Tagged: Amazon Synod

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“I’m still teaching the same things I always taught…”

In my spiritual formation as a young adult, the idea of a future schism–refusing to submit to the teaching of the pope–was presented as a “liberal” concept. The idea was that in the name of progress, some Catholics rejected papal teaching on subjects like contraception, same-sex marriage, and women priests. This kind of schismatic believes that Church teaching on these matters hasn’t “developed” far enough, that the truth of their ideas is certain, and that...

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Pachamama – the missing piece of the puzzle

In my last article about the Our Lady of the Amazon / Pachamama controversy, I tried to reconcile the apparent contradictions between the various claims about the identity of the enigmatic wooden carved figure. I reached the conclusion, supported by interventions from official sources that the figure could be construed as either 1) a representation of life, fertility, Mother Earth (Vatican spokespeople and REPAM representatives); or 2) the Blessed Virgin Mary (the native woman who...

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Our Lady of the Amazon: solving the contradictions

[Note: this article has been updated with a new section entitled “The Pope weighs in”] This Monday, October 20th, some people barged into the Church of Santa Maria in Transpontina, where the controversial statues were kept and displayed, stole them, and threw them into the Tiber river, while filming themselves doing the deed. This, of course, is no novelty. Anyone who has followed this controversy in recent weeks knows of this already. I will not...

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As the “Inside Synod” nears the finish line

In his opening address to the Synod of Bishops on October 7, 2019, Pope Francis warned about “two synods”–the idea that while a synod of bishops takes place in the Synod Hall (Aula del Sinodo), a “synod of the media” takes place concurrently. This second, unofficial synod is the public, often vitriolic, ideology-fueled discussion that takes place in the public square, on social media, and in publications and blogs (including this one). This media synod...

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Our Lady of the Amazon, a Rorschach Test

By Paul Fahey and D.W. Lafferty Those little statues brought to the Amazon synod by the REPAM group, so callously stolen and thrown in the Tiber, have functioned as a sort of Rorschach Test for the Church. Some Catholics view the image the way the Indigenous Catholics presented it to the pope, as “Our Lady of the Amazon.” This is clear to them because they trust in the orthodoxy and good will of the pope,...

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After Benedict, the Deluge

[…] in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the barque of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. These shocking...

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Our Lady of the Amazon, Pray for Us

[This article has been updated on the “The answer to Ivereigh” section] Since the publication of my article about the alleged pagan ritual hosted at the Vatican Gardens, new facts have emerged. This was bound to happen, as I myself admitted and wished for in the conclusion of the article. After all, there was still much that was not known about the ceremony at the time. This is why I was very cautious in drawing...

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Inculturation and Syncretism

With the ongoing Amazon synod dealing extensively with the relationship between Catholicism and various indigenous South American religious beliefs and practices, the concepts of inculturation and syncretism have rocketed into the Catholic news cycle. These terms are somewhat technical but many people have been able to get the (more or less accurate) sense that one of these things is desirable and the other is not. This piece seeks to provide working definitions and historical examples...

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Paganism in the Vatican? Hermeneutic of suspicion at its peak

[Note: this article has been updated. See here] On Friday, October 4th, a ceremony took place in Vatican gardens in preparation for the Synod on the Amazon. This ceremony was not organized by the Vatican itself, but by the Order of Friars Minor, the Global Catholic Climate Movement, and the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network. Here is Vatican’s press release issued before the ceremony. A video of the entire service can be seen below. The high point...