Podcast Show Notes: Another Senior Bishop Stands Against The Amazon Synod

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It’s good that there are more bishops standing up for the truth.

Here below is the English language translation of the interview found on PanAmazonSynodWatch.info:


Bishop Bux: the Instrumentum laboris (Amazonia) is criticized because “it is the umpteenth attempt to ‘create another Church, an experiment already done and failed'”

The Instrumentum Laboris of the next Amazon Synod, to be held in Rome from 6 to 27 October, is arousing so many very critical positions. The last authoritative is that of  card. Walter Brandmüller , a prominent Church historian. On this blog we have already posted some articles on this topic (see  here ,  here ,  here  and  here ).

With the spirit of deepening the question, I wanted to interview Msgr. Nicola Bux as an expert on Synods. In fact, he was appointed by John Paul II, as an expert, to participate in the preparation of the 2005 Synod on the Eucharist and by Benedict XVI of the one on the Church in the Middle East of 2010. Bishop Bux is a consultant theologian of the Congregation for the causes of saints. Previously, he was a consultor for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for Divine Worship and for the Pontifical Celebrations Office. He is also a scholar of the East, he received a doctorate from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, and he stayed and taught in Jerusalem and collaborated with the expert of Islam, Father Samir Khalil Samir.


Sabino Paciolla: Msgr. Nicola Bux why do you think  the Instrumentum Laboris  of the next Amazon Synod has received so many criticisms?

Mons. Nicola Bux : Pope Benedict recently gave the answer in a certain sense: it is the umpteenth attempt to “create another Church, an experiment already done and failed”. Clerics do not pose the great question at the base of Christianity: what did Jesus really bring to us, if – as we can see – he did not bring peace to the world, well-being for all, a better world? Jesus Christ came to bring God on earth, so that man may find the way to Heaven: and for this he founded the Church. Instead, today’s clerics deal with the earth as if it were the permanent homeland of man. The symptom? They do not speak of the soul and therefore of its salvation. Thus the crisis of the idea of ​​the Church reaches maturity, denounced by Joseph Ratzinger in the famous  Report on the faith. The Church is no longer considered the mystical body of Christ and the people of God ordained to salvation, but a sociological phenomenon; so it must deal with economics, ecology and politics, where at most it could intervene only for a moral judgment. Here, one can observe the influence of modernism: the adaptation of the gospel to the  modus hodiernus  of thinking and acting: – it is said: times have changed – a new dogma, which however does not answer the questions: who decided that the times have changed? And then: is change always good?

In some passages of the Instrumentum we read the following expressions: “The non-sincere openness to the other, as well as a corporate attitude that reserves salvation exclusively for one’s belief, are destructive of that very creed. (…) Love lived in every religion pleases God “(n. 39), and:” Education in the Amazon does not mean imposing cultural parameters, philosophies, theologies, liturgies and extraneous customs on the Amazonian peoples “. (n. 94). Could these expressions of the Instrumentum be the result of a wrong concept of inculturation which is the direct fruit of the idea that God wanted the diversity of religions – namely religious pluralism? There is no risk of an adaptation and a one-way conformation to the Amazon culture, forgetting the  proprium transcendent of faith in Christ?

The doubt that the Lord Jesus is the only savior of man meanders in the Church from the post-council; for some sectors of the Church, evangelization has turned into “being evangelized”. Thus, it is tendency to invite atheists or doubtful thinkers in parishes and seminaries, instead of clear and distinct Catholics; imams Muslims and Jewish rabbis. This has produced disorientation and confusion, because it has been ignored that most practicing Catholics have a generic catechism, received from children, where the truths of faith and morals are badly and partially understood, if not unknown. Otherwise, the show of vices and corruption that is gripping Italian and European society, even if Christian at the registry office, would not be explained. It is especially important that pastoralists and liturgists ask themselves,

The pastors of the Church must expound the doctrine in the apostolic form to which they have been entrusted (Rom 6:17). As has recently responded in the interview with Msgr. Carlo Maria Viganò: “Unruly rebels are those who presume to break or change the perennial tradition of the Church”. Otherwise one hurts oneself alone and the Church is demolished from within. The inculturation of which the Instrumentum Laboris speaks  is presented in an inverted way: we want to return the Church in the Amazon to animism and spiritism, making it retreat from the Word that was announced to her by evangelization. “A natural religion with a Christian mask”, was defined by card. Brandmüller in his recent speech.

The document often speaks of the “Amazonian cosmovision”, and one often has the feeling that the Instrumentum is pervaded by a certain pantheism that seems indistinguishable from proper respect for the order of creation. Does this feeling hold true?

We are at the dimming of reason, we go back to natural religion, to spiritism, exchanging it for dialogue with nature. And yet, the very development of nature, which takes place in an organic way, – for which, what was false yesterday, cannot be true today – should help to understand that the teaching of the Church constitutes a doctrinal, organic corpus. Instead the clerics are infected by a sort of Darwinism that flows – as Brandmüller has written – into doctrinal and moral evolutionism; just the opposite of the organic development of a subject that remains faithful to its own identity. Only this body can be called Church, at least according to the Constitutions of the Vatican. I and II,  Dei Filius ,  Lumen Gentium  and  Dei Verbum .

