Rorate Caeli

The Anti-Xavier:
in 40 years in the rainforest, "not a single" baptism

Different styles of life and multiple scales of values arise from the diverse manner of using things, of laboring, of expressing oneself, of practicing religion, of forming customs, of establishing laws and juridic institutions, of cultivating the sciences, the arts and beauty. Thus the customs handed down to it form the patrimony proper to each human community. 
Gaudium et spes, 53

From Vatican Insider (in Spanish):
In the Amazon, in the service of man

At 90, the Consolata Missionary Silvano Sabatini, who spent 40 years with the indigenous people of the Brazilian Amazon, has much to tell: about his "'rebellious' life on the edge," about his brave, stimulating, destabilizing "being with the Other," about the meaning of Mission, with all its tensions, contradictions, and complexities (in a moment in which the rethinking of the missionary activity of the Church seems very urgent and current).

All that is in the book-testimony "The Anthropologist Priest. Amidst the indigenous people of the Amazon" (Ediesse, Roma 2011), written in collaboration with anthropologist Silvia Zaccaria, dedicated for several years to her field research with the indigenous people of the Brazilian Amazon.

It is a project with a radical view of the evangelization that expresses itself in a unique way: "We do not baptize any Yanomani - Sabatini says - because we are convinced that it would make no sense to baptize a person outside the community, and that it is the culture that should be evangelized: man has the right to have his culture, and he must find in it the way to express himself christianly. Baptizing outside the community would have meant establishing a double personality in Baptism." Which is why, Zaccaria says, "Sabatini responded thus that monsignor anxious to know how many Yanomami he had baptized: 'not a single one, thanks to the Good God.' "

(Tip: Infocatólica, via La Cigüeña)


  1. Despite the many shocking things we have posted throughout the years, few have shocked me personally as much as this.

    It is monstruous for this priest to have denied so many people the graces of Holy Baptism, and minimized it as a cultural way to express Christianity... This is repulsive to any Christian, and a disgrace to the Church of God.

  2. Tom the Milkman11:38 PM

    Unfathomable! Is this man still living? in Rome? A cursory internet search inconclusively seemed to indicate he indeed is.

  3. Ecclesia Militans11:42 PM

    Unfortunately, this is the baleful consequence of the Second Vatican Council, which killed the missionary soul of the Church through ecumenism and religious liberty, and this is the ultimate goal of the destroyers who plotted and organized the introduction of those novelties into the Church.

    The God, Church and Baptism that men like this person are taught to believe (do not be fooled, they did not arrive at it themselves) are very different than the True God, the True Church and the True Baptism.

    Instaurare omnia in Christo!

  4. Ligusticus11:44 PM

    By the way...(About Jesuits, this time) On April 4, 2008
    John Allen wrote on the NCR :

    " The election of Nicolás was widely interpreted as a victory for the more progressive views associated with many Jesuits, especially interreligious dialogue and social advocacy.

    To take one example, in a Feb. 10 interview with three Jesuits, Nicolás said that he admired the later St. Francis Xavier -- not the ardent missionary of Xavier’s early years, but the Xavier who later developed deep respect for Asian cultures. Nicolás told a story of how Xavier once went to Fukoka, Japan, to scold a morally lax Buddhist monk. What impressed Nicolás is that Xavier went not to tell the monk he should become a Christian, but rather to be a better Buddhist.

    For a pope committed to reawakening a strong missionary spirit in Catholicism, that’s not necessarily the most encouraging conclusion Nicolás could have drawn."

  5. Postmodern Catholic11:45 PM

    Does this mean this priest is "anathematized" no longer "in full communion" with the Church?

    "Ecumenical Council of Trent
    Canons On Baptism

    Canon 2. If anyone says that true and natural water is not necessary for baptism and thus twists into some metaphor the words of our Lord Jesus Christ:

    Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, LET HIM BE ANATHEMA.

    Canon 5. If anyone says that baptism is optional, that is, not necessary for salvation,LET HIM BE ANATHEMA."

