Amazon Synod Preparatory Document Steeped in Liberation Theology

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by Stephen Wynne  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  September 26, 2019   

Declares Eucharist 'symbolic,' praises 'feminist and ecological theology'

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BOGOTÁ, Colombia (ChurchMilitant.com) - The impact of liberation theology on the upcoming Amazon Synod is coming into sharper view.

Concerns over the Amazon Synod's Instrumentum Laboris are being compounded by an earlier preparatory document "Towards the Pan-Amazonian Synod: Challenges and Contributions from Latin America and the Caribbean."

Uncovered during a recent LifeSiteNews investigation, the 136-page work stems from an April meeting in Bogotá, Colombia, co-organized by REPAM (the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network) and Amerindia, two leading promoters of liberation theology.

The Instrumentum Laboris confirms the significance of the meeting, referring to it as an important part of the synod's preparatory process.  


Rife with heretical statements, the Bogotá document hails ex-priest Leonardo Boff, a leading advocate of liberation theology censured by the Vatican for his attacks on Catholic doctrine.

The document scorns the salvific mission of the Catholic Church, asserting that there is no one, true faith — that all religions are capable of bringing salvation to their followers.

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Leonardo Boff

"It is not fair to say that only one religion is true and the others are decadent, for they all reveal the mystery of God and reveal the many ways in which we walk in fidelity and love for God," the document states.

It adds that the Catholic Church must move "from intolerant exclusivism to an attitude of respect that accepts that Christianity does not have a historical monopoly on salvation" and that "pluralism and diversity of religions are expressions of a wise divine will." 

The work makes no mention of the Eucharist as the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. Instead, it reduces the Eucharist to a "symbolic" expression of "communal" experience — a blatant modernist heresy condemned by Pope Pius X in his 1907 encyclical Pascendi Dominici Gregis.

"In the liturgy, the Church expresses her faith in a symbolic and communal way," the Bogotá document reads.

Referencing the teaching that the Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life, it declares:

The liturgy is the "summit," because at the foot of the table is presented the experience of people, the path of the community and the socio-cultural context in which it operates. "Source," because from the living memory of the love of Christ and from the encounter with sisters and brothers the desire and the capacity for more coherent discipleship and more effective witness are born.

Though paying lip service to fidelity to the Magisterium, the Bogotá document depicts the male priesthood not as a bedrock dogma, but as a pliable "position" amenable to the spirit of the age:

We recommend ... that theologians, respecting in a reverent way the data of faith and in profound communion with the Magisterium, may continue with complete freedom the reflection on the priestly ordination of women, enriching their analysis with resources coming from psychology, sociology, anthropology, history, philosophy and hermeneutics, in order to be able to discern the presence of the Spirit in that sign of the times which is ... the presence of women in public life.

Calling for an end to the "patriarchal perspective" of the Church, the Bogotá document advocates for a "feminist and ecological theology" complete with women priests.

Of the 28 contributors to the Bogotá document, four have played key roles in constructing the synod and two are principal authors of the Instrumentum Laboris.

It also praises pagan indigenous traditions, calling for understanding and recognition of "the virtues, knowledge and cosmovisions existing among the ancestral ethnic groups, which still retain the ability to read and conceive nature as the true mother."

Continuing its praise for indigenous traditions, the document goes on to describe God as a masculine-feminine "Creator-Creatora":

They have their sacred histories, languages, knowledge, traditions, spiritualities and theologies. All of them seek to build a "good life" and the communion of people among themselves, with the world, with living beings and with the Creator-Creatora. They feel that they are living well in the "house" that the Creator-Creatora gave them on Earth.

Of the 28 contributors to the Bogotá document, four have played key roles in constructing the synod and two are principal authors of the Instrumentum Laboris.

As the contents of both works confirm, these architects of the Oct. 6–27 Amazon Synod are torchbearers of liberation theology. Through prayer and fasting, faithful Catholics are bracing for their impact upon the Church.   

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