I am the Lord your God… You shall have no other gods before Me.
~God, Exodus, 20:2-3
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
~Jesus, Matthew 5:17
Laudato Si’ – Roots of QA
Pope Francis’ agenda for the Church came out in 2015 when he released Laudat Si’. Married clergy and female deacons are really not such a big part of his gameplan, but it caused such an uproar among the faithful that many missed his furthering the mission published in 2015! American TFP (Tradition, Family, Property) published the following piece in 2017. I copied the introduction here, but the entire paper is well worth a read if we are to understand the true philosophy and theology driving the release of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation – Querida Amazonia.
Notes on the Unacceptable Philosophy and Theology of Laudato Si’
To the Reader:
The understandable clamor over Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic
Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, turned attention away from the Encyclical Laudato
Si’, another document by the same Pontiff. Nevertheless, this encyclical gives
us the key to understand not just Amoris Laetitia, but also other
pronouncements, acts, gestures, and attitudes of Pope Francis…
The author’s analysis suggests that Pope Francis presents a “philosophical and
theological vision of the human being and of creation” (No. 130). From this
peculiar conception of man and the universe he undeniably develops—though
unsystematically—a new theology, a new morality, a new liturgy, a new notion
of the Sacraments and of prayer, a new spirituality, a new Mariology, and even
a new social doctrine. Based on those concepts he ends up proposing the
establishment of an international body with authority over national
governments… Link to full document here.
Pre-Trojan Horse Furor
The pagan rituals at the Amazon Synod in Rome were so overwhelming to faithful Catholics witnessing them all over the world that some said this was the trojan horse trying to keep us from observing the push for married priests or female deacons. However, those who remember Jesus’ words that we are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts and understand the commandment that we will not worship idols, realized this was no trojan horse.
Then in January, a vast media uproar came about when Cardinal Sarah and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI announced the joint publishing of a book entitled From the Depths of Our Hearts. It was a wild few days. CNA (Catholic News Agency) said in one of their reports on the matter: “The announcement of the book’s publication prompted reports that by arguing in favor of priestly celibacy, Benedict XVI has placed himself in opposition to Pope Francis, who is right now considering allowing an exception to priestly celibacy by the ordination of proven married men, so-called viri probati, in the Amazon region in response to severe priest shortages.”
The fireworks came when Pope Francis called the prefect of the papal household, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, on the carpet for allowing Benedict to release the book and ordered him to put a stop to it. It was a Roman DRAMA. From the Vatican press office, Gänswein, Cardinal Sarah, and the Italian press as well as all the Catholic commentators. The first dependable report I read was by Edward Pentin. It was a fast-moving story because he updated his report as soon as he wrote it. See here.
There was a twitter war between Cardinals Sarah and Gänswein. From what the world could tell, Gänswein was trying to make it look like Pope Emeritus Benedict had not consented to the book cover or actually co-authoring the book! Cardinal Sarah responded with copies of letters proving the opposite. The upshot was very little was changed, and the Ignatius Press, American publisher, came out with a press release saying their contracts were signed. They were publishing the book precisely as Benedict and Sarah had requested. Amazing. Francis fired Gänswein as his prefect of the papal household, while it appears he will remain Benedict’s private secretary. Gänswein has not been seen in any official public capacity to this date, and the post-synodal letter was not released as soon as expected. The Tablet sums up the drama accurately here.
On to the Trojan Horse…
In one week, I have read many opinions on the release of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation – Querida Amazonia. So many Traditional and conservative Catholics actually think this is a good letter. The Pope changed his mind on married priests and female decons! It will be interesting to see what they have to say six months from now. Some read the first few lines and knew it was nothing of the sort. One was an article written by Peter Kwasniewski at the Remnant Newspaper, which ended with a very insightful look at a footnote I’ll add at the end of this post. He began his article by introducing another article on Querida Amazonia (QA) by a blog called Whispers of Restoration. He presents pieces of the blog by saying: “A powerful article published anonymously on February 13 at Whispers of Restoration, ‘Of the Monster in Rome, and the Curious Case of the Cataphrygiae; or, Does Right Worship Exist?,’ argues that several ominous paragraphs of the Exhortation have gone almost completely unremarked.” He then gives some excerpts from the post and talks about them. He is correct. So many people are talking about the married priest/female deacon situation that I fear normally sensible people can’t see the forest for the trees. In other words, the outer shell of the trojan horse. I had read the mentioned post, and it seems to me that for everyday pew-sitters, such as myself and readers of ORCatholic, Whispers of Restoration gives tremendous insight with links to point after point. If one takes a little time to read their post and visit the links, you will be blessed with astute background information and insights into what has been happening during the process of the Amazon Synod. As Whispers of Restoration describe themselves: They are working to foster Catholic Tradition by making and recommending excellent, accessible resources. Read their post here.
The Devil in the Footnotes
Timothy Gordon taped an episode on his new podcast Rules for Retrogrades and addresses our current situation. At the 18 minute mark and the 22-minute mark, he begins to address the weaponized ambiguities used so successfully in Amoris Laetitia in chapter eight’s footnote that so many see as unleashing true destruction of the family in the Church. Chapter eight’s footnote 351 says:
In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments. Hence, “I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber, but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium [24 November 2013], 44: AAS 105 , 1038). I would also point out that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” (ibid., 47: 1039)
I share this with you because if you wonder what “weaponized ambiguities” are, you need to read Chapter Eight of Amoris Laetitia here. There is no mention of the actual words of Jesus concerning marriage in the Bible. It is one long discourse on how to basically give a free pass to anyone in an “irregular” situation. Pope Francis lost me at the beginning when he used the example of Jesus and the woman at the well:
These couples need to be welcomed and guided patiently
and discreetly”.322 That is how Jesus treated the
Samaritan woman (cf. Jn 4:1-26): he addressed
her desire for true love, in order to free her from
the darkness in her life and to bring her to the
full joy of the Gospel.
Hardly. Jesus called her out for her life of sin. He told her to call her husband. The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” He responded, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that, you spoke truly.” There is no record of His guiding a couple “discreetly.” In fact, the whole town ended up coming out, and they basically held revival for two days. Read it here, John 4:16-42.
The problem with the footnote is that it gives the clergy an opening to make personal decisions on who can receive communion rather validly married or not. Living in sin or not. This is weaponized ambiguity.
Part of understanding how to unpack the different areas of weaponized ambiguity in the new document released by Pope Francis is knowing what to look for. Many of us met Timothy Gordon when he began taping programs with Dr. Taylor Marshall during the summer of “shame” 2o18″ when ugly truths came out about the sex scandals and perversion in the Catholic clergy. Timothy’s take is well worth a listen now to help understand what was packed in the Pope’s QA trojan horse and how footnotes are used.
Back to Peter Kwasniewski and his article Querida Amazonia: Syncretizing Smoke and German-tinted Mirrors. Familiar with the damage done within the footnotes of Amoris Laetitia, at the very end of the article, Kwasniewski looked at the footnotes in Querida Amazonia to see what might be hidden there. He found something he believes is significant, and I agree. At first glance, it would seem a bit crazy, but Peter dug deeper. Here is what he finds:
Returning to Querida Amazonia: the line about “our prayer for light joins in the song of the eternal foliage” of the eucalyptus comes from a collection of poems written by a Chinese woman who lived in Peru, in the Amazonian region, and who later moved to California. Her real name is Katie Wong Loo. She started publishing pantheistic poems with nostalgic reflections on the Amazon in California in the 1970’s under the pseudonym Sui Yun. It cannot escape the notice of the careful reader that the book cited was published in Wiesbaden—that is, in Germany. Looking it up, I see that it is a bilingual edition: Cantos para el mendigo y el rey/Gesänge für den Bettler und den König. Is it not exceedingly probable that this reference to an obscure Sino-Peruvian poet came from a German source involved in drafting the Exhortation?
A little further research turned up information on the poetess in the book Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader, edited by Shu-mei Shih, Chien-hsin Tsai, and Brian Bernards (Columbia University Press, 2013). From the description offered, her poetry sounds thoroughly pantheistic, humanistic, and relativistic. A sample line: “The primitive from the civilized / The humble from the aristocrat / The positive from the negative / All these coordinate in the making of One whole.” Shih, Tsai, and Benards comment: “Therefore, the ultimate answers are to be found in the magical powers of nature and in its unity” (417). Sui Yun’s second collection of poems, from 1983, is significantly entitled: Rosa fálica [phallic rose], in which “the prevalent topics are eroticism and love” (ibid.). Victor Manuel “Tucho” Fernández, author of Heal Me With Your Mouth. The Art of Kissing and partial ghostwriter of several of Pope Francis’s documents (including chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia), would surely find delectation in her work.
