The Pachamama worship episodes have deeply marked the Special Synod for the Pan Amazon, which some are already inclined to rename as “Pachamamic Synod” or even “Idolatrous Synod,” a clear reaction to the provocation of those who set out to forcefully implement a fake “inculturation” process. Although silent, the vast majority of the faithful are shocked and upset by the acts of worship rendered to the Inca (and non-Amazonian) idol, which explains the viralization on social networks of the video showing the infamous statues being cast into in the Tiber, and another of meaningful ceremony of reparation held in a church in Mexico. Comments on the topic from many authoritative voices are continuing.
Father Hugo Valdemar, penitentiary canon of the Archdiocese of Mexico, is known in his country for having been the spokesman of Cardinal Rivera Carrera for 15 years. Commenting on a ceremony of reparation with a group of faithful, in which he burned three Pachamama idols, he explained that the Synod was one of “scandal” and “division.” Instead of trying to recoup Amazonian Catholics, “most of whom have already become Protestant, as the true mission of evangelization was abandoned for the sake of social work,” the Amazon “was (turned) into a laboratory of the plague of Liberation Theology, which only brought a decline of the Catholic faith among the natives.”
Father Valdemar also said he made this gesture “because many people approached me in shock, hurting, and angry … this has been a very serious offense against the First Commandment and the holiness of God, so I decided to hold with the faithful of my parish a prayer of expiation inside the church, and to burn Pachamama outside on the stake. It was a way to put it in its place, the fire of hell.”
In a detailed article signed on November 18, Bishop Athanasius Schneider stated that ,“to claim that all these acts of worship to statues of Pachamama, which have taken place during prayer ceremonies and in churches are non-cultic and non-religious acts but simply an expression of culture and folklore and are something innocuous and trivial, is to deny the evidence and escape from reality.” Quoting a Spanish missionary bishop with vast experience in the Amazon, Most Rev. J.L. Azcona, the Kazakh prelate emphasized that the real offense to the faithful was committed by those who brought about these ceremonies and exhibitions of the statuettes, rather than those who took them from the altar and threw them into the river. Bishop Azcona even spoke of “religious violence” done to the Catholic faithful and especially those defenseless and poor in the Amazon who see that Pachamama veneration in the Vatican allows Protestants to accuse Catholics of being idol worshipers.
Bishop Schneider also quoted the comment by a Colombian missionary, Fray Nelson Medina O.P., who asks, “(If these statuettes) were not objects of worship, why associate them to the sacrifice of the altar where the unique and universal sacrifice of Christ is present? Does this not constitute precisely a public and scandalous violation of the First Commandment of God’s Law? Placing these statuettes in sacred places cannot have any meaning other than a religious one; otherwise, they could have been placed in an art gallery or an ethnic museum on the Amazon.”
To have a broader view on the issue, we recommend reading the statement with which the combative Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano justified adding his signature to the pronouncement by one hundred scholars on the unacceptable cult of Pachamama in the Vatican and its surroundings. The former papal nuncio in the United States declared, “Idolatry, or its simulation, represents the most serious attack perpetrated against the Divine Majesty. The martyrs shed their blood and paid for their resistance of idolatry with the supreme gift of their lives. Those same martyrs who have drenched and consecrated the earth of ancient pagan Rome, have seen their glorious memory profaned by the celebrations of the Pachamama.”