From the Pastor: Pachamama in Rome
Just in case some of you have not been following Catholic news recently, I want to present to you something that the rest of the world, Catholic or not, has been viewing, reading about, and hearing of for more than a week now. It is all part of the recently concluded “Amazon Synod.” No, I am not going to write about the women deaconettes which the final document recommends, nor am I going to write about the new Amazon Rite which will, I am sure, be taken up with great gusto by numerous priests and bishops who adamantly oppose only one particular Rite within the Church, nor will I even broach the topic of viri probati, the suggested married men who will “save” the Church by being ordained as priests. Heck, I am not even going to be writing about the poster that the Amazonian “missionaries” displayed showing the “circle of ecological life” which includes a woman holding a child while breastfeeding--not him--but a piglet. No, I am simply going to present to you something about the statues of naked, pregnant women which were part of a somehow non-idolatrous pagan Earth-worship ritual in the Vatican gardens with [ahem] certain high ranking clerics, whom I will leave unnamed, sitting in approval, and then later set up for worship and veneration in several churches nearby: Pachamama idols. What is Pachamama?
Here is the opening paragraph of the Pachamama page of Wikipedia. “Pachamama is a goddess revered by the indigenous people of the Andes. She is also known as the earth/time mother. In Inca mythology, Pachamama is a fertility goddess who presides over planting and harvesting, embodies the mountains, and causes earthquakes. She is also an ever-present and independent deity who has her own self-sufficient and creative power to sustain life on this earth. Her shrines are hallowed rocks, or the boles of legendary trees, and her artists envision her as an adult female bearing harvests of potatoes and coca leaves. The four cosmological Quechua principles – Water, Earth, Sun, and Moon – claim Pachamama as their prime origin. Priests sacrifice llamas, cuy (guinea pigs), and elaborate, miniature, burned garments to her. Pachamama is the mother of Inti the sun god and Mama Killa the moon goddess. Pachamama is said to also be the wife of Inti, her son.” You can find much more about the pagan rituals to this idol, the sacrificial offerings to this “Mother Earth”, and the New Age interpretations of her worship with very little effort, so I will not include more.
“Certainly,” you must be thinking, “no Pachamamas would ever be prostrated before, blessed, and enthroned by any real Catholic, let alone high-ranking members of the Church!”, but you would be wrong. Although the Prefect of the Holy See’s Dicastery for Communications, Paolo Ruffini, is quoted as saying, “There were no rituals. No prostration took place. We have repeated this here. We have to be rigorous in saying things that actually happened before cameras. We said that this did not happen”, it is the Vatican’s own video which shows what he denies. (Look up “gaslighting”.) “But certainly,” you might then follow up with, “nobody knew what they were! They must have thought them to be just ordinary statues!” Unfortunately, Wikipedia shows that Pachamama worship is found in Argentina and a certain Argentinan gave a short address in which he says quite clearly, “Good afternoon, I would like to say a word about the pachamama statues that were removed from the Church at Traspontina, which were there without idolatrous intentions and were thrown into the Tiber. First of all, this happened in Rome and, as bishop of [redacted to protect his identity -auth.], I ask pardon of the people who were offended by this act.”
I cannot explain how idols can be prostrated before or honored in churches without idolatrous intent. Instead, let me quote the Catholic Encyclopedia’s article on Idolatry with emphasis on its result: The first undoubted mention of idolatry in the Bible is in Genesis 31:19: "Rachel stole away her father's idols [teraphim]", and when Laban overtook Jacob in his flight and made search for "his gods", Rachel "in haste hid the idols under the camel's furniture, and sat upon them" (31:34). Yet Laban also worshipped the same God as Jacob, whose blessing he acknowledges (30:27), and on whom he calls to judge between him and Jacob (30:53). A similar practice of blending reverence to the true God with the idolatrous worship of surrounding nations runs though [sic] the whole history of Israel. When Moses delayed to come down from the holy mount, the people, "gathering together against Aaron, said: Arise, make us gods, that may go before us". And Aaron made a molten calf, "and they said: These are thy gods, O Israel, that have brought thee out of the land of Egypt. And . . . they offered holocausts, and peace victims, and the people sat down to eat, and drink, and they rose up to play" (Exodus 32:1 sqq.). In Settim "the people committed fornication with the daughters of Moab, . . . and adored their gods. And Israel was initiated to Beelphegor" (Numbers 25:1-3). Again, after the death of Josue, "the children of Israel . . . served Baalim . . . and they followed strange gods, and the gods of the people that dwelt round about them" (Judges 2:11 sq.). Whenever the children of Israel did evil in the eyes of Jehovah, swift retribution overtook them; they were given into the hands of their enemies.” [emphasis mine -auth.] I need add nothing more.
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka