Opposition to Amazon synod spurs new right-wing coalition in Brazil
Fire consumes the Amazon rainforest in Altamira, Brazil, on Aug. 27, 2019. Fires across the Brazilian Amazon have sparked an international outcry for preservation of the world’s largest rainforest. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
Source: Religion News Service
BY Eduardo Campos Lima
SÃO PAULO (RNS) — While the most vocal opponents of the Catholic Church’s upcoming Amazon synod have been conservative Catholic cardinals such as the Germans Gerhard Mueller and Walter Brandmueller, criticism within Brazil has come primarily from its right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, and his political allies.
Now those political forces have joined with conservative religious leaders, particularly a newly revived group of Catholic conservatives, to oppose the synod before it has begun.
In the months before the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region, which begins officially Sunday (Oct. 6) in Rome, two factions in Brazil have risen up to oppose it: the military and a gaggle of climate change deniers in Congress and the right-wing media.
Members of the armed forces have repeatedly criticized what they see as the Vatican’s meddling in Brazilian affairs. In February, former Gen. Augusto Heleno, who now oversees national and personal security issues for Bolsonaro, said the country’s intelligence agency was monitoring the working documents of the synod.