The use of “eucalyptus” by a highly educated Sino-Peruvian poet is certainly not a mistake or an accident. Eucalyptus trees were introduced in post-colonial South America as a capitalist cash crop against which many NGOs have been actively protesting for decades, citing exploitation of the land and various problems caused by the introduction of the foreign trees (how ironic is that for this Exhortation?). Since the eucalyptus tree is anything but ancient in South America, it is obvious that “ancient eucalyptus” (in the line “as we rest in the shade of an ancient eucalyptus, our prayer for light joins in the song of the eternal foliage”) must bear a symbolic meaning. Sui Yun is drawing on the literal meaning of the word in its truly ancient Greco-Roman context. The Greek eu means good and kalyptos means covered, hidden, or veiled. One could relate the meaning of kalyptos to the meaning of mysterion, a hidden or secret thing (which is then rendered in Latin as sacramentum). Eu-kalyptos as “good mystery” makes the word pregnant with meaning. The Amazon does indeed have a ubiquitous “plant sacrament”: ayahuasca.
At least one Catholic religious sister—”Sister Jaguar”—is well acquainted with what she calls the “sacrament” of ayahuasca; her story is told in this short documentary. This “sacrament” is absolutely central to Amazonian spirituality, and everyone knows it who understands the first thing about their spirituality. I can’t prove it, but I would assume that the potted plant thing that was processed up and placed on the high altar by Pope Francis contained some of the plants used for making ayahuasca. Why not? These are the sacred plants in their spirituality, and therefore the most fitting choice for such a votive offering.
Many Germans make pilgrimage to the Amazon just to partake of ayahuasca in authentic ceremonies. How many bishops have? Who knows… But the spirituality surrounding it is pantheism. Mother Earth as the All-Spirit comes to people and reveals the mysteries of oneness to those who partake. The experience often has a very dark side as well, with the feeling of immanent death.
A reliable study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information includes descriptions of the spiritual aspects connected with the use of ayahuasca. The article recounts how its use was pressed in the US Supreme Court, and the SCOTUS ruled that, in spite of its being a Schedule 1 controlled substance, its use for religious purposes (that is, as a “sacrament”) is legal in the US. Perhaps our next ecumenical dialogue needs to begin at once with the “Soul Quest Ayahuasca Church of Mother Earth.” You can now go and legally receive the sacrament of ayahuasca and encounter Pacha Mama directly for yourself. I wish this were a parody—but it’s not. All of this stuff is right out in the open.
There is more. The Greek kalyptos is also used in Gnosticism to name one of three gods in a kind of Gnostic trinity as a threefold path to enlightenment: Kalyptos, Protophanes, Autogenes. Kalyptos, whose name means “concealing,” is a god who paradoxically reveals things that are hidden. It is a part of the Gnostic idea of revealing hidden mysteries, which also may be a part of Sui Yun’s mysticism. (This, importantly, is precisely what ayahuasca, the “plant sacrament,” is said to do: reveal hidden mysteries.) That line from that poem and that writer were specially chosen. As with the Gnostics of old, the “initiated” will see and know the meaning, hidden in plain sight.
Peter Kwasniewski hit on an insight into paganism, which most of us simply don’t understand. Well, actually, I know so much more now than I did eighteen months ago that I hardly know where to begin. The final line in his writing above says more than you know. “As with the Gnostics of old, the “initiated” will see and know the meaning, hidden in plain sight.”
Faithful Catholics are not looking for serious, ugly trouble coming to the Church in the days ahead. It is not in our nature. Therefore. I’ll end this post with some Scriptures that will gird you with the truth!
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. ~2 John 9-11
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. ~Colossians 2:8-10
Finally, Jesus gives us a warning. Perhaps it doesn’t seem as if it applies to this situation but tuck it away in your heart. No matter what comes in the future, you want to keep your eyes firmly on Him, what He has to say, and know that you can be counted among the “elect.”
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. ~Jesus, Matthew 24:24-25
God bless you always,
In the very first words of Querida Amazonia, Pope Francis says:
The beloved Amazon region stands before the world in all its splendour, its drama and its mystery. God granted us the grace of focusing on that region during the Synod held in Rome from 6-27 October last, which concluded by issuing its Final Document, The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology…At the same time, I would like to officially present the Final Document… I have preferred not to cite the Final Document in this Exhortation, because I would encourage everyone to read it in full.
Here is the link to Final Document, The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology
©2020Nancy H Montgomery, ORCatholic.com
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