Proposal to remove Christ from the Mass - new 'Amazonian Catholic Rite'


Proposal for ‘Amazonian Catholic rite’ comes as a surprise at Synod

ROME, October 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) -- There is nothing truly unexpected about the proposals that were presented on Monday during day two of the Amazon Synod. Among them were instituting new ministries for laymen and women, including “the possibility of diaconal ordination for women,” and creating a new Catholic rite, the “Amazonian rite,” that would probably include the ordination of married men and an inculturated “Mass” of which several rituals performed these last few days by indigenous Amazonians in and around the Vatican could be a foretaste.

All of these innovations were clearly present in the Instrumentum laboris of which several cardinals – Raymond Burke, Walter Brandmüller, Gerhard Müller – have stated lately contains heresy or even apostasy in its naturalistic approach, where Jesus Christ and redemption are notably absent, and in its exaltation of the indigenous lifestyle, its promotion of the ordination of married men, and of some form of ordained ministry for women.

But while the Instrumentum laboris repeatedly called for a church with an Amazonian face, this is apparently the first time that there has been a public appeal for a new Amazonian rite within the church. In fact, this proposition was not present in any press briefings in different languages. This point was reserved for the Spanish communiqué.

The communiqué, which has apparently not been published online, was quoted by ACIPrensa (the Spanish service of Catholic News Agency) and by Religión Digital, a major progressive Spanish-speaking religious news service.

Speaking of the “Synod fathers (and mothers)” Jesús Bastante of Religión Digital said the proposal to create an “Amazonian Catholic rite” was the “star position” during afternoon discussions on Monday in the Synod Hall.

These indigenous rites, according to the Vatican note, could be instituted ad experimentum, that is for a theoretically limited time in order to test their usefulness. “The Church considers with benevolence all that is not linked to superstition in order to harmonize it with the true liturgical spirit,” explained the note.

“From there, the suggestion to have in Amazonia a sharing process regarding the experience of indigenous communities that have enculturated celebrations for certain sacraments such as baptism, matrimony or priestly ordination. (…) One of the proposals that was presented involves thinking about establishing – ad experimentum and following the right theological, liturgical and pastoral discernment – a Catholic Amazonian rite in order to live out and celebrate faith in Christ,” according to the note as quoted by ACIPrensa.

“Fundamentally, it was underscored in the Aula, in the same way that exists an environmental ecosystem, there also exists an ecclesial ecosystem.”

What would an Amazonian rite look like? The ceremony of the planting of an oak tree in the Vatican Gardens last Friday under the eyes of Pope Francis and in the context of an easily identifiable indigenous ritual to the Mother Earth gives a number of indications.

The leading role was played by a woman – an important point – raising her hands in prayer facing a blanket on which many Amazonian objects had been placed, including two statuettes of naked pregnant women, one of which is now referred to by some journalists in Rome as “Our Lady of the Amazon” as it pops up repeatedly in churches where Masses linked to the synod are being celebrated, including St. Peter’s Basilica.

During that ritual in the Vatican Gardens, participants prostrated themselves toward the blanket and figurines.

They did so again in Santa Maria in Traspontina, at the bottom of the Via della Conciliazione leading to St. Peter, that same day, surrounding the same blanket with symbolic offerings (to Mother Earth?) during a prayer vigil in view of the Synod. The event included woman executing a barefoot dance with what appears to be the New Testament, in the nave of the church, in the presence of priests and religious.

What is especially worrying about these obviously religious events is that they are not purely pagan ceremonies – which would be bad enough – but that Christian elements, such as prayers to Christ and signs of the cross are included, creating a syncretistic pseudo-Catholic rite that is orientated not toward Our Lord but toward pagan artifacts.

As far as “theological, liturgical and pastoral discernment” is concerned, this seems to have been massively absent from the rituals that were performed in churches and even under the eyes of the Pope without encountering any form of visible opposition.

The idea of having women deacons or another form of feminine ordained ministry was also present during the first day of discussions on Monday when participants were invited to express themselves during four minutes, by fours, with time left in between for the synod fathers to “meditate.”

