On October 4, 2019, the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Pope Francis hosted an event in the Vatican Gardens which stunned the world. Here, Amazonian natives were invited to share their ceremonial customs, together with some some religious brothers and sisters. The pope watched the ceremony nearby, but did not participate, except to receive gifts and plant a tree. The highlight of the occasion was what seemed to be the ceremonial worship of mother earth, represented by two nude fertility idols. The act of worship cannot be denied by any reasonable person. Below is a video of the whole event, uncut and unedited. I’ve tagged the video to begin at 11:00 minutes, which is where the ceremonial act of worship is seen, which lasts just one minute until about 12:00 in the video feed. If the video should fail to start at 11:00 minutes, simply fast-forward to that point manually…
Now you can watch the whole video if you like, and I’ve left the entire thing here for that purpose if you desire, but it’s just that one minute I want to bring to your attention. These people engaged in an act of worship toward a wooden idol, which is meant to represent the fertility of Mother Earth. The following are some still shots of the pope receiving one idol, and the act of worship itself…
From this we can clearly see that the people leading this show are not Christians. By their actions, they appear to be nature-worshiping pantheists, or primitive Pagans. As for what appears to be their small accompaniment of Christian religious participants, it’s difficult to say, except it appears that these people are so open to “dialogue” that they’re failing to see that what they’re participating in is a clear violation of the 1st Commandment. It’s possible that the religious accompaniment may not even be Catholic. Maybe they’re Anglican? Who knows?
Now that being said, let me make something perfectly clear. I don’t fault these Amazon natives for this. They’re just doing what they always do, and what their ancestors have done for centuries. This particular brand of Paganism seems quite docile compared to the human-sacrificing rituals of their ethnic ancestors. So we should be a little empathetic toward what remains of the Amazonian religions. At least it’s not the type of religion that cuts out human hearts and sacrifices them atop pyramids. Though I have heard horror stories about the practice of infanticide among some Amazon tribes, I have not heard that this is connected to religious practice. Maybe I’m wrong about that. But it’s kind of hard to judge a society that kills their young when my own society in North America sacrifices (aborts) millions of unborn children every year to the invisible gods of convenience and mammon.
We can’t fault Pagans for worshiping idols. Pagans gonna do what Pagans do. And that’s just the way it is. We also can’t fault them for doing this in the Vatican gardens. They were, after all, invited there by the Pope no less! Why Pope Francis wants to watch Pagans worship idols on the feast day of his Patron Saint is a bit of a mystery to me. Would St. Francis of Assisi approve? Something tells me — probably not. I suppose if it all ended there, most of it would be forgotten by now. The only problem is, it didn’t. The Amazon natives spent the following weeks of the Synod parading their idols around the Vatican and through the streets of Rome. One of them was placed in the Synod hall, for all the Synod bishops to look at through the whole Synod process. Some of them were placed in Catholic churches, before the altars of our Lord no less!
The point of contention is not the natives, nor their ethnicity, nor their art, nor their culture. Rather, the point of contention is this particular idol itself. It depicts a nude woman, who is pregnant, and looking downward toward the earth…
This is the largest figure on the tarp, and appears to be the central focus of attention. At first we were unofficially told the wood carving represents the Virgin Mary, pregnant with the Christ child. The accompanying carving of the same style was reportedly St. Elizabeth, carrying St. John the Baptist. We were later told, officially this time, by the Vatican Synod public relations, that the figures do not represent any “person” at all, but rather “a symbol of fertility and life.” However, volunteers for the Synod celebrations tell a different story. As reported by LifeSiteNews, one Synod volunteer said the image “represents the revelation of the feminine mother with mother nature, which gives us nourishment.” LifeSiteNews goes on to report…
Asked if it is the Pachamama, she said: “Yes, the mother, who cares for life, who gives nourishment to life, so it’s a very strong form of symbolism.”
“The indigenous see the presence of God in everything,” the guide explained. “So if they cut down a tree for some purpose, they cry, and ask for forgiveness from Mother Earth, because they have to cut down that tree.”