    Why don't the Holy See set the doctrinal discussions with this fellow, instead of the SSPX?

  6. Apparently, the good father found himself a forest chock full of Anonymous Christians.

  7. Horticulto11:49 PM

    How dare you be so narrow minded, NC? Don't you know that the flowers of the new springtime just need more time to bloom, and that this is just part of cultivating the soil?

  8. 40 years, deliberately flushed down the toilet. He could have been fulfilling His divine vocation in those four decades, but instead decided to waste his life playing anthropologist -- and in so doing deprive countless pagans of the message of salvation.

    And then he blasphemously credits his utter failure as a priest to God.

    The sainted and martyred missionaries of the past took care to baptise the cultures they encountered -- but you can't baptise a culture without baptising the people in that culture. You can't evangelise a culture unless you evangelise persons.

  9. "I weep..."


    To be "Hanged in their habits"
    What a glorious thing
    For their silence screamed,
    "Christ is the King!"

    And like the Innocents
    So Holy, that died
    With sword-cut bodies
    Their mothers cried

    And wept like mothers
    Do today
    Who send their sons
    Into the fray

    Like Innocent Carthusians
    With staff and rod
    Who continue the defence...
    The Priest-sons of God!

  10. Helen Westover12:26 AM

    This is just more of the rotten "fruit" of Vatican II. When will "conservative Catholics" see this?
    If we can have the "Assisi's" why should this surprise us?

  11. zsedcft12:38 AM

    Apologies, this is off topic. At the Assembly of Clergy yesterday Archbishop Conti encouraged the priests of the Archdiocese of Glasgow to consider not offering Mass every day and to use the time instead to evangelise the young. His justification: the daily parish Mass is attended by people who are already firm in the Faith. The young are much more in need. Therefore: forget daily Mass and use the time for a better purpose.

  12. I'd be careful before labeling this a "Vatican II Moment" According to this biography:

    Sabatini started visiting the Inidans in 1961, a year before the Council opened and 4 years before Gaudium et Spes. If this period was part of his 40 year mission, he was choosing not to baptize people long before the influence of the council was felt.

  13. Bob F.1:04 AM

    I would not really quibble with this passage from GS, but would certainly quibble with this blasphemous padre's interpretation of it.

    Each culture possesses its own unique characteristics and customs. This adds a legitimate richness to world. As the English are different from the Spanish, so to are the Mexicans different from the Asians. The early missionaries (especially in Spanish America and parts of Asia) embraced these differences while still bringing the sacraments and the Faith to the native cultures. Much of the way in which each unique culture embraced the faith used to be seen in popular devotions. Through popular devotions to the blessed virgin or to local saints, the richness of local cultures was on display. The substance of the faith and the sacraments were the same, but the way in which different peoples approached it varied.

    It was the liturgical progressives who ordered this legitimate diversity in the faith banished. It is the progressives who are bringing a stale uniformity to the Church's liturgy and life.

    This was made especially clear recently when one of the key note speakers at a recent LCWR conference recollected how she used to chastise Mexican men and women for kissing the hands of the priest. This was a beautiful custom that was especially prevalent in S. America.

    It is the progressives who demand either absolute uniformity or an inculturation that is chintzy and superficial in comparison to the beauty of the local devotions and customs that they supersede.

    One of the beautiful aspects of Catholicism is its rich diversity (rightly understood).

  14. ecumenism has replaced proselytism, according to Msgr Gherardini, after Vatican II.

  15. In his excellent work "Hostage to the Devil" Fr Malachi Martin describes how it is much, much easier for someone to become possessed if he is not baptised.

    And this "priest" is allowed to exercise his ministry????

  16. He obviously didn't believe in Baptismal grace and the need for it. I'm sure he is not alone.

  17. Bill G.2:05 AM

    Lucky for me and my clan that St. Patrick didn't believe the same nonsense!

  18. How terrible it is to fall into the Hands of the Living God!

    Someday soon, this priest will go before the Judgment Seat of the Almighty and be asked to account for the grace of Priesthood he was given.

