VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - As the Church continues to grapple with the effects of the Amazon Synod, the malign influence of liberation theology is coming into sharper focus.
In an article published on Wednesday, José Antonio Ureta of Tradition, Family and Property observed that "the scandalous pantheistic references of the Instrumentum Laboris and its commendations of pagan religions as alternative instruments of salvation had their rough edges diplomatically rounded off in the Final Document."
But, Ureta argued, the document does contain "an explosive charge" greater than the Instrumentum Laboris' pagan proclivities: Its "synodal" vision for the Church mirrors liberation theologian Leonardo Boff's plan to reinvent the Church from the ground up.
Ureta described the document as an "ambitious ecclesiological revolution" that incorporates proposals outlined in Boff's 1977 book, Ecclesiogenesis: The Base Communities Reinvent the Church. Its recommendations fit the liberation theologian's ecclesiology "like a glove," he observed.
Ureta noted that Boff's "Basic Christian Communities" (BCC) scheme abandons the Church's design, in which "Christ transmits all power to the Twelve, and these to his successors," dividing the community "between rulers and ruled, celebrants and assistants, producers and consumers of sacraments."
The BCC vision highlights the "active presence of the Risen One and his Spirit within the entire human community," he continued, which leads to "conceiving the Church more from the base than from the summit; to accept the co-responsibility of all in the edification of the Church, and not only of some belonging to the clerical institution."
Ureta noted that within BBCs, power becomes "a function of the community and not a person; what is rejected is not power as such but its monopoly, which implies expropriation for the benefit of an elite." The result is that "the whole community is ministerial, not just some members."
"Submerging the priesthood into the sea of lay 'ministries' and de-clericalizing the ordained ministers to elevate to the priesthood married men ... as the Synod proposes, is a colossal step toward demolishing the hierarchical structure of the Church," he warned, adding:
In short, the "synodality" that the Final Document proposes can only be theologically founded on the doctrine formulated by the so-called "Synod of Pistoia," which Pius VI ... condemned as heretical: to wit, the thesis according to which Jesus Christ did not transmit his triple priestly, magisterial and pastoral power directly to the Apostles but to the Church as a whole, and therefore, the charisms and ministries which communities need emerge from the communities themselves, from which the ministers receive the power to exercise those gifts.
"In any case," Ureta added wryly, "this being the pontificate of rehabilitations, perhaps Pope Francis could grace Leonardo Boff with a cardinal's hat in an upcoming consistory."
Liberation theology's destructive influence is also confirmed by faithful Amazonian Catholics.
In a recent interview in Rome, indigenous leader Jonas Marcolino Macuxi noted that the assimilation and advancement of Amazonian peoples ceased once liberation theology took hold of the region:
Over the centuries, pioneers, adventurers, captains of rescue troops, missionaries, naturalists, botanists, zoologists, ethnologists, anthropologists and scientists entered the Amazon. Many scholars saw the opportunity and possibility of giving the natives a new lifestyle. This whole process of cultural change tended to assimilate indigenous tribes into national society, leading to a process of interpenetration and fusion of cultures, traditions of feelings, attitudes of people and groups who, sharing the same experiences and stories, eventually incorporated into a common cultural life. This process was natural and not imposed.
Unfortunately, this whole process of cultural interchange was poisoned by missionaries of the so-alled Liberation Theology, members of ecological and environmental movements, and by NGOs that raised millions ... solely to benefit their own interests or those of their financiers. External influences were endless.
"At the end of the 60s of the last century, missionary action in the Amazon changed radically," Macuxi explained, "immediately adapting to the new perspective generated by the conciliar 'updating' of the Catholic Church. These new missionaries worked hard to realize ... the absurd idea of 'returning to the past and using aborigines as a model.'"
"They even broke God’s laws by legitimizing the theft of private property by inciting the Indians to illegally occupy the lands and businesses of non-indigenous people," he said. "Liberation Theology was nothing but a disguised form of communist ideology."
"In a short time, they destroyed everything their missionary predecessors had built over a century in the name of an absurd primitivism," Mancuxi recounted. "It really didn't take them long to dismantle the prosperity that the integrated natives had achieved through a system based on economic freedom, private property, a market economy, and freedom to work."