“That’s very beautiful — respect for nature, for everything,” she said. “But we, living in the modern world, have distanced ourselves from Mother Earth. …Those communities that disconnect themselves from Mother Earth become orphans, without a mother. So the Holy Father wants us to learn from the indigenous, to learn to connect with Mother Earth.”
“The [carved] mother that I brought from Brazil … that was in the procession, well, we brought it from Brazil. It was done by an indigenous artist, and we asked him for a piece of art that would symbolize all of that connection of Mother Earth, of women, the feminine aspect of God, that God is the one who protects and nourishes life,” she said.
Now to be fair, this definition of the statue is not universal. Some interviewed said it’s a political symbol having communist meaning. Some said it was just about life. But the majority consensus is a personification of Mother Earth, a supreme goddess, which they call Pachamama. The mystery surrounding it is because this particular figure is not something regularly seen in the Amazon region. The carving itself is a synthesis of all Amazonian beliefs about the Pachamama, represented in one figure that was created specifically for the Amazon Synod. LifeSiteNews interviewed one anthropologist:
He explained: “The Pachamama is a divinity linked to the Incan civilization, historically venerated by the peoples who inhabit the Andean plateau (Aymara, Quechua). It is considered the goddess of nature, land, agriculture, fertility, etc.”
“Of course, her cult varies according to ethnicity and for each of them over the centuries has assumed specific meanings and rituals not summarized to a single religious entity,” he added.
“For centuries, these cults intersected with the Catholic ones and were venerated in parallel with the Christian ones,” he also noted.
The anthropologist said that, in his view, the statue displayed at the Carmelite Church “technically constitutes a sort of ‘Amazonian’ transposition of those complex specificities; a variation on the theme or, even better, a sort of trans-American syncretism in which Andean, African-American and New Age elements converge.
It is “an idol invented and iconographically ‘camouflaged’ as ‘Amazonian’ (facial painting),” he said, adding that he believes they are being used in Rome “as an instrument of political and religious pressure.”
Now it seems that many of the Amazon Synod organizers are keen to correct critics of this Pachamama symbol by saying it’s not an idol, but rather a symbol of fertility, life and Mother Earth. However, as we see in the video and photos above, this figure was clearly worshiped in the Vatican gardens while the pope looked on in silence. It has since been paraded through the Vatican and the streets of Rome, finding them displayed in Catholic churches, before altars of our Lord no less. Apparently, the Amazon Synod organizers don’t realize they just contradicted themselves with doublespeak as if to say: “No, it’s not an idol, but really, it’s an idol.”
The very definition of a idol is the personification of an idea, concept, or force of nature, into the image of a human or animal, for the specific purpose of becoming an object for directing worship of that idea, concept or force of nature. For example; being of Germanic ethnic heritage, my ancestors used to worship Thor. Now Thor is the Heathen god of Thunder, and is a personification of that force of nature. It’s kind of hard to worship Thunder when it happens. I mean, you would have to drop down real quick, and prostrate immediately when you hear it, then somehow offer food or blood sacrifices to it before its gone. I mean, it’s very impractical. So my ancestors erected wood carvings of a bearded man, holding a hammer, and said “This represents Thor, the god of Thunder.” Then my ancestors built altars before them, and made sacrifices to them, and prostrated themselves toward them. This is much more practical. Did my ancestors believe that Thor really looked like the idols they had made of him/it? No. Probably not. They just needed an idol toward which to focus their worship of a force of nature. That’s all.
Idols are not images of real people or real things, like the Virgin Mary or St. Boniface. They may take on the form of something that looks familiar; such as a man, a cow, a bird, etc. But the name given to these images indicates that they’re not intended to represent real people, but rather they’re just representative of a larger concept, such as an idea, or a force of nature, etc. Then they are worshiped, not venerated (respected) but actually worshiped, with the same level of adoration one would expect toward God. This is the difference between an icon and an idol. An icon is just an image of a real person, which may be respected and honored, so that when the image is honored, what’s really being honored is the person that image represents. Likewise, icons never get the full level of adoration that one gives to God. They may be respected and given places of honor, but nobody makes sacrifices to them of food and blood offerings. People may bow or kneel before them, like one would before human royalty, but they don’t prostrate themselves before them like they would before God. Whereas an idol is an carved image of a concept, idea, or force of nature, so that when the image is worshiped, what is really being worshiped is the concept, idea or force of nature that image represents. One is giving to that concept, idea or force of nature the worship that is due to God alone.
This is the problem with the Pachamama idol. It didn’t take long for some Faithful Catholics to figure out what was going on. Had the natives worshiped their idols in the Vatican gardens, that would a have been offensive to us, but if they took them home after, that would have been the end of it. They didn’t do that. Instead they paraded these idols through our streets and into our churches, offering incense to them, praying to them, worshiping them, then leaving them at the foot of the altar of Our Lord. It’s this last part that is most important. They LEFT them in our churches. They LEFT them there. They LEFT them behind, intentionally, as a “gift” to our Lord Jesus Christ and his Faithful. Here, you can see these Pachamama idols featured prominently, with other items, before the altars of various Catholic churches in Rome.
Then, the inevitable happened. A small group of young men, calling themselves the Catholic Maccabees, named after the Maccabees Revolt in the Catholic Old Testament, casually walked into a church just outside the Vatican, where some of these idols were kept. They casually walked in, genuflected before the altar of Our Lord, found the Pachamama idols, took as many as they could, and then causally walked out. They walked down the streets of Rome, causally, not attempting to hide themselves or what they were doing. They processed past the Castel Sant’Angelo, and over to the Bridge of the Passion of Our Lord, which spans the Tiber River. Then in plain view, in front of anyone watching, as the sun was rising, they pushed these idols (five of them) into the Tiber River. Just to make sure that nothing was done covertly, or in secret, they filmed the whole event and posted it on YouTube with the following statement…
STATEMENT FROM THE CATHOLIC MACCABEES
This was done for only one reason:
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, his Blessed Mother, and everybody who follows Christ, are being attacked by members of our own Church.
We do not accept this! We do not longer stay silent! We start to act NOW!
Because we love humanity, we can not accept that people of a certain region should not get baptized and therefore are being denied entrance into heaven.
It is our duty to follow the words of God like our holy Mother did.
There is no second way of salvation.
Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!
This act, on October 21, 2019, was applauded by millions of Faithful Catholics on social media, myself included, and hailed as the dawn of the Counter-Revolution in the Catholic Church, in response to the Revolution of aberrant liturgy, theology, morality and corruption that has plagued the Catholic Church since the 1970s. It was a Catholic version of the Boston Tea Party that foreshadowed the coming American Revolution.
Not Racism or Hate…
Predictably, the Vatican (through the Amazon Synod spokesmen) condemned the act as a racist and thieving STUNT, that goes against the “spirit of dialogue” which all Catholics are supposed to aspire toward as the pinnacle of Catholicism these days. This is typical Leftist propaganda, which is tired and worn out, heard ad nauseum by Faithful Catholics in the United States as a condemnation for just being Catholic. Every day, and I mean literally every freaking day, we are told by both Liberal Secularists and Liberal Catholics (that two-headed beast of our time) that we are “racist,” and “insensitive,” and “rigid,” and “homophobic,” and “ignorant,” and “hateful,” just because we go to the Traditional Latin Mass or the English Patrimony Mass, and we actually believe what the Catholic Church teaches about sexual morality, and our priests wear cassocks and saturnos, and our children dress modestly, and we don’t support feminism, abortion-on-demand or the LGBTQ agenda. (Oh, and don’t even get me started on what they say to homeschooling, Catholic families.) You have to realize this is all “old hat” to us. We practically hear these condemnations in our sleep now. So when the Vatican comes out with the exact same kind of tired, old propaganda, they shouldn’t be surprised when it falls on deaf ears here in America. It has with me.
