Prelates Launch ‘Crusade of Prayer and Fasting’ Against Amazon Synod

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, celebrates a mass for the opening of the Vatican judicial year, at the Vatican, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

ROME — Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider have launched a crusade of prayer and fasting to prevent theological errors from being approved at the upcoming Vatican synod on the Amazon.

In their eight-page text, the prelates call on the faithful to “implore God that error and heresy do not pervert the coming special assembly of the synod of bishops for the pan-Amazon.”

The Amazon Synod’s working document is rife with “serious theological errors and heresies,” they declare, of which they enumerate six, beginning with an “implicit pantheism,” or the belief that God is not separate and distinct from his creation.

These two bishops are not alone in their concern about the theologically problematic text. Two other prominent cardinals, Walter Brandmüller, president emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, and Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, have also weighed in on the document this summer.

In mid-July, Cardinal Müller issued his own lengthy critique of the synod’s working document, lamenting its “upside-down hermeneutics” and appeals to a “cosmovision with its myths and the ritual magic of Mother ‘Nature.’”

Cardinal Brandmüller went further still, declaring in late June that the Amazon Synod is “heretical” and must be “rejected.”

The synod’s preparatory document opens “a grave breach with the depositum fidei,” turning the Catholic Church into “a secular NGO with an ecological-social-psychological mandate,” the cardinal wrote.

In their new text, Cardinal Burke, patron of the Sovereign Order of Malta, and Bishop Schneider, auxiliary of Astana, Kazakhstan, further develop these ongoing concerns, warning that the synodal document suggests that “the pagan superstitions of the Amazon tribes are an expression of divine Revelation deserving an attitude of dialogue and acceptance on the part of the Church.”

They also express concern about a campaign within the Church that would lead to “the abolition of priestly celibacy in the Latin Church by introducing the praxis of the ordination of married men, the so-called ‘viri probati.’”

The numerous errors contained in the synod text are an “alarming manifestation of the confusion, error and division which beset the Church in our day,” they declare.

In calling on the faithful to embark on a 40-day prayer crusade, the prelates invite them to include in their intentions that Pope Francis may “confirm his brethren in the faith by an unambiguous rejection of the errors” in the text.

They propose that clergy and lay faithful “pray daily at least one decade of the Holy Rosary and to fast once a week” for these intentions from September 17 to October 26.

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