LifeSite reported on Cardinal Claudio Hummes’ and Sister Alba Teresa Castillo, who mentioned the need for change because of the lack of priests in the Amazon region: “This means pastoral care made up of sporadic visits instead of adequate pastoral care,” said the cardinal. The nun underscored how women religious are already performing baptisms and presiding at marriages in regions where priests are not easily available. She also said when death is near the indigenous will “confess” their sins to a woman religious who cannot give absolution.

All lay people can baptize in case of necessity as long as they respect the form of the rite and want to conform to the Church’s intention. Marriage is in fact a sacrament whose ministers are the man and woman exchanging vows and this can be done without a priest if none will be available to witness them for an extended period. As to telling one’s sins to another person when there is no priest, even St. James would agree, as long as no absolution is given: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”

But on the other hand, baptism and the receiving of marriage vows are part of the ordinary ministry of deacons.

Putting forward a woman religious to speak about these forms of ministry without recalling the rules of the Church feels very much like a subtle promotion of ordination for women so that they may ordinarily provide these sacraments, even when there is no emergency.

The very “feminine” face of the indigenous rites performed in the Vatican over the last few days is in the same vein. Indeed, several participants in Tuesday’s discussions at the Synod openly spoke of the “possibility of diaconal ordination for women, so as to emphasize their ecclesial vocation.”

In particular, they said the ordination of married men and the creation of “lay ministers” such as permanent deacons with the role of assisting in administering the sacraments would help in “promoting indigenous vocations.”

“Having lay men and women contribute to the spiritual life of their communities, particularly in bringing them the sacrament of the Eucharist, would help the Church pass from a ‘pastoral ministry of visits’ to a ‘pastoral ministry of presence,’” said Tuesday’s official news summary from the Vatican.

Interestingly, Fr. Pablo Mora, a Jesuit priest who has worked for the Servicio Jesuita a la Panamazonia (SJPAM) and the Red Ecleisal Panamazónica (REPAM) and is currently helping to prepare the Amazon Synod as an official of the Bishops’ Synod in Rome, published an op-ed on in which he spoke extensively of this “pastoral ministry of presence,” on Monday.

Fr. Mora did make clear that he was expressing himself personally and not in the name of the Synod officials of which he is a member.

Nonetheless, it is the vocabulary he uses that is being employed in the Synod Aula, where calls for “new ministries” echo his dreams.

Speaking of the central character of the Eucharist in the Catholic faith, he said Jesus should not be brought to the indigenous communities occasionally but should “dwell with them,” in his “tent” or “tapiri.”

Priests are trying to give a more “Amazonian taste” to their chapels so that the liturgy can be “better identified by the local culture,” using materials from the local forest and “native paintings and images,” he said, but argued that “inner changes are also required,” with indigenous people celebrating the Eucharist and accepting “cultural distance.”

According to Fr. Mora, this needs to take into account the importance of community for the Indian tribes “where the collective being or identity take precedence over individual being or identity.”

Even more, he argued, this requires understanding of the fact that “from the perspective of an indigenous community, it is difficult to understand that the priest should be celibate and in truth, this matters little … They simply do not believe that an adult man can be celibate and not have a family and children.

“In many indigenous communities, a man without the company of a woman is considered to be an incomplete man who has not reached ‘maturity.’ This vision of the cosmos suggests a mentality of that which is dual, opposites and complementary. It means that in the case of man and woman, their complementarity in different levels of family life, social interaction and work are a necessary reality, one that is simple and needs no explaining. So we understand why initiation rites into adult life, that soon leave to indigenous marriage, take place very early in adolescence.”

Bishop Erwin Kraütler, emeritus of Xingu in Brazil, a vocal proponent of married priests, said much the same during Wednesday’s press conference about the Synod in Rome. Fr. Mora goes into far more detail, making clear that a Church with an “Amazonian face” would be something very different from the Church that is centered on Christ and dispenses His saving grace.
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At a time when the Pan Amazon Synod is currently underway, much before Vatican II, and much before most of us were born, priests would walk miles to give these people the traditional Latin Mass. This photo was clicked before 1960. A priest saying the traditional Mass in the Amazon region.