Was this act of splashing the Pachamama racist? No. Based on the statement above, race was never a motive nor part of the equation. Was it an act of insensitivity toward Amazonian cultures? No. As the above statement shows, ethnicity and culture was never a motivation. In fact, the Amazon Natives are never even mentioned by name in the above statement. They’re not the problem. As I said above: Pagans gonna do what Pagans do, and we can’t blame them for that. No, the target of this statement is not the Amazon Natives at all. They are left out. Was it an act of hate? On the contrary, as the statement says, it was an act of love for all humanity, in reminding them that there is only one way to heaven.
The target of criticism in this statement is the pope, and the leadership of the Catholic Church, who organized this Amazon Synod in the first place. It accuses the pope, and many within the hierarchy, of attacking Faithful Catholics. It doesn’t actually say the pope, or the hierarchy, but the implication is clear because it later says: “we can not accept that people of a certain region should not get baptized.” Some members of the hierarchy are actually saying this, both by their words and their actions, by suggesting a theology of syncretism should apply toward the Amazonian Natives, and that we should learn the truth from them, instead of teaching them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was in love for the Amazonian Natives that these Catholic Maccabees acted, for the salvation of Amazonian souls, so that they too may enter into heaven. Their act is a supreme act of love for the Amazonian people, and a criticism toward the Catholic hierarchy for failing to love them enough. For this, the organizers of the Amazon Synod call them “thieves, criminals and racists.” For this, the liberals in the Church and the press (that two-headed beast) have singled them out for criminal prosecution and to make them a global pariah.
Having already addressed the issues of racism and hate above, I want to zero in on this accusation of theft. It is a false accusation, as I’ll demonstrate below.
Suppose you invite a guest into your home, and he stays for a few days and then leaves. As you’re cleaning up the room he stayed in, you find a bag of heroin stuffed under the pillow he slept on. It’s not yours, and you know it belongs to him. So what do you do? Do you call him up and say: “Hey bro, you forgot your heroin. You wanna come back and get it, or should I just hang on to it for you until you’re back in town?” Or do you keep it and say nothing? Do you use it yourself? What do you do? Well, there are only two legal solutions here. You can either turn it over to the police and rat out your friend in the process, or you can do both him and yourself a favor by flushing it down the toilet. Either option is available to you, but whichever one you choose, it involves you TAKING that heroin into your own possession, effectively seizing it, and then getting rid of it.
Is this theft?
No. It’s not theft, because it was left in your house. Maybe it was intentional, or maybe it wasn’t, but because it is now in your house, and it is an illegal substance, as far as the law is concerned, it’s your property dude! You own it! You can either turn it in and rat our your friend, hoping the police believe you, or you can destroy it. But mark my words, guaranteed, if the police find it in your home, it will be YOU (not your friend) that gets arrested for possession of an illegal narcotic. As far as the law is concerned. If it’s in your house, it’s yours. You own it.
A Catholic church is a HOME of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of Faithful Catholics. It is the place where Faithful Catholics worship Our Lord Jesus Christ. If somebody puts something in your home, and leaves it there, it becomes your property. You own it. So when an idol is placed in a Catholic Church, and left there, the ownership of the property (the idol) has transferred from the Pagans to Jesus Christ and Faithful Catholics. Once the property is transferred to Christ and the Faithful, by being left in the Church (intentionally), then Christ and the Faithful can do whatever they want with it, because we OWN it. It’s in Christ’s house, and our house, because we built Christ’s house with our own money and donations.
