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Monday, July 22, 2019

Reading Part 2 of the Amazon Doc: Topsy and Tuptim Bewail Bureaucrat Bishops who Act Like Politicians

The crypt church at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Topsy and Tuptim attend noon Mass in the crypt Church at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C. It's the feast day of St. Mary Magdalene and after Mass they pray the rosary together asking St. Mary to intercede for the protection of Holy Mother Church. Finishing their prayers, they go out into the lower lobby and visit the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes to light candles, they continue conversing as they walk over to the shrine cafeteria, get lunch, and select a table.

Tuptim: Things are in such a mess. We sure need the help of Our Blessed Mother to clean things up and give us bishops who are real shepherds who will protect the family of the Church!

Topsy: (Nodding...) Amen! Whenever I'm here I light candles for my own family. My husband and I are praying a perpetual family novena. Our kids are raising their children in such hard times. We so desperately need holy shepherds. (Sighing...) Where are they? But Mary is a loving and faithful Mother who will never abandon us. I think she's been with us during all our discussions about the synod.  Those clergy manipulating things may look like a powerful army, but they can't contend with our 12-star general "dressed in battle array." Sometimes I imagine myself kneeling with my head in her lap. In my imagination I hear comfort me and encourage me to persevere.

Tuptim: Phew! Persevering sure isn't easy these days. Sometimes I want to hide under the bed.

Topsy: I know what you mean. (Pausing to think...) But no time has ever been easy for God's people. The first reading at Sunday Mass yesterday was about Abraham entertaining the three angels. It was only the beginning of the story, but before it's over, the angels tell Abraham they're going down to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. What were the big sins there? The abuse and murder of the innocent and same-sex perversion. What makes us any better than they were?

Tuptim: We're worse because they only had the Old Covenant. They didn't have Jesus and the sacraments! Honestly, I keep expecting a meteor to collide with the earth. If it were big enough it could sure give us the three days of darkness described in Revelation. The pope won't have to worry about global warming then. We'll have global freezing because the sun won't be able to get through the massive ash cover.

Topsy: We need to keep begging the Lord for more time for Abraham did.

Tuptim: The synod planners. sure need conversion They sound like a bunch of leftist bureaucrats. The text of Part 2 reads like a Congressional committee hearing or a think tank white paper. Every chapter ends with a list of "suggestions" that sound like they came straight from the members of PETA or Greenpeace.

Topsy: (Tapping the document with her index finger.) One of the problems I have with this entire thing is that it mixes everything together. Legal activities and project and crimes are treated as if they're the same. The list of abuses includes drug trafficking and violence against women alongside developing hydroelectric power and building roads. (Throwing her arms up in frustration...) They're not exactly the same things. The rainforest takes up a large portion of the South American continent and a large portion of Brazil.  Here, I copied a picture off the internet.

It's over two millions square miles. Is it reasonable to expect no development? Over half of the Brazilian Amazon is designated a protected area so there are efforts to preserve it. Brazil's president is under scathing attack by environmentalists, but he's concerned about building an economy that can give people jobs and livelihood. It's a balancing act and there isn't one right answer. Just think how a synod would have looked at the pioneers and the "deforestation" of Manhattan. (Pausing thoughfully...) Well, actually, letting Manhattan go back to nature would be an improvement.

Tuptim: (Laughing...) And the planet isn't nearly as fragile as eco-fanatics claim. Look at Mt. St. Helens. The eruption was devastating, but the recovery began almost immediately and the area has reforested. Bad farming practices and drought helped to create the dust bowl in the midwest during the 1930s. It was devastating at the time, but the land recovered. I'm sick of listening to Chicken Little screaming that the sky is falling. Not only that. The bishops have a habit of mixing up intrinsic moral issues with prudential judgment. Remember our discussion about the Virginia bishops' lobby day a few years ago. They got Catholics to lobby against abortion, but also took positions on the economy, uranium mining, and immigration that good people can disagree about. What makes the bishops experts on uranium mining or fracking or immigration policy? They need to state moral principles about good stewardship and stay out of the nuts and bolts of how it should be done. But the synod document!...Yikes! The five "suggestions" in chapter 2 sound like lobbyist demands for the government, but they are demands that people can disagree about. Only one even references the Church. (Reading...):
Form specific teams in dioceses and parishes and plan joint pastoral action in border regions because that is where people on the move are to be found.
Topsy: Joint action to do what? Lobby presumably because the other four suggestions are all demands for the government to take action: order a census, inform people of their rights, protect the environment, and here's the bottom line.... Get the government to "guarantee the necessary resources." In other words -- it's about money -- just like every lobby group is about money. Church leaders often seem to care more for the almighty dollar than for Almighty God. I can't help thinking that the USCCB's big push for "welcoming the stranger" is about the money they get for services to illegals.

