Business as usual at the Vatican according to Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register:
A private meeting held to discuss the upcoming Amazonian synod and involving largely German-speaking prelates and experts took place on Tuesday in Rome.
According to Holy See spokesman Alessandro Gisotti, the gathering was a “study meeting” of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM).
Earlier in the day, an official at the Synod of Bishops denied all knowledge of the meeting when asked about it.
The Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network was set up in 2014 by the nine Churches of the Amazon region, in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Peru, Surinam and Venezuela, to “bring to the world’s attention the fragile situation of indigenous people in the Amazon and the critical importance of the Amazon biome to the planet — our common home.”
Gisotti told the Register that Tuesday’s meeting was with “ecclesial authorities, experts and representatives of the territory in view of the Synod on the Amazon.”
But he said he was unable to give details of the participants. “It’s a study meeting, not for the public,” he said, adding: “There will be others before the synod.”
Sources, however, have told the Register there were 30 invited participants of the study meeting, some of whom were Italian. It took place at a convent and retreat center on the outskirts of Rome run by the Ancelle di Christo Re Congregation, and included Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the general relator of the synod and president of REPAM.
Others were Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, and Cardinal Walter Kasper, a close theological adviser to Pope Francis.
Also in attendance was Austrian Bishop Emeritus Erwin Kräutler of the Territorial Prelature of Xingu in Brazil, whom Pope Francis appointed as an expert consultant to the synod.
Bishop Kräutler has argued for ordaining married men in the Amazon,and voiced his support for women priests. He is thought to have helped write the synod’s controversial working document published last week.
Go here to read the rest. Why PopeWatch is shocked, shocked at the implication that the actual synod is a dog and pony show and that the decisions of the synod are determined beforehand by a small group of the Pope’s cronies.