Instrumentum Laboris and the upcoming Pan-Amazon Synod
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 185
    A Brazilian friend remarked that everyone around the world seems happy to have innovative ideas about what to do with the Amazon, as if it isn't mostly part of a sovereign nation called Brazil. As if the world got together regularly to decide what to do with the Great Lakes in the US, or how things should be done in Texas. It feels a bit colonialist. The Congo Basin and Siberia are similarly important huge tracts of wild forest, but don't seem to have the same romantic appeal.

    I do say if I were Pope I'd bring a Midwesterner-meets-New Yorker bluntness to everything: "Stop that right now!" or "Good job, well done" or "Get thee behind me S--n" or "It's not about whether you like it or not!" I'd excommunicate lots of people on all sides of the spectrum(s) and reinstate public penances. I'd exorcise the Vatican on a weekly basis if necessary and kick all the scheming, intrigue-making, power-hungry, king's court type bishops to the curb. God would probably find me overly meddlesome, impatient, and lacking in charity. I know it's polite to have lots of diplomatic meetings and committees (and synods) and produce lots of long documents, but it's (from my impatient perspective) just a way to generate more long documents that either get ignored or misunderstood, requiring yet more meetings to generate more long documents.

    More processions, almsgiving, fasting and penance, fewer synods and documents. No more innovations. Please.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 6,780
    ...part of a...
    I think that the Amazon, like many natural and man-made treasures throughout the world, belongs to all mankind, not just the country in which it happens to be. Didn't the entire world watch in tearful horror as Notre Dame burnt? It belongs to all of us. So does the Amazon. And, from what I have heard and read, its owner, Brazil, is not doing too much to safe-guard it, what with legal and illegal logging, and 'development', and the murders of the indigenous peoples who dwell in it. It is right that we should all be concerned about a forest that influences the ecology of the entire planet (not to mention the poor aborigines who have called it home for countless centuries before 'Brazil' even existed). The entire world would be right to shriek if we decided to dam the Grand Canyon to create a lake to create electricity - a philistine crime that has actually been seriously proposed and seriously considered by those philistines who dwell among us and their friends who govern us.

    Otherwise, your point is well made and well taken and spot on!
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,417
    But the Amazon Synod isn't about the Amazon insofar as the Amazon rainforest is concerned. It's about the Church in the Amazon region, which includes a number of countries. Where the problem lies in the Instrumentum Laboris is with unnecessary innovations in practice, syncretism, etc. While various proposals are being put forth ad experimentum to aid the Church in the Amazon, rest assured that they will find their way to Germany before the ink is dry on the page. After all, permanent Deacons were introduced under the pretext of helping in Mission territories; yet today, the majority of permanent Deacons are to be found in Germany and the United States.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,385
    This was about converting the English:
    Tell Augustine that he should be no means destroy the temples of the gods but rather the idols within those temples. Let him, after he has purified them with holy water, place altars and relics ....
    Further, since it has been their custom to slaughter oxen in sacrifice, they should receive some solemnity in exchange. Let them therefore, on the day of the dedication of their churches, or on the feast of the martyrs whose relics are preserved in them, build themselves huts around their one-time temples and celebrate the occasion with religious feasting. They will sacrifice and eat the animals not any more as an offering to the devil, but for the glory of God to whom, as the giver of all things, they will give thanks for having been satiated. Thus, if they are not deprived of all exterior joys, they will more easily taste the interior ones. For surely it is impossible to efface all at once everything from their strong minds, just as, when one wishes to reach the top of a mountain, he must climb by stages and step by step, not by leaps and bounds....
    Gregory I, Letter to Abbot Mellitus, Epsitola 76, PL 77: 1215-1216
  • Chris_McAvoyChris_McAvoy
    Posts: 354

    COPY OF THE LETTER OF THE MOST BLESSED AND APOSTOLIC POPE OF THE CHURCH OF THE CITY OF ROME, BONIFACE, ADDRESSED TO THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS EDWIN, KING OF THE ENGLISH. (625 A.D.)

    To Edwin, the illustrious king of the English, Bishop Boniface, servant of the servants of God.

