On October 4, eve of the opening of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region, representatives of the Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute (IPCO) officially delivered to the Synod Secretariat a “Petition to the Synod Fathers for a Christian and Prosperous Amazon (rather than a huge ‘green slum’ divided into tribal ghettos).”
The document was signed by more than twenty thousand residents of the Brazilian, Peruvian and Ecuadorian Amazon, whose signatures young IPCO volunteers collected in public campaigns in the streets of the main Amazonian cities during their school vacation.
The Final Document of the Synod Assembly addressed none of the requests that the Amazonian population had respectfully made. Instead, it heeded the claims of international groups promoting environmental psychosis and a minority of indigenist militants brought to Rome by Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network/Red Eclesial Pan-Amazónica (REPAM).
Recognizing the influence of this ideological publicity lobby, already in the first paragraph of the Final Document the Synod Fathers welcome the “notable presence of people coming from the Amazon world, who organized acts of support with different activities,” and for the “massive presence of the international communications media” (Final Document, no. 1).
While the IPCO Petition signatories asked the Synod to “thank God for the evangelization of missionaries and the civilizing action of colonizers who brought the benefits of progress”(Petition, no. 1), the Synod Fathers denounced “the military, political, and cultural colonization” motivated by “the greed and ambition of the conquerors” (FD no. 15), considered “the influence of Western civilization” to be negative (FD no. 14), and even worse, stated that “Christ’s announcement was often made in collusion with powers that exploited resources and oppressed populations” (FD no. 15). All this is contrary to historical truth and an insult to the heroic missionaries who carried out one of the greatest missionary epics since the foundation of Holy Mother Church.
Furthermore, the Synod Fathers practically renounced converting the still pagan natives by declaring that “ecumenical, interreligious, and intercultural dialogue must be assumed as an indispensable way of evangelization” (FD no. 24), and that the Church must undergo a “cultural conversion” and limit the announcement of the Good News to “being present, respecting, and recognizing their values, living and practicing inculturation and interculturality” (FD no. 41). The Synod Fathers categorically abandon their traditional mission: “We reject a colonialist-style evangelization. Announcing the Good News of Jesus implies recognizing the seeds of the Word already present in cultures. The evangelization we propose today for the Amazon is the inculturated announcement that generates intercultural processes” (FD no. 55).
Instead of hearing people’s “cry of anguish facing the danger that the Amazon is transformed into an immense ‘green slum,’” (Petition, no. 5), the Synod Fathers improperly meddled into scientific matters for which they have no divine mandate or technical competence (an evident display of “clericalism”). Accordingly, they falsely declared that deforestation affects “close to almost 17% of the total Amazon forest and threatens the survival of the entire ecosystem” (FD no. 11); that “the Amazon region is essential for the distribution of rainfall in the regions of South America” (FD no. 6), and that “the development of energy policies that drastically reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and other climate change-related gases is urgently needed” (FD no. 77).