    I take all this as a reminder to pray more tonight, tomorrow, every day. For this priest and all the others like him.

    There, but for the Grace of God, go I.

    And if he's 90, he was formed long before the Council. The disease was already rampant in the tissue long before the Council.

  19. Brian2:22 AM

    Different styles of life and multiple scales of values arise from the diverse manner of using things, of laboring, of expressing oneself, of practicing religion, of forming customs, of establishing laws and juridic institutions, of cultivating the sciences, the arts and beauty. Thus the customs handed down to it form the patrimony proper to each human community.

    Do Catholics owe "religious obsequium of intellect and will" to such teachings from Vatican II's Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et spes?

    If so, perhaps it is time to promote the cause for canonization for the Consolata Missionary Silvano Sabatini.

    Let us begin that cause with these words from this modern(ist) Vatican II saint:

    How many baptized?

    'not a single one, thanks to the Good God.'

  20. Peterman2:26 AM

    If he's proudly proclaiming "not a single one" then there is nothing further worry about with this "priest" as he is already long ago excommunicated. At 90 he's no spring chicken either, could see our Lord face to face at any time now and he can then explain "not a single one".

  21. Brian3:11 AM

    Did Silvano Sabatini distort the meaning of Gaudium spes, or did he faithfully manifest "religious obsequium of intellect and will"?

  22. Anonymous3:24 AM

    MJ: "I'd be careful before labeling this a "Vatican II Moment" According to this biography."

    The mentality that led to Vatican II started well before the first day of the Council. So the statement it's a VII moment is correct.

  23. Not only this priest, but where were his brothers and superior to guide him toward the right path or correct him? This also is charity, to help one another to stay on the right way.

  24. I don't understand how this priest can be called a missionary in any meaningful sense of the word. 40 yrs spent with the people and not one baptized! I am troubled to think if the Word was even shared with them during that time or if they even beheld a Mass.

    This is just utterly tragic.

  25. Did Silvano Sabatini distort the meaning of Gaudium spes, or did he faithfully manifest "religious obsequium of intellect and will"?

    Reading G&S as a document of the Magisterium, one would have to say he distorted the meaning of G&S -- assuming he even knows or cares what G&S says about anything, that is. After all, it is G&S that says: "the Church has always had the duty of scrutinizing the signs of the times and of interpreting them in the light of the Gospel." If the Gospel is the interpretive rule for understanding the times in which each generation lives, then Sabatini should have remembered that the Gospel says, "Repent and believe the Gospel," and, "Go therefore into all nations and preach the Gospel to every creature. Those who believe and are baptised will be saved. Those who do not believe will be damned."

  26. Sabatini should have paid greater heed to these passage from Gaudium et spes:

    58. There are many ties between the message of salvation and human culture. For God, revealing Himself to His people to the extent of a full manifestation of Himself in His Incarnate Son, has spoken according to the culture proper to each epoch.

    Likewise the Church, living in various circumstances in the course of time, has used the discoveries of different cultures so that in her preaching she might spread and explain the message of Christ to all nations, that she might examine it and more deeply understand it, that she might give it better expression in liturgical celebration and in the varied life of the community of the faithful.

    But at the same time, the Church, sent to all peoples of every time and place, is not bound exclusively and indissolubly to any race or nation, any particular way of life or any customary way of life recent or ancient. Faithful to her own tradition and at the same time conscious of her universal mission, she can enter into communion with the various civilizations, to their enrichment and the enrichment of the Church herself.

    The Gospel of Christ constantly renews the life and culture of fallen man, it combats and removes the errors and evils resulting from the permanent allurement of sin. It never ceases to purify and elevate the morality of peoples. By riches coming from above, it makes fruitful, as it were from within, the spiritual qualities and traditions of every people of every age. It strengthens, perfects and restores(6) them in Christ. Thus the Church, in the very fulfillment of her own function,(7) stimulates and advances human and civic culture; by her action, also by her liturgy, she leads them toward interior liberty.

