Catholics have taken part in prayer vigils ahead of the controversial Amazon synod, asking for the Church to be protected from “diabolical influence”.
On September 28, 200 lay Catholics stood outside the Vatican in a prayer event organised by the traditionalist group Acies Ordinata. At the same time, priests in a church in Rome prayed for God to expel the “diabolical influence from the Vatican”.
The synod begins at the Vatican on Sunday October 6.
What synod supporters are saying
Fr Michael Czerny, who has just been appointed a cardinal by Pope Francis, told a press conference that “We welcome the interest in this synod.” Speaking at the launch of “Amazon: Common Home”, a series of talks and exhibitions which will run throughout the synod, Fr Czerny downplayed talk of doctrinal confusion. “Members of the synod are all mature and I don’t think there is any danger of confusion,” he said, according to Crux. Whatever happens at the synod, it “can only make the process richer”.
Fr Augusto Zampini Davies, a Vatican official who helped to draw up the working document, said he “can’t understand” the criticisms. “If you want to listen,” he told the National Catholic Reporter, you might hear “things that you are not comfortable with – but you have to listen.”
What synod critics are saying
Cardinal Raymond Burke, formerly prefect of the Vatican’s top court, told First Things that the synod’s working document is a “direct attack on the Lordship of Christ. It says to people, ‘You already have the answers, and Christ is just one among many sources of answers.’ This is apostasy!”
The Ratzinger Schülerkreis, a group of Benedict XVI’s former students which holds regular theological symposiums, issued their first collective public statement in many years. The group made clear their concerns about the synod possibly weakening the Church’s commitment to priestly celibacy. “As the priest only exists from his relationship with Christ,” the statement said, “a participation in the lifestyle of Christ would seem to be appropriate for those who are to act in his person.”
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