Let’s take the sacraments: the sacred order. After all the pre-conciliar and post debate on the indivisibility between order and jurisdiction, the Instrumentum Laboris the contrary is advancing, in order to justify the ordained ministry for the woman. Thus, we move further away from the Orientals. The so-called deaconesses – a Greek term that means ‘servants’ – helped the baptized women to undress and get dressed, not being able to make men; sometimes they received a blessing, not an ordination; then they disappeared. The episcopal, priestly and diaconal identity must be understood starting from God who calls them and the Church confirms with ordination; not starting from the community, as if the Church were a democracy. The charge made in the post-conciliar sacramentalism of the pre-conciliar Church is forgotten. The proposal of the  viri probati – lay people who would like to attribute priestly functions – is a re-presentation of the much-deprecated clericalism. Instead, the history of the Church teaches that the crisis of priestly vocations is resolved with the life of faith: where there is faith, missionary vocations are born, until the establishment of institutes for the formation of indigenous clergy. The Lord always calls to follow him!

The sacraments are not goods available to us, to the point that we can imagine new ones created from below, up to the change of the subject of the Eucharist. The Roman rite was transmitted to various peoples, and is an expression of the communion of all believers in Christ beyond language, nation and race. While respecting cultures, the liturgy invites them to purify and sanctify themselves. In truth, this is an ill-concealed opposition to the Church of Rome: we do not want to celebrate like in Rome, we want to break away, marking the difference. It is strange that we want to do this after so many centuries from the evangelization of the American continent and from the assumption of the Roman rite. Who made the natives of the Amazon know “that they were naked” of their own ritual? The rupture with the Roman rite implies a detachment from the liturgical symbolism of biblical revelation and ecclesial tradition (eg Saint Cyprian explains that Christians pray without shaking hands like pagans do, because Christian prayer is humble and composed). Sacramental signs can be understood only through Scripture and the life of the Church. The use of wheat for the Eucharist is not derived from the culture in use among the Mediterranean peoples, but from that which Jesus made invisible by using it. The adoption of religious customs other than Christian ones is incompatible, because it is contradictory, except to want to carry out hybridizations and syncretisms that mislead the faithful. As stated by card. Brandmüller, depositum fidei.  We are faced with the attempt to genetically change the Church, questioning the faith and unity of the Roman rite that expresses it (see  Sacrosanctum Concilium  nn 37-38).

According to some, the Instrumentum laboris opens the doors to India Theology and Ecoteology, two Latin American derivatives of Liberation Theology. What do you think about it?

The incredible thing is that the Amazon can be considered a “theological place”, that is to say it means a special source of Revelation. By questioning the divine Revelation, as Brandmüller wrote, the document is detached from the truth of the Catholic faith, in technical jargon ‘apostasy’. In fact it considers the Amazon, not a simple geographical and cultural area, but even “theological place”, “epiphanic place” and “source of God’s revelation” (nos. 2, 18 and 19). It is significant that he received the enthusiastic approval – and perhaps the advice – of Leonardo Boff, a former Franciscan priest, a historical exponent of liberation theology who, in the 1970s, was warned by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Even his brother, Clodovis Boff, priest served, he was removed from teaching at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. In 1984, the then Cardinal Prefect Joseph Ratzinger, at the request of Cardinal Eugenio A. Sales, asked Father Luigi Giussani for a priest of a clear Catholic doctrine who argued positively about the assumption that ecclesial communion cannot be a necessary subject and sufficient for the liberation of man, above all from sin. The proposal was made to Don Filippo Santoro, professor of theology and initiator of Communion and Liberation in Puglia, who accepted. So he spent about 27 years on a mission in Brazil. Because of this, he knew the different theologies of liberation closely. After being elected auxiliary bishop of Rio and later bishop of Petropolis, he was appointed archbishop of Taranto by Benedict XVI. Finally it must be said that he, succeeding Clodovis Boff in the chair of theology of Rio, it is the same that also inspired and followed his evolution (which led him to distance himself from his brother Leonardo), with the essay published in 2003 in the “Revista Eclesiàstica Brasileira”. So don Santoro, Ratzingerian bishop, is among the most suitable to rule on this Instrumentum Laboris  and its claims that travel between heresy and apostasy.

In the Instrumentum laboris we read: “The Amazon is the place of the proposal of ‘good living’, of the promise and hope of new ways of life”. In the complex of the document a one-way praise is made of the “ancestral wisdom”, of the “spirits” and of the goodness of the peoples of the Amazon in contrast to the corruption brought by Western civilization. Does this not seem to you an approach that is very close to the myth of the “good savage” of Rousseau’s memory? And what risks and damages could such an approach cause to faith?

Fr Giussani with his famous book on  the religious sense  has, in my opinion, offered the Catholic method to get closer to that Latin American world, and beyond. He fought tenaciously because Communion and Liberation – starting with Brazil, where he sent the first missionaries of the movement – announced that the subject of Christian liberation is the Church, which is Catholic because it embraces all peoples through conversion to Jesus Christ. There is no liberation without conversion to Christ. The Instrumentum Laboris he never mentions this term, which is at the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but, as cardinals, priests and faithful have already observed, contradicting in decisive points the binding teaching of the Church – that is, every true Catholic is held – is qualifiable as a heretic. An attack on the foundations of faith, which reduces the Catholic religion to pure subjectivism. It almost seems that Jesus Christ must be converted to the Amazonian neo-deity. But is this “the Catholic faith transmitted by the Apostles”, as the Roman Canon prays?

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