Amazon Synod, four theses that are unacceptable
"We, numerous bishops, priests, and Catholic faithful from all over the world, hereby affirm that the Instrumentum Laboris prepared for the coming Synodal assembly raises serious questions and very grave reservations, because of its contradiction of individual points of Catholic doctrine which have always been taught by the Church".
To the Pope and the Synod Fathers:
We, numerous bishops, priests, and Catholic faithful from all over the world, hereby affirm that the Instrumentum Laboris prepared for the coming Synodal assembly raises serious questions and very grave reservations, because of its contradiction of individual points of Catholic doctrine which have always been taught by the Church, as well as its contradiction of faith in Jesus Christ, the One Savior of all mankind. We have drawn up, following the classical method, four propositions in the form of “theses” summarizing the main points of the Instrumentum Laboris. In conscience and with great frankness, we affirm that the teaching of these theses is inacceptable.
- Amazonian diversity, which is above all religious diversity, evokes a new Pentecost (IL 30): respect for this diversity means to recognize that there are other paths to salvation, without reserving salvation exclusively to the Catholic faith. Non-Catholic Christian groups teach other modalities of being Church, without censures, without dogmatism, without ritual disciplines and ecclesial forms (IL 138); the Catholic Church ought to integrate these modalities. Reserving salvation exclusively to the Creed is destructive of the Creed (IL 39).
Against this, among other texts: Dominus Iesus 14 and 16.
- The teaching of Pan-Amazonian theology, which takes special account of myths, rituals, and celebrations of indigenous cultures, is required in all educational institutions (IL 98 c 3). Non-Christian rites and celebrations are proposed as “essential for integral salvation” (IL 87) and we are asked to “adapt the Eucharistic rite to their cultures” (IL 126 d). On rituals: IL 87, 126.
Against this: Dominus Jesus 21.
- Among the various Loci Theologici (that is, among the various sources of theology, such as Sacred Scripture, the Councils, the Fathers of the Church) there is included the territory [of the Amazon] and the cry of its peoples. (IL 18, 19, 94, 98 c 3, 98 d 2, 144).
Against this: Dei Verbum 4, 7, 10.
- It is suggested that ordination be conferred on older persons who have families and to confer “official ministries” on women. There is thus proposed a new vision of Holy Orders which does not come from Revelation, but from the cultural usages of the Amazonian people (which provide for a rotating system of authority, among other things). Therefore there ought to be separation made between the priesthood and the munus regendi (IL 129 a 2, 129 a 3, 129 c 2).
Against this: Lumen Gentium 21, Presbyterorum Ordinis 13, Pastores Dabo Vobis 26; and also: the entire document Sacerdotalis Coelibatus, especially 21 and 26, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis 1, 3 and 4; Pastores Dabo Vobis 29.