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Amazon Synod: Don’t Impose Old Agendas on the New World

In an interview on Oct. 7 with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Cardinal Robert Sarah deplored the effort by some in the Church to use the Synod of Bishops on the Pan-Amazon Region as a laboratory to profoundly alter Catholicism.

The African cardinal was referencing some of the central synodal themes of discussion, such as ordination of married men, “ordained” women’s ministries and a radical interpretation of inculturation and syncretism. “These points touch the structure of the universal Church,” said Cardinal Sarah (whose new book the Register reviewed).

“Taking advantage to introduce ideological plans would be an unworthy manipulation, a dishonest deception, an insult to God, who guides his Church and entrusts to it his plan of salvation.”

This attempted imposition of contentious and discredited Church concepts on the Amazon by Europeans and North Americans can be characterized in another way — as theological colonialism.

Underway within the synod halls, as well as outside that gathering, are thinly veiled efforts to enshrine their ideological agendas in one impoverished region of the world, allegedly out of necessity, and then, as Cardinal Sarah noted, to export them across the universal Church.

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