Tuptim: (Tapping her lips...) Hmm. It begins to sound like Saul Alinsky in the rain forest, doesn't it?  The synod seems to be about forming progressive community organizing groups. And that usually means more money and power for the organizers. Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation promoted all kinds of immoral agitation for its goals which always made IAF bigger and more powerful.

Topsy: I read his Rules for Radicals. He dedicated it to the "first rebel" who got his own kingdom -- Lucifer. And when you read his biography, he was involved with the mafia in Chicago. What an evil man! And yet he was admired by so many otherwise sensible men like Bishop Fulton Sheen and Jacques Maritain. He used the poor to advance his own agenda. I think that's what the liberals in the Church, with the help of Francis, are doing with all these synods. They're all about advancing a liberal agenda for the Church. Every one is one more step toward revolution -- to make the Church conform to the world.

Tuptim: Chapters 3 and 4 talk about migration and urbanization and their effects and how they're bad for the Amazon. (Shaking her head...) Ironically, the same thing is happening in our cities because of the illegal invasion, but somehow that's okay. Listen to this from chapter 3:
The phenomenon of migration, neglected both politically and pastorally, has contributed to social destabilization in the communities of the Amazon. The region’s cities, which constantly receive a large number of migrating newcomers, are unable to provide the basic services that migrants need. This has led many people to wander about and sleep in downtown areas, without work, without food, without shelter.
(Laughing ruefully...) Are we talking about Los Angeles or Phoenix or El Paso? The Vatican cheers for the social destabilization of U.S. cities, but cries crocodile tears for the Amazon. It goes on:
Among other things, this phenomenon destabilizes families when one of the parents goes far away in search of work, leaving the children and young people to grow up without the paternal and/or maternal figure. Young people also move in search of employment or underemployment to help maintain what is left of the family, abandoning their primary education and enduring all kinds of abuse and exploitation.
Topsy: Wow! That's exactly what's happening at our border! Child trafficking, drug trafficking. Children are being used like the point of a spear. Parents are endangering their children's lives and some children aren't even coming in with family members. How many are victims of drug pushers and traffickers? Why isn't the pope talking about working to change the situations in Mexico and Central America instead of encouraging the caravans invading the U.S.? How come what's bad for the Amazon isn't bad for us? (Thoughfully...) You know, I think we're seeing an effort toward one-world religion under a one-world government. This pope is a leftist. Reports are coming out that the government of Brazil is concerned that the synod will be taken over by a left wing agenda and that the synod may interfere with their sovereignty. I think they're right to be concerned. This pope happily interferes with the governments of other countries and he's good buddies with the socialists. And the president of Brazil sounds like a Latin American Donald Trump. That would sure make many of the bishops hate him.

The bishops don't need more synods; they need more Eucharistic adoration!
Tuptim: Brazil's alarm is prudent. The document is not so much about advancing intrinsic moral principles that should influence government decisions regarding the Amazon. It gets into the nitty gritty, condemns development, and gets specific about saying what the South American countries should do. That's not the job of the Church; it's the job of laity in the market place. The Church should not be a lobby group! And development isn't intrinsically evil.

Topsy: Yeah, I'm sick of bishops acting like politicians. They should pray more and talk less. They
have NO expertise in many of these areas and the "experts" they listen to these days are often among the worst enemies of Christ and His Church.

Tuptim: (Shaking her head.) Paul Ehrlich. I think the synod will further erode the credibility of the Vatican, but they don't seem to care.

Topsy: Do they have any credibility? But ya gotta laugh at some of the suggestions in Part 2. They sound like they came from the Lenten calendar put out by the USCCB a few years ago. You remember...really cool alternative actions for a socially-aware Lent: car pool, recycle, turn off the lights, etc. It was laughable. But that's the new socially aware Catholic church. Don't worry about that old fashioned rigid fundamentalism that calls for prayer, fasting and almsgiving during Lent -- recycle, eat vegetables, and plant a tree.

Tuptim: You know, the bishops don't need more synods. They need more fasting and more Eucharistic adoration. Since they don't seem to do it much, we need to. I think that's the only thing along with the rosary that's holding back God's judgment on the world!

To be continued....

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