The Amazon Synod
We celebrate a veritable panoply of saints today: In Canada, we have the memorial of Saint Marguerite D’Youville (+1771), a lovely French Canadian mademoiselle, who married young to a dissolute man, Francois D’Youville, a dissipated bootlegger who sold liquor to the easily-addicted Natives, and would disappear for long periods. He did not live long, but they did have six children together, before his death.
By the time she was 30, Marguerite had lost her husband, her father, and four of her children, who died in infancy. She could have despaired, and lost herself in the bottle, but, instead, corresponded with the
October 2019 is designated as an Extraordinary Month of Mission. The Extraordinary Synod of Bishops for the Amazon has distracted our attention from this other extraordinary celebration, but we should never forget the missions. This was impressed on me effectively during my childhood when we were asked to pray for the missions and to give some of our pocket money to support them. I remember the APF missions box in our hall; it carried a quotation from Pope Pius XII, “For there are none so poor as those who lack the knowledge and the grace of God.” That really impressed me with the importance of helping the missions.
Pope Francis asked us to observe this month as an Extraordinary Month of Mission in celebration of the centenary of the Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud (1919) of Pope Benedict XV “On the Propagation of the Faith Throughout the World.” Pope Benedict XV was in some respects a tragic character. During the first World War he worked heart and soul to bring about a peaceful settlement. Sadly, along with Blessed Charles, the Austro-Hungarian emperor, he was unsuccessful.
It is all the more impressive therefore, that the same pope should have instituted an important reform in missionary activity just after the end of that terrible war. It behoves us to consider some of the principles of Pope Benedict’s letter and to learn from them.
After days of prevarication it has finally been made clear that the Pope allowed pagan worship in the Vatican and Catholics (even Franciscans) took part.
This is wrong. Do Bishops not care? If they take their vocations at all seriously, something needs to happen now. Remember, this is the Pope who moved the papal Corpus Christi procession out of Rome, but allows idol worship in the Vatican.
Syncretism is deeply and inextricably Masonic.