Amazon Tribal Leader Slams Liberation Theology, Paganism

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by David Nussman  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  October 9, 2019   

Jonas Marcolino Macuxí tells conference, interviewers the dangers of trumpeting Amazonian customs

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ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - As some Church leaders use the Amazon Synod to push heterodoxy, an inhabitant of the Amazon is denouncing liberation theology.

LifeSiteNews interviewed a tribal leader from the Amazon on Oct. 5 in connection to a conference voicing concerns about the Amazon Synod.

Jonas Marcolino Macuxí, chief of the Macuxi tribe, told Montagna and an interpreter, "I see liberation theology as a doctrine which, in principle, does not liberate people from sin, from lying, from stealing, from vices; but liberates them from something that they could access, such as technology and science" (own translation).

 

Regarding the tree-planting ceremony that occurred in the Vatican Gardens a day prior, Marcolino opined that the participants "are completely dominated" by supporters of liberation theology.

He said he saw the same type of ceremony done by other tribes in the Amazon and that it was part of the pagan, pre-Christian culture.

Marcolino drew a distinction between the "old missionaries" who came to the New World centuries ago and the proponents of liberation theology today, saying that the old missionaries "preached the love of God" and "did not promote this struggle between the Indians and the white people."

I see liberation theology as a doctrine which, in principle, does not liberate people from sin.

Mario Navarro, director of Tradition, Family and Property's (TFP) Washington bureau, was Marcolino's interpreter for the interview. Navarro said that the Macuxi chief had told him previously of a neighboring tribe in the Amazon that kills newborn babies who have birth defects.

Marcolino opined that people in the Amazon kept up to the practice of infanticide due to pressure for them to live the way their ancestors lived.


 

"Even the bishops in the area tell them that they have to go back to their old ways," he remarked.

Along with LifeSiteNews, the National Catholic Register also interviewed Marcolino on Oct. 5. The tribal chief told the Register, "According to the traditional religion, when a child is born with a defect, he's buried alive; and that continues. Those things were ending; but now, with the idea that you have to go back to primitivism, they remain."

Marcolino was illiterate for the first 18 years of his life, before he received an education and became a lawyer and mathematics professor. He was originally baptized Catholic, but became Evangelical Protestant.

He expressed skepticism about the ongoing Amazon Synod, telling the Register, "The topics that have been discussed about the Amazon so far are, in my opinion, more negative than positive."

Marcolino mentioned "the question of infrastructure," noting that the construction of roads and utilities in the Amazon came to a halt in the 1980s.

The topics that have been discussed about the Amazon so far are, in my opinion, more negative than positive.

LifeSiteNews and the Register both interviewed Marcolino following his presentation at an Oct. 5 conference in Rome titled "The Amazon: The Stakes," hosted by the Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira Institute — named after the founder of Tradition, Family and Property.

In that presentation, Marcolino argued that liberation theology's goal is to keep the indigenous peoples of the Amazon in a primitive way of life, to the point of keeping them in poverty and poor living conditions. He called this attitude "primitivism" and tied it in with Marxism.

On the connection between primitivism and Marxism, Marcolino explained to the Register, "The doctrines are the same. For communism, private property is evil, so anything that leads to progress inevitably leads to private property, and that's seen as bad."

"These liberation theologians," Marcolino remarked, "are promoting the idea that the Indians who still live in a primitive way are very happy, living in paradise."

"We are not living in paradise," he added. "It's a very hard life; people have insects all over their feet, bats in their homes."

 

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