In response to some groups linked to liberation theology that are claiming that changes were made to the final Aparecida document of the 5th General Conference of the Latin American Bishops’ Council, the former secretary general of CELAM, Bishop Andres Stanovnik, said Monday such allegations were baseless.
Bishop Stanovnik said the final document, which was approved by the CELAM on May 31, “was returned to CELAM for final revision, which consisted in correcting typos, grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors. The style was improved and various paragraphs that were out of place were more properly ordered. In some cases, numbers were replaced by letters; footnotes were corrected, and confusing wording in some places was improved. This was done in constant communication with the Holy See. There were not alterations to the content of any of the document’s paragraphs.”
Bishop Stanovnik also noted that the after the final review, the document was sent to the Holy Father on June 11. The text was reviewed by various Curial offices, “which made suggestions to the Holy Father about several sections of the document.”
Consequently, he explained, “the final document, which Benedict XVI authorized to be published, contains variations suggested by his advisors that, despite the emphasis they gave to certain numbers of the document, did not substantially modify the text approved by the assembly in Aparecida.”
The bishops chose by the Pope to attend the 5th CELAM conference did not make up “an independent organism,” but rather they worked “in communion with Peter and under Peter, and thus the Holy Father has the power to introduce variations that he considers appropriate to the texts produced by the assembly.”