Synod discussing Amazonian ‘inculturation of the liturgy’

VATICAN CITY, October 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― The synod is discussing the possibility of adding indigenous symbols and rituals to the Roman Rite as it is celebrated in the Amazon region.

At a press conference today, two bishops responded to a question by Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ of Religion News Service, about a proposal for an “indigenous rite” for the celebration of the Eucharist and the other sacraments.

Bishop Rafael Alfonso Escudero López-Brea, the Spain-born Bishop Prelate of Moyobamba in Peru, said that there has been talk of adding “some symbols or some rituals” that do not “affect what is essential of the Eucharist.”

“The synod is discussing the inculturation of the liturgy,” he said.

“This is not to seek a liturgical rite distinct from the one that the Church has, but, rather, the Church has received from the Lord and the Apostles what is essential of the Eucharist and throughout history, that nucleus, the essential, has continued to develop with complementary rites,” he continued.

“When this possibility is discussed, there is talk of introducing in the celebration of the Eucharist some symbols or some rituals that do not affect what is essential of the Eucharist. Otherwise we would be spoiling the Sacrament and contradicting revelation.”

Escudero Lopez-Brea suggested that the Eucharist can be “enriched” by Amazonian customs, “with regard to ornaments,” so that “among Amazonian people they can celebrate the Holy Eucharist with their own special characteristics.”

The bishop defended the idea by pointing out a multiplicity of rites in the Catholic Church, as well as liturgical inculturation in Africa.
“This would be nothing new in the Church,” he argued.

“When we study the history of the Church, we see that before everything was unified in the Latin rite, there existed a multiplicity of rites in particular places. That is the input."

Bishop Eugenio Coter, the Italian-born Apostolic Vicar of Pando and Bishop of Tibiuca in Bolivia, suggested that sacramentals hold different meanings for Europeans and Amazonian indigenous peoples. His first “simple example” was not so simple, however, as Coter held that European Catholics believe that incense represents our presence before God and the Word of God whereas one of the indigenous people believe it represents their prayers going up to heaven.

In reality, the Traditional Latin Mass quotes Psalm 141: “Let my prayer be directed as incense in thy sight; the lifting up of my hands, as evening sacrifice,” and thus traditional Catholics throughout the world also believe that incense represents a movement of prayers “upward” towards God.
Coter also suggested that the beating of the breast, as is traditionally done in the Latin liturgy, is a sign of arrogance in Japan.

Liturgical historian Dr. Peter Kwasniewski told LifeSiteNews that the problem with inculturated rites is not that they influence incidentals, like the design of vestments, or style of music offered. It is that they can “invade” the Mass itself.

“The problem is when it invades the intrinsic parts of the Mass: the Ordinary and Propers, the chants, the gestures and ceremonies we inherit as a precious patrimony to be shared with all nations,” he stated by email.

“The missionaries always shared this treasure with indigenous peoples in its fullness, and as a matter of historical record, it was the Roman liturgy as such that most impressed the pagans, who had nothing at all like it.”

Dr. Joseph Shaw, the president of England’s Latin Mass Society, also agreed that “core elements” of the liturgy must be preserved from over-enthusiastic “inculturation.”

“The liturgy has taken on aspects of the different cultures in which it is celebrated, notably in the music and in the style of participation of the faithful,” he stated via email.

“What is needed for successful inculturation, however, is stability in the core elements of the liturgy, around which these different cultural expressions can take place, rather than a fluid liturgy which can easily become tainted with liturgical abuses and syncretism,” he continued.

“As Pope Benedict declared in the context of Africa: (Africae munus 37): ‘The Holy Spirit enables the Gospel to permeate all cultures, without becoming subservient to any. Bishops should be vigilant over this need for inculturation, respecting the norms established by the Church. By discerning which cultural elements and traditions are contrary to the Gospel, they will be able to separate the good seed from the weeds’ (cf. Mt 13:26).”

