by Luiz Sérgio Solimeo
A rather unexpected voice just joined the chorus of the liberal media outcry over sex scandals among some Catholic clergymen: none other than Evo Morales, Bolivia’s socialist and neopagan president.
A Neopagan Socialist...
Indeed, Mr. Morales, leader of the Movement to Socialism, figured he should teach the Pope how things in the Church ought to be run.
For those who may not know, he was inaugurated President of Bolivia in 2006 using indigenous pagan rituals.1 The Bolivian newspaper Los Tiempos, of Cochabamba (6/20/2006), described the ceremony:
“Evo Morales assumed political power with a spectacular display of religious rituals alluding to the Pachamama (Mother Earth), the God Inti, the Achachilas and all those deities of the natural religion in force at the time of Collasuyo [the Inca Empire] ...To honor the earth or Pachamama, that it may bear fruit, the sun and the high mountains so that its rays and streams, respectively, may fertilize our much beloved and revered Goddess.” 2
As expected, such advocates of indigenous pagan socialism were only too ready to manifest open hostility toward the Church.
So it was that Evo Morales, speaking at the World Social Forum (an international socialist event held in Belem do Pará, Brazil in late January 2009), delivered this diatribe:
“In Bolivia, new enemies have appeared, not just a rightist press but groups of the Catholic Church, hierarchs of the Catholic Church who are enemies of peaceful change,” Evo said. I want to tell you as they shout: ‘Another world is possible’, I want to tell you that another faith, another religion, and another church are also possible.” 3
…Advises Pope to Change the Church
In his recent visit to Rome last May 17, Bolivia’s neopagan socialist president presented himself as a Catholic and saw it fit to advise the Pope on how to solve the crisis in the Church.
Thus he wrote Benedict XVI a letter and delivered it personally to the Pope -- and the press. In it, among other things, he says:
“[I]t is essential to democratize and humanize its [the Church’s] clerical structure. …Democratize it so that all the daughters and sons of God, who are equal in His sight, are afforded the same religious rights, and so that women can have the same opportunity as men to minister fully as priests…. [T]he Church does not have to deny a fundamental part of our nature as human beings, celibacy should be abolished so that there would be fewer sons and daughters who are not recognized by their parents, so that we can be honest about the real situation.” 4
It is hardly surprising that this harbinger of “twenty-first century socialism” would now appoint himself spokesman for dissident and liberal Catholics who want to reform the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is consistent that he would ask that the Church conform itself to the world, or rather to the modern world, and to adopt an increasingly egalitarian mindset similar to that of his socialist ideology. It is also understandable that he would insist on the abolition of priestly celibacy since it greatly displeases today’s hyper-sexualized world and the followers of socialism’s materialistic ideology.
However, what does not make sense is that he be taken seriously as someone qualified to talk about Church affairs and for his suggestions to be presented as worthy of attention.
In Spite of Crisis, Catholics Stand “Firm in the Faith”
Meanwhile, it is incredible that, despite the great doctrinal and moral confusion that now affects large sectors of the Church, the media and liberal Catholics (and socialist leaders) have failed to create the much-trumpeted atmosphere of rebellion and desire for change among Catholics.
Instead, what has appeared are manifestations of continuous adherence to the papacy in the very midst of the present media uproar. One recent example is the May 11-14 trip of Benedict XVI to Portugal. More than half a million people flocked to greet him in Lisbon, Fatima and Oporto. Later, 150,000 Catholics gathered at Saint Peter’s Square in Rome on May 16 to express their solidarity with the Successor of Peter in the face of attacks by the liberal media.
Another sign of the faithful’s indifference to the clamor of liberal media and outspoken Catholic dissidents is their pursuit of traditional devotions amid the uproar. In February, for example, more than 200,000 pilgrims went to Padua (Italy), to venerate the relics of Saint Anthony (d. 1231). Even more significant were the crowds that came from around the world to venerate the Holy Shroud, exposed in the Cathedral of Turin from April 10 to May 23. According to the organizers, the exact tally was 2,113,128 faithful. 5
The Church is Not Afraid of the Truth
Regarding the present uproar, the Church is not afraid to confront the horrific facts. Already in the reign of Pope Leo XIII (1878-1903), the Pope opened the secret Vatican archives to historians, saying that the Church is not afraid of the truth.
The same is true today. However, the problem is not the news itself but the way the facts are reported. Liberal media have an accurate “sense of selection” in which they emphasize sexual abuse only when it happens in the Church. They hide or minimize it when it takes place in other institutions. Conversely, the same media is only too ready to blow up the least expression of dissent or “reform” in the Church and “fail to see” demonstrations of filial submission and warm support for the Chair of Peter, or enthusiasm for the traditional devotional practices mentioned above.
Paradoxically, the same liberal media rend their garments when reporting on abuse cases involving members of the Catholic clergy, but at the same time, favor the homosexual agenda, lewd fashions and licentious behavior in every way. They refuse to acknowledge how the general amorality in sexual matters is the breeding ground for the proliferation of the deplorable abuse of minors everywhere.
Internal and external enemies
There is no doubt, as Pope Benedict XVI pointed out, that the action of internal enemies is more harmful to the Church than external enemies. 6
However, Church history attests to the fact that, from her inception, internal dissidents of the Church sought the support of powerful world figures to try and impose their own doctrinal and disciplinary agenda on Her.
Dissidents allied themselves with the emperors of Rome and later those of Byzantium. Today, they seek an alliance, at least a de facto one, with the powerful liberal media around the world. And with socialist politicians...
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Footnotes1. See pictures at http://www.civilianism.com/futurism/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/EvoMorales.jpg and at http://www.internationalist.org/boliviamoralesvsworkers0709.html. [back]
2. Cf. Juan C. Sanahuja, “Panteísmo sincrético indigenista. Una nueva religión. La Constitución viola los principios no negociables. Discrecionalidad del Estado,” [“Syncretic Indian Pantheism: A new religion. The Constitution violates the non-negotiable principles at the State’s Discretion,”] in Noticias globales, Feb. 15, 2009, at http://www.noticiasglobales.org/comunicacionDetalle.asp?Id=1227. [back]
3. Idem. [back]
4. “Carta del Presidente Evo Morales, entregada al Papa Benedicto XVI,” [Letter from President Evo Morales delivered to Pope Benedict XVI”], Ciudad del Vaticano, 17 de mayo de 2010 http://www.lostiempos.com/media_pdf/2010/05/17/131362_pdf.pdf. [back]
5. Cf. “Ostensione da record ― Papa Ratzinger: «Sant’Antonio esempio per i giovani»
Sabato grande afflusso, circa 200 mila le presenze,” [“Record Exposition—Pope Ratzinger—’Saint Anthony an Example for the Youth’ – Great Crowd Saturday, About 200,000 Present”] Corriere del Veneto, Feb. 22, 2010, at http://corrieredelveneto.corriere.it/notizie/cronaca/2010/22-febbraio-2010/ostensione-record-papa-ratzinger-sant-antonio-esempio-giovani-1602515821096.shtml; Sarah Delaney, “Shroud exposition closes with more than 2 million visits,” Catholic News Service, May 24, 2010, at www.catholicnews.com/data/vatican/vatican.htm. [back]
6. Cf. “Interview of the Holy Father Benedict XVI with journalists during the flight to Portugal, Papal Flight, Tuesday, 11 May 2010,” at http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2010/may/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20100511_portogallo-interview_en.html. [back]