|The Congo peacock is nothing like its beautiful|
cousins, the green and Indian peacocks.
Topsy: (putting a plate of crackers and cream cheese covered with chutney on the table.) Good call! I'll get the glasses. (She reaches in the cupboard and brings out two wine glasses. One has a gold peacock on it and the other has a pink chateau.) I love to pick up a glass when we go to a vineyard. Individual glasses are better than wine charms. Here, you can be the peacock.
Tuptim: (admires her glass) Do you think they have peacocks in the Amazon?
Topsy: Hmm...I don't know, but I read a National Geographic article about a species that lives in the Congo basin of Africa. I do love Indian peacocks. They're bright blue. We saw one strutting around last summer at the Will Rogers homestead in Oklahoma. We were able to get up close and personal.
Tuptim: (opens the wine and pours some for Topsy and then herself and takes a sip.) Let's get right to it. This is a short chapter.
Topsy: Okay. Why don't you sum up.
Tuptim: Well, I confess I thought it was almost hilariously stupid. (she shrugs) If you can consider something so seriously bad hilarious. Whoever wrote the document clearly wanted to wax poetic and make readers think of St. Francis and his canticle to Brother Sun and Sister Moon. But the philosophy is closer to Rousseau who influenced the so-called enlightenment and the murderous French Revolution than St. Francis. Listen to this:
...territory is a theological place where faith is lived, and also a particular source of God’s revelation: epiphanic places where the reserve of life and wisdom for the planet is manifest, a life and wisdom that speaks of God. In the Amazon, the “caresses of God” become manifest and become incarnate in history (cf. LS 84, “Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God”).
|The Amazon rain forest is a beautiful work of God, but it is not a person|
created in His image and likeness.
Topsy: I think I'm having an epiphany right now as I read this. Did you notice this line about how Pope Francis invited "Puerto Maldonado [a city in southeast Peru considered the gateway to the jungle] to defend this threatened region, to preserve it and restore it for the good of all?" I wonder what Pope Francis would say about tens of thousands of illegals descending on the city and demanding the right to stay and live and build homes in the rain forest. Somehow, I don't think he would be encouraging them to welcome the stranger.
Tuptim: No, he'd be railing about the degradation of the holy place. I thought the next part was out of the Twilight Zone:
A contemplative, attentive and respectful look at their brothers and sisters, and also at nature – the brother tree, the sister flower, the sisters birds, the brothers fish, and even the smallest sisters like ants, larvae, fungi or insects (cf. LS 233) – allows the Amazonian communities to discover how everything is connected, to value each creature, to see the mystery of God’s beauty revealed in all of them (cf. LS 84, 88), and to live together amicably.
Topsy: There's nothing so far in this document that even sounds Catholic. Read paragraph 23. Again it's treating a place like a person. (She pauses.) Let's see...here it is...The second half of this sentence is so ridiculous. “The jungle is not a resource to exploit, it is a being or various beings with whom to relate.” No it isn't! Frankly, I don't think the Vatican knows the difference between people made in the image and likeness of God, and a rock. All of us communing with trees and plants and crystals is not going to bring us closer to Christ. New agers do that, not Catholics.
Tuptim: And that's just the prelude to the really the bizarre stuff (reading) about the "beliefs and rites regarding the actions of spirits, of the many-named divinity acting with and in the territory, with and in relation to nature." That makes me think of St. Paul when he saw the many temples to the different gods of the Greeks. These folks also worship a multiplicity of false gods and from the articles I've seen about the synod, that is a-okay with the organizers. We all need to learn from the shamans. They have nothing to learn from us.
To be continued....