    59. For the above reasons, the Church recalls to the mind of all that culture is to be subordinated to the integral perfection of the human person, to the good of the community and of the whole society . . . . .

  27. Gratias7:04 AM

    What a farce.

    On a slightly different matter, I think the Church is mistaken in making baptisms difficult even in the Americas. Anybody should be able to walk into a Parish and have a baby baptized, no questions or courses asked. There has been a collapse in the number of baptized in part for the obstacles presented. Similar arguments can be made for Catholic weddings. Baptize and marry all comers, the more the better.

  28. Confusius8:57 AM

    Chilling. A Catholic friend who is a missionary in the Middle East has recently been forbidden from evangelising and baptising Muslims by the local bishop. Meanwhile, Protestant evangelicals are happy to risk their liberty and lives for the Gospel, and are busy baptising Muslims there. They often do it in the sea, under the guise of playing water polo and other water sports. So at least these Muslims are receiving sacramental grace from someone, even if the Catholic authorities have abandonded the flock.

  29. In regards to the GS quote, here is what Pius XII taught concerning the importance of preserving culture:

    It's too long to post, so see pars. 56-60 of Evangelii Praecones.

    The point is, and Pope Pius demonstrates this well, it has always been the Catholic practice of preserving natural culture.

    Likewise, according to Paul III's Sublimus Dei, the Indians are not to be deprived of their liberty in any way, even if they are outside the faith, but should be only be converted by communication of the truth and good example.

    Point being, this priest's actions cannot be seen as a fruit of respecting natural culture and the necessity of the free act of faith.

  30. The problem is that when one is converting a culture it is the individual that baptises or christianises the community or culture and not the other way round. That is the way it has always been since the time of the conversion of the Roman Empire and the way it always will be. One cannot convert a community nor christianise the culture without first baptising individuals and then over time they will christianise the culture till finally one can baptise the community.

    Furthermore faith is both a corporate and personal matter, this priest appears to have forgotten this and baptism also first and foremost is the beginning of a new relationship between man and God. This relationship whilst also a community one is fundamentally a personal one, to deprive people of this because one wants first to convert the community is not just foolish it is scandalous and sinful.

  31. Andrew12:19 PM

    I wonder how this priest under stands Our Lord's COMMAND to...

    "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matthew 28:19).

    The Church wouldn't have made it out of Palestine (or survived) with this guy's attitude. Culture is elevated and transformed by Christ and His Church. Personally, I'm glad that St. Augustine of Canterbury and others converted my pagan English ancestors. Its too bad he denies these people what great missionaries freely gave to his ancestors.

  32. Tom S.1:58 PM

    40 years is a long time...

    I find myself wondering how many people have been born - lived - and died in his area in those years.

    God have pity on them.

  33. Phil_NL3:26 PM

    @Jordanes, 00:06 : well said.

    Also, I think this priest (by state, not function) should rather be called a missionary of the Amazon tribes in Rome, rather than the other way around. It doesn't sound like he brought anything into the jungle, but upon his return took the jungle to civilization.

    -1 for cultural relativism.

  34. Well one can only pray for mercy for the tribal types who have been deprived, not through their own fault it would seem, of the opportunity for Baptism. Someone may have posted this already but a quote from Xavier ( on whose feast day I was born) comes to mind: ......“Many, many people hereabouts are not becoming Christians for one reason only: there is nobody to make them Christians. Again and again I have thought of going round the universities of Europe, especially Paris, and everywhere crying out like a madman, riveting the attention of those with more learning than charity: ‘What a tragedy: how many souls are being shut out of heaven and falling into hell, thanks to you!’ ” (St. Francis Xavier)

  35. InHocSignoVinces5:57 PM

    I went to Saint Francis Xavier's home/castle last year. When you drive up through hot, dry, dusty Spain, go over some hills and you see a beautiful, temperate, breezy green area where the Saint grew up. His life there must have been full of comfort with no reason to ever leave.