We know what Jesus Christ would have us do with idols, since he is Yahweh, and Yahweh made it very clear what he thought of idols in the Old Testament. Likewise, it is the property of the Faithful, who faithfully worship Jesus/Yahweh, so that means we can (and should) do what Jesus/Yahweh wants us to do with them. The Old Testament is clear. He wants them destroyed. The New Testament is clear. He doesn’t want them in his churches, and he doesn’t want his Faithful to have anything to do with them. So no, it’s not stealing to take these idols out of Christ’s Church, and it’s not theft to transport them to the Tiber River, and it’s not theft to throw them into the river. At worst, this action could be described as littering, putting garbage into the river, but that is what it is AT WORST. It is not stealing. It is not theft. These Pachamama idols were left in our churches deliberately, and therefore ownership of them transferred to Our Lord and his Faithful (the Church). We Faithful Catholics know exactly what our Lord wants us to do with idols that we own. He wants us to destroy them. This was a religious act. This was a holy act. This was an obedient act. This was a heroic act. I don’t care who condemns the men who did it. I don’t care if the pope himself condemns them. I say, may God bless those who did it. I most certainly would have done the exact same thing if I saw one of those Pachamama idols sitting at the foot of the altar in my local Catholic church. I would do the same with an idols of Thor and Oden too. The only difference is, instead of splashing them into a river, I would have dropped them into a fire. Floating out to sea wouldn’t be good enough for me. I would want them totally destroyed.
What I’m trying to get across to you is that this act of splashing the Pachamama idol is a holy act of obedience, piety and worship toward Jesus Christ, who is Yahweh in the flesh. The seventh commandment (thou shalt not steal) was not violated here, but the first commandment (thou shalt not have any strange gods before me) was violated the moment that Pachamama idol was brought into a Catholic church and placed before the altar and tabernacle.
This brings me to the conclusion of this essay. The whole reason why some Church leaders in the Vatican, and Synod organizers, want to put the focus on the so-called “theft” and “hate” of this act is so they can deflect attention away from the fact that they facilitated and orchestrated a violation of the 1st Commandment in the Vatican gardens, on the streets of Rome, and before the altars of our Lord in various churches. Yes, that is exactly what they did. They may not have violated the 1st Commandment themselves, but they did invite others to come and do it for them in the Eternal City. It happened. It was done. They orchestrated it. They know it. And now they’ve been caught. The Catholic Maccabees called them out. That’s why they want to spin-doctor it, so as to get the attention off themselves and back on to the Catholic Maccabees. It’s just like Planned Parenthood, when they get caught on video selling aborted baby parts, so they criminally prosecute those who filmed it, to deflect the negative attention away from themselves. Yes. That’s what’s happening here. High-ranking officials in the Catholic Church just orchestrated a blatant violation of the 1st Commandment on Vatican soil and before the altars of Our Lord, and they don’t want you to know about it. They got caught. So now they’re pointing their fingers back at the ones who caught them. The same goes for Liberal Catholics, who are carrying water for the Synod. They’ve become so liberal that they don’t think violating the 1st Commandment is all that important anymore. Instead, they claim to be more worried about “theft” and “insensitivity” or “hate.” But to be quite honest with you, this blogging convert to Catholicism has just one question for Liberal Catholics and those organizing the Synod in Rome. If violating the 1st Commandment isn’t such a big deal anymore, then do the remaining 9 commandments even matter?
At best, this whole drama is a public relations catastrophe for the Vatican, an absolute failure to communicate their real intentions. At worst, it’s a violation of the 1st Commandment that was orchestrated with deliberate intent. I think the truth is a little of both. Regardless, the visceral reaction of the Faithful is not only predictable, but also understandable. The hierarchy has no right to be offended by it, nor do Liberal Catholics. Their words of “tolerance” and “dialogue” have gone too far. They have brought us to this point, and unless they do a little soul-searching, and realize that just maybe they could be wrong about something, it’s going to get a lot worse.
Shane Schaetzel is an Evangelical convert to the Catholic Church through Anglicanism and was trained as a catechist through the University of Dayton – a Catholic Marianist Institution. Shane’s articles have been featured on LifeSiteNews, ChurchMilitant, The Remnant Newspaper, Forward in Christ, and Catholic Online. Shane is an author of Catholic books, which can be read here.