The issue is particularly pertinent regarding the Amazon region, for a number of “Amazonian” symbols and rituals have been displayed to the wider Church during the synod, to the dismay of many Catholics. Among them was a confusing ceremonyheld before Pope Francis in the Vatican gardens, in which indigenous people and a Franciscan friar prostrated themselves before a few carved figures, two representing naked pregnant women and one a supine male.

In another ceremony, a young woman in a tracksuit was carried through a church in what appeared to be a boat. And in still another, a group of indigenous people and Europeans held hands and sang in a circle around a display in the street that included a photograph of a woman breastfeeding an animal. The same image is currently hanging in the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina in the Via della Conciliazione.

Shaw noted that Evangelicals have criticized the Catholic Church for adopting pagan elements, even as they err in the other direction by forcing their adherents to conform to American customs.

“One of the dangers of undiscriminating inculturation is the reaction against it by many Protestants and Pentecostalists,” he said.

“In Africa they criticise the Catholic Church for allowing pagan elements into worship, and themselves adopt a complete Americanisation of their followers, who for example take on American names and clothing. In the Latin American context, it is even more important not to give ammunition to their polemic against the Catholic Church.”

A Spanish speaking reporter from Catholic Family News, responding to a remark about bilingualism in ministry to and education of Amazonian indigenous people, testified to the ability of the Catholic Church’s ability to unite disparate groups of Catholics through Latin.
I'm from El Paso, Texas, which is in the United States but right on the border. So, my parents are Hispanics and there is a very mixed, very bilingual culture there.
So, we're discussing at the Synod things that we can learn and can be applied universally. My question is: Are you also discussing the possible problems that are seen in bilingual cultures? For me, this is very personal, because...after working in parishes for 15 years … I have seen among the Spanish-speaking community and the English-speaking community, within the same parish, that there are people who get angry.

They say, ‘There’s racism here because they have Mass for you at 9 in the morning, which is better, but there is no Mass for us until 3 p.m. in the church hall. Why do you have priority and we do not?’

It is though we are introducing a fight into our parishes and families our communities because of these issues. So, how are we going to deal with these things? What are the possible solutions? Because we know that people change slowly.

I don’t know whether this will be discussed in the small circles. But has there been talk about using something universal, which we already have, for example, the use of Latin? I have noted in one of these parishes that the community can get together and pray the Rosary in Latin and it doesn't matter whether we speak English or Spanish. So if we use Latin in the Rosary nobody can feel ‘They didn't choose me.’ We have seen tremendous unity in our parishes simply because of something we already have and comes from our tradition.
In response, Paolo Ruffini, the prefect for the dicastery of Communications, said that inculturation was a complex issue, especially as there are so many languages among the peoples of the Amazon. He said that Christians try to understand the languages and cultures of the Amazonian peoples and bring them into dialogue with the Gospel. Ruffini did not indicate that anyone at the synod had proposed Latin as a means to create unity among the disparate community of Catholics in the Amazon.



Amazon Synod Pachamama Idols Thrown into Tiber River in Rome

[UPDATE 21-OCT-2019 14:35 UTC: A second video has been released; posted below]

Breaking news from Rome, everyone: Some courageous soul has decided there’s been enough dialogue and bridge building and it’s now time for some action: The disgusting Pachamama idols that had popped up in the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina and that Francis had blessed in the Vatican Gardens on Oct. 4 in connection with the ongoing Amazon Synod, have been removed by an as-yet unidentified individual and cast into the Tiber river.

Video footage of the heroic act has been made available:

Now this will really turn things upside down in the Vatican press hall. An act like this is a million times more effective than some petition, some book release, or some conference.

To whomever did this: Thank you! God bless you!

“For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils: but the Lord made the heavens” (Ps 95:5).

“For they themselves relate of us, what manner of entering in we had unto you; and how you turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess 1:9).

“For the time past is sufficient to have fulfilled the will of the Gentiles, for them who have walked in riotousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and unlawful worshipping of idols” (1 Pet 4:3).

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (1 Jn 5:21).