    He left that comfort to go to miserable, hot, humid 4th world areas and baptized people by the tens of thousands. Fast forward to this so called "priest" nutter. It makes one angry but the I remember our Lord told mystics that he alone would take care of his priests. So again, my thought is we don't have to worry about this pathetic "priest", our Lord will take care of him.

  36. In the UK there have been recorded cases of potential converts being told to remain as CofE, Methodists, or whatever - we are all one in any event.

  37. P.K.T.P.7:29 PM

    Notice how the explanation for the refusal to Baptize is just the usual liberal drivel. Whenever they have to explain something, their wording suddenly becomes seemingly complex and definitely impenetrable. But it is impenetrable because, given the proper meaning of each term used, it literally bears no sense; that is, it is 'nonsense'. This has been the method used by leftist sciolists posing as intellectuals. They claim that they know what they mean in their coded shop talk, and yet, somehow, they cannot explain it to others. Students who encounter the drivel are conditioned to believe that the fault must lie with themselves, since the deliverers of the nonsense all sport advanced degrees. So the opposition gives up and the liberals prevail.

    The other method they use is the dumping of huge quantities of text on their opponents. If you don't have a case, explain your non-case in two trillion words or more and the opposition will surrender, since nobody has the time to read it all, especially since it is written in a new language, in which words bear newly-invented usages--newly-invented by the writers, that is.

    In a former time, the use of such tactics would have gotten one drummed out from Day One. Then came along men like Dewey in the 1950s. They infiltrated the institutions of higher learning and were admitted on the grounds of a liberal respect for tolerance. But once they got in, they threw out their conservative opponents while, at the same time, singing praises for tolerance. Down with murder, they cry, as they slit the throats of their opponents.

    What has been lost is not an ability to think but a will to think. This can be recovered but the current con-fusion must first be repudiated root and branch.

    "Multiple scales of values arise from the diverse manner of using things". "Scales of values"? What sort of values are being referred to? Do they all have anything in common? What would that be? What sorts of things are being used? Is there a limit on the sort being used? This is the sort of clause that raises more questions than it answers. It's purpose is to mystify rather than to clarify; it's purpose is to confuse. Confusion is a tool of the devil.


  38. P.K.T.P.7:39 PM


    "it is the culture that should be evangelized: man has the right to have his culture, and he must find in it the way to express himself christianly. Baptizing outside the community would have meant establishing a double personality in Baptism."

    So the Faith, established for all by God, is subordinated to culture, which is merely the customs of men, some good and some bad. The soulless community displaces the eternal man created by God in His own image, for the community is a work of the new fallen god, man. And the master of the fallen is the fallen angel.

    Karl Marx would be proud: the community--hence communism--displaces the Faith in Christendom.

    Well done, bad and faithless servant. But be assured: what you have refused to do by Baptizing will later be done by the Pentecostal heretics who are charging into Brazil with their American money. You have only postponed Baptism so as to ensure more heresy. You have only assaulted the Catholic Church. You saw off the branch on which you purport to sit. But no, you saw off the branch because you are seated on the devil's shoulders.


  39. P.K.T.P.7:50 PM


    Vatican II was not hatched out of a vacuum. Only God can create something out of nothing, and this was not from God: you may judge a tree by its fruits. The liberals took their inspiration from the French Revolution and its misprinciples. They were removed in the seminaries by Pope St. Pius X but then his successor, after whom the present Pontiff named himself, dropped the ball and let the enemy into the seminaries.

    Liberals were busy in the clergy from the 1920s to the 1940s, but their activity became overt (and yet hardly noticed) after the War. Hence Bugnini was appointed in 1948 and began his revolutionary assault on the Sacred Liturgy and discipline of Holy Church in 1950. The 1950s were a time of revolution in the academy and in the seminaries.


