 145:2). According to Catholic doctrine, the only one you can always count on to be your safe teacher on matters of Faith and morals is the Pope, a truth which clearly disqualifies Bergoglio from the start.
Naturally, the unemployed Vatican “Cardinal” Gerhard Ludwig Muller once again positioned himself as a conservative voice highly critical of the synod, pretending not to be a Modernist himself. At least he had a most apt and memorable line in his interview with Il Foglio: “…the mission of Peter and of his successors consists in uniting all believers in faith in Christ, who did not recommend involvement with the waters of the Jordan or the vegetation of Galilee.”
Right now Rome is an infernal mess. Not that that would be news, but it’s never been worse than now. When Francis’ bosom buddy Eugenio Scalfari wrote in one of Italy’s most widely-read newspapers that “Pope” Bergoglio had told him he doesn’t believe that Jesus Christ is God, the Vatican press office was merely able to produce two carefully-worded non-denials. At this point, it’s par for the course.
With all of these developments, what has been the reaction of the Novus Ordo conservatives and recognize-and-resist traditionalists?
In a video message blasting the synod, a confused John-Henry Westen declared within the same 60 seconds that “what is plainly obvious is that what is being set up is a false church…” and yet that “we won’t leave the church — this is the one true Church, and there is no other.” Got it.
Over at Crisis, which should consider renaming itself into Catastrophe at this point, writer Julia Meloni says that with the Amazon Synod, a Pandora’s box has been opened. Another scathing summary of the “hot mess” that is the apostate synod in Rome was posted by Mark Lambert.
Meanwhile, The Remnant offered its usual Catholicism-free do-it-yourself traditionalism. Reporting straight from Rome, Michael Matt chronicled in several videos (see here and here and here and here, for example) the apostasy unfolding in the Eternal City. Still believing, however, that the people responsible for this wickedness are the legitimate Roman Catholic hierarchs, he effectively turned himself into an apostle for a defected Church, which is heresy. Verbally blaming it on some unspecified “human element” doesn’t get him off the hook, however, since if the official teachings, laws, and sacramental rites of the Church are the human element, then there is nothing left to constitute the divine.
As Pope Leo XIII taught very clearly and beautifully:
In the Catholic Church Christianity is incarnate. It identifies itself with that perfect, spiritual, and, in its own order, sovereign society, which is the mystical body of Jesus Christ and which has for its visible head the Roman Pontiff, successor of the Prince of the Apostles. It is the continuation of the mission of the Saviour, the daughter and the heiress of His redemption. It has preached the Gospel, and has defended it at the price of its blood, and strong in the Divine assistance, and of that immortality which have been promised it, it makes no terms with error, but remains faithful to the commands which it has received to carry the doctrine of Jesus Christ to the uttermost limits of the world and to the end of time and to protect it in its inviolable integrity.
(Pope Leo XIII, Apostolic Letter Annum Ingressi)
On the eve of the synod, Remnant contributor and blatant public heretic Hilary White had claimed that the people she recognizes as the highest ecclesiastical authorities have no power to inflict canonical penalties on the laity: “No one here can be placed under any canonical sanctions”, she remarked, contrasting the laity with the clergy who might be punished by their superiors.
But is that so? Even a cursory look at canon law refutes that notion: “The law gives … a list of the principal penalties common to clergy and laity, which ecclesiastical superiors can inflict upon any member of the Church according to his guilt”, canon law professor Fr. H. A. Ayrinhac writes in his formidable work Penal Legislation in the New Code of Canon Law ([New York, NY: Benziger Brothers, 1920], n. 158; p. 154; underlining added).
This should not be surprising. After all, laymen are part of the Church as much as any other member, hence they are not immune from judgments and penalties for grave wrongs committed. The Pope and the bishops are the shepherds, and the faithful are the sheep ruled by them. In 1870 the First Vatican Council clearly defined the Pope’s jurisdiction as being not only over the clergy but also the laity, both collectively and individually:
If anyone thus speaks, that the Roman Pontiff has only the office of inspection or direction, but not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread over the whole world; or, that he possesses only the more important parts, but not the whole plenitude of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate, or over the churches altogether and individually, and over the pastors and the faithful altogether and individually: let him be anathema.
(First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Chapter 3; Denz. 1831; underlining added.)
That probably won’t impress Miss White very much, however, considering that she is on record publicly doubting (=denying) Vatican I, which is heresy. To a Catholic, on the other hand, the issue is clear. It’s really tragic but at times it seems that the only non-negotiable qualification one must have to be allowed to write for The Remnant is not being a sedevacantist.
Ladies and gentlemen, it looks like the Vatican II Sect is nearing its well-deserved end. The Novus Ordo Modernists have discovered the “noble savage” in the Amazon and are preparing to synthesize his idolatrous indigenous nature religion with the Vatican II religion. Which, frankly, isn’t all that difficult, considering what the apostate council declared:
…[O]ther religions found everywhere try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing “ways,” comprising teachings, rules of life, and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all men.
(Vatican II, Declaration Nostra Aetate, n. 2)
Ah yes, everything is connected. There we go again.
What is happening now in Rome clearly has apocalyptic contours and is perhaps ushering in the worst but final stage of the apostasy. At the synod, though, they won’t care. They “have eyes and see not”, “noses and smell not” (Ps 113:13,14). They are too busy walking together, probably even moving forward.
And move forward they will — straight into the abyss.
Image source: shutterstock.com