From Infanticide To Euthanasia. The “Buen Vivir” in the Amazon Is Made of This As Well
Marcia María de Oliveira, a Brazilian, is among the 25 coworkers of the two special secretaries of the synod for the Amazon: the Jesuit Michael Czerny, made a cardinal by Pope Francis last October 5, and the Dominican David Martínez de Aguirre Guinea, bishop of Puerto Maldonado, in Perù.
De Oliveira is a specialist on Amazonian societies and cultures, and was called to collaborate as an “expert” along with, among others, the Argentine Carlos María Galli, a theoretician of “the people’s theology,” and the German Paulo Suess, a professor of “inculturated” theology and coauthor of the base document of the synod, the controversial “Instrumentum Laboris.”
In this capacity, de Oliveira took part in the synodal press conference on Tuesday October 15. At which, responding to a question, she went back to the infanticide practiced in some Amazonian tribes, prefacing her remarks by saying that these questions are “very complex” and must be viewed from “different perspectives,” especially in their relationship with the sacred.
The following is an exact transcription of the words she spoke in this regard, delivered in Portuguese with simultaneous translation into other languages.
The transcription is taken from the video recording of the press conference, from 47:18 to 48:17:
“I personally have not followed any community that adopts this practice as a ritual or political question. There are some communities that establish some collective procedures or initiatives of birth control. It is all in relationship with the size of the family and the extent of the groups. All is based on conservation, survival, food supply, the number of persons who make up the group… It also has a lot to do with internal relations, to what extent that child, that elderly person, that adult person is capable of following the group in what are its internal movements.”
That’s all for the words of the expert on Amazonian cultures Marcia María de Oliveira, which certainly agree very poorly with the insistent, acritical exaltation – before and during the synod – of the “buen vivir” of those tribes, described in the “Instrumentum Laboris” as “harmony with oneself, with nature, with human beings and with the supreme being, since there is an inter-communication between the whole cosmos, where there is neither excluding nor excluded, and that among all of us we can forge a project of full life.”
But that’s not all. In the words of de Oliveira there is an allusion to the selective elimination not only of children but also of the elderly, which was the subject of the question that had been posed to her at the press conference by Swiss journalist Giuseppe Rusconi.
A few days before, in fact, at another synodal press conference, on Saturday October 12, São Félix bishop Adriano Ciocca Vasino – successor to the 91-year-old ultraindigenist Pedro Casaldaliga – had said: “My Indians tell me that the whites are cruel, because they allow the elderly who are not self-sufficient to live. And in this way they force the spirit of the elderly to remain chained to the body. And the spirit, chained, cannot spread its benefits upon the rest of the family.”
This too said with imperturbable nonjudgmental detachment. Pushing to the extreme limit the advice given by Pope Francis in the opening speech of the synod: “Let us approach the Amazonian peoples on tiptoe, respecting their history, their cultures, their styles of ‘buen vivir’.”Condividi:
- 16 ottobre 2019