The Flawed Evangelization Model of the Pan-Amazonian Synod
Since 1965, the Institute of the Consolata for Foreign Missions, originally from Turin and present in 28 countries, has had a mission among the Yanomamis in Brazil. The mission is currently led by the Italian priest Fr. Corrado Dalmolego, assisted by three women religious of the Institute’s female branch.
In a recent interview to the Internet portal Religión Digital,1 the Consolata missionary provided interesting details about his conception of a mission and his missionary activities, hoping that his example would serve as a model for the Vatican’s upcoming Pan-Amazonian Synod in October. His astonishing statements were accepted and endorsed by another missionary, the Madrid-based priest Fr. Luis Miguel Modino, active in the Diocese of São Gabriel da Cachoeira in the state of Amazonas (Brazil).
To understand the significance of the opinions expressed by Fr. Dalmolego, one should put oneself in the context of the Yanomami culture, in which he carries out his missionary activity.
The Yanomamis are an ethnic group composed of 20,000-30,000 indigenous people who live a primitive life in the rainforest. They live in the Mavaca River basin, along the tributaries of the Orinoco River, and in the Parima mountain range. This region straddles the south of Venezuela and the Brazilian states of Amazonas and Roraima. The Catrimani Mission of the Missionaries of the Consolata is located next to the river of the same name.
The natives live in small villages of 40 or 50 people. However, they are actually nomads who hunt with bows and arrows and grow a few crops on land that lasts two or three years. When the land is exhausted, the villagers plant elsewhere.