    Human speech can never explain the power of the most high God, consisting as it does in its own invisible, unsearchable, and eternal greatness, so that no wisdom can comprehend or express how great it is. Yet, in His goodness, He opens the doors of the heart so that He Himself may enter, and by His secret inspiration pours into the human heart a revelation of Himself. So we have undertaken to extend our pastoral responsibilities so far as to declare to you the fullness of the Christian faith, so that we may bring to your notice the Gospel of Christ, which our Saviour has bidden us preach to all the nations, and so that the means of salvation may be put before you. Thus the goodness of the Divine Majesty who, by his word of command alone, made and created all things, both heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, ordaining the orders in which they subsist, and who, by the counsel of the co-eternal Word in the unity of the Holy Spirit, has made man in His own image and likeness, fashioning him out of clay, has also granted him the high privilege and distinction of placing him over all things, so that if he keeps within the bounds of God's commands, he may be granted eternal life. This God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, an undivided Trinity, is adored and worshipped through faith and confession unto salvation by all the human race, from the rising to the setting of the sun, as the Maker of all things and its own Creator. To Him also the greatest empires and the powers of the world are subject, because it is by His disposition that all rule is bestowed. It has pleased Him therefore, in His mercy and loving-kindness towards all His creation to melt, by the fire of His Holy Spirit, the frozen hearts of races even in the far corners of the earth to knowledge of Himself, and that in a marvellous manner.

    We suppose that your Majesty is fully aware of what has been accomplished by the mercy of the Redeemer in the enlightenment of our illustrious son King Eadbald and the nations which are subject to him, for your lands are close to one another. We confidently trust that, through the mercy of heaven, this wonderful gift will also be conferred upon you and more especially as we learn that your illustrious consort, who is indeed one flesh with you, has been enlightened by the gift of eternal life through the regeneration of holy baptism. So we have undertaken in this letter to exhort your Majesty with all' affection and deepest love, to hate idols and idol worship, to spurn their foolish shrines and the deceitful flatteries of their soothsaying, and to believe in God the Father Almighty and in his Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, so that you may be freed from the devil's fetters and, by the power of the holy and undivided Trinity, become a partaker of eternal life.

    The great guilt of those who cling to the pernicious superstitions of idolatrous worship is seen in the damnable form of their gods. Of these the psalmist says, 'All the gods of the nations are devils; but the Lord made the heavens.' And again, 'Eyes have they but they see not; they have ears but they hear not; noses have they but they smell not; they have hands but they handle not; feet have they but they walk not; and those who put their trust in them therefore become like them.' How can they have power to help anyone, when they are made from corruptible material by the hands of your own servants and subjects and, by means of such human art, you have provided them with the inanimate semblance of the human form? They cannot walk unless you move them, but are like a stone fixed in one place, and, being so constructed, have no understanding, are utterly insensible, and so have no power to harm or help. We cannot understand in any way how you can be so deluded as to worship and follow those gods to whom you yourselves have given the likeness of the human form.

    So you should take upon you the sign of the holy cross, by which the human race has been redeemed, and cast out of your hearts the accursed wiles and cunning of the devil, who is the jealous foe of the works of God's goodness. Then set your hand vigorously to the task of breaking and destroying the gods which up till now you have fashioned from material substances. In fact the very destruction and decay of those things which have never had the breath of life nor could by any means acquire understanding from their makers, should show you clearly the worthless nature of what you have worshipped up to now. You may certainly consider yourselves who have received the breath of life from the Lord to be better made than they. For Almighty God has appointed your descent through many ages and countless generations, from the first man he created. So come to theknowledge of Him who created you and breathed into you the breath of life, who sent His only-begotten Son for your redemption and to save you from original sin, so that He might deliver you from the power of the devil's perversity and wickedness, and bestow heavenly rewards upon you.

    Accept the teaching of the preachers and the gospel of God which they proclaim to you, so that, as we have often said, you may believe in God the Father Almighty and in Jesus Christ His Son and the Holy Spirit, the indivisible Trinity. Then when you have put to flight devilish thoughts and driven from you the temptations of the venomous and deceitful foe, having been born again by water and the Holy Spirit, may you through his bountiful aid dwell with Him in whom you have believed, in the splendour of eternal glory.

    We are sending you the blessing of your protector, St Peter, chief of the apostles, in the form of a robe embroidered with gold and a garment from Ancyra, asking your Majesty to accept these gifts in the same spirit of goodwill as that in which they were sent by us.
  • Chris_McAvoyChris_McAvoy
    Posts: 354
    Let those realms of the church, those bishops and clergy everywhere pray fervantly to God, so that by His grace they may remain holding fast true to the faith of Christ's Church, thereby crushing all heresy with the joy of suffering for His truth. And let the unchanged Orthodox Faith of Holy Russia, the third Rome, be a beacon for guiding the Holy Church of Rome to the truth.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 6,780
    ...the third Rome...
    And, I have even recalled the Putin asserting that Moscow is the third Rome.
    Interesting, even fascinating, isn't it, how that even yet a certain legitimacy is claimed through a real or purported relationship to Romanitas and to Rome itself.