  40. P.K.T.P.8:00 PM


    The devil mixes truth with lies that even the elect may be deceived. There is no way Vatican II could have succeeded unless it was open to a traditional interpretation in most things, and seemed to be in all things. The Satanic purpose of the periti who drafted the formulations was to sow confusion, and they succeeded in spades. Turning to your own first quotation, notice how the expression 'the signs of the times' was thenceforth removed from its context, turned into a slogan, and then misapplied so as to vacate tradition in the Church.

    We can say that the Holy Ghost allowed all of this as long as there be no infallible declaration of falsehood and no requirement of any submission of mind and will to non-doctrinal parts in the documents. The question remains whether or not Holy Church guarantees each passage. Clearly, the periti from the Rhinelands and America were not 'with' God's programme.


  41. P.K.T.P.8:08 PM

    In writing my reply to Jordanes, I suddenly recalled some words of Bishop Fellay. He was complaining that, in Levada's Preamble, there was apparently no distinction made between the doctrinal parts of Vatican II and non-doctrinal pastoral parts. Clearly, this is not a reference to infallible teachings, since nothing new in Vatican II is infallible (cf. the doctrinal note of the theological commission in "Lumen Gentium").

    So he must have been trying to make a separation in regard to those passages which express non-infallible doctrine. Later, I recalled that that Opus Dei character (Coariz?) noted that passages on pastoral policy can still be doctrinal. Of course, this does not mean that *all* of them are.

    I'm just wondering if this question is at the heart of current discussions between the S.S.P.X and Rome. Something to watch for, I suppose. We shall see.


  42. Brian9:59 PM

    Thank you for your response to my question about Gaudium et spes. You consistently make solid, valid arguments for an orthodox interpretation of the documents of Vatican II.

    It is troubling to me, however, that in order to make the case for an orthodox reading of Gaudium et spes, you did not rely on the document itself. It would seem to me that a Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World should be unambiguously, self-evidently Catholic.

    I would suppose that Silvano Sabatini would counter your Gospel references with references to Nostra aetate, the Assisi gatherings, ecumenism, and Catholic monks and nuns meditating with Buddhists and Hindus.

    No doubt, you could destroy him in an argument, but the ambiguity of the Vatican II documents remains troubling.

  43. It is troubling to me, however, that in order to make the case for an orthodox reading of Gaudium et spes, you did not rely on the document itself.

    Upon what did I rely, then?

    It would seem to me that a Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World should be unambiguously, self-evidently Catholic.

    Whatever the weaknesses of G&S, and despite the provisional, "temporary" character of many of its statements, it doesn't read like it is anything but a Catholic document.

  44. Helio7:40 PM

    This unfortunate priest, who will soon give severe accounts to God for denying the Holy Baptism to the Amazonian Indians,is not alone. Almost all the missionaries working in that region of my country act likewise, in accordance to the Mission's new interpretation that came after Vatican II. Some go so far as even to justify the practice of burying children alive, since it is part of the tribes' tradition.

  45. Helio said:

    "...that came after Vatican II. Some go so far as even to justify the practice of burying children alive, since it is part of the tribes' tradition."

    Oh,my God have mercy!


    How many seasons
    Have come and gone
    Many a sunset
    Many a dawn.

    Many communions
    Many processions
    Many a sin I have
    For confessions.

    How many seasons
    A second in time
    Where anguished we wait
    No reason or rhyme.

    Fish live in water
    In water comply
    Time we are biding
    Or too fast…goes by.

    We do not relish
    Our world like the fish
    Who swims in his pond
    While we pray and we wish.

    How many seasons
    Will time be our friend?
    When we realize we’re made
    For the world without end!

  46. Praying for the poor Yanomani souls whom this priest is so shamelessly and pridefully betryaing. May the Lord extend his mercy to them, and not allow the perfidy of his 'servant' to triumph.

  47. One is inclined to wonder what his bishop thinks about this farrago of a forest Father, one who has clearly lost his faith. Poor man, wrapped up in his own glory.

  48. Postmodern Catholic :
    Why don't the Holy See set the doctrinal discussions with this fellow, instead of the SSPX?

    This is so true and true of many situations in the Church.

    We need to ask why ? (If we need to.)


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