A reader writes:
Unfortunately, it *is* the work of evil liturgists. The National Basilica of Aparecida, where it was recorded, is currently still the hostage of the remaining Liberation Theologists. The Redemptorist fathers, who rule the Basilica, are hardcore Liberation Theologists, and each Bishop that comes is an itty bitty less of a Communist that the previous one, but the Holy Father hasn’t had the political strength to give it to an orthodox Bishop yet. Every 9/7 (the Brazilian equivalent of the 4th July) there still is a large Communist gathering, with red flags and all, inside the sanctuary.
If you want to see some really naïf religious manifestations, try:
- the Folia de Reis (“Kings’ Happy Party” – the “wise men” are “the magician kings” in Portuguese:), the popular celebration of the Epiphany;
- the Festa do Divino (“Feast of the Divine Holy Ghost“: ), equally popular celebration of the Pentecost
- the Cìrio de Nazaré (“Candle of Nazareth“), an important Marian celebration in the North of the country
- the Fogaréu (“big flames“, representing the Roman soldiers’ search for Our Lord: ), on Holy Friday, etc.
Brazilian Catholicism is very much a pre-Tridentine religion (at you can see a horse-mounted procession honoring Father Cícero, who is considered a saint, albeit not officially canonized).
The Aparecida “carnival” is just the workings of a sick liturgist mind, trying to impose his Modern ideas while “deconstructing” popular culture.
As I feared. Then put me down as loathing the “Novena Solene”. I have no objection to ordinary people offering the best they can do, even when it is crass and ugly. But I have strong objections to clever and powerful people forcing those in their thrall to eat crap sandwiches.