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The Amazon Synod & Charges of Idolatry

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The worship of anyone or anything other than almighty God is a violation of the first commandment. As with all transgressions, while objectively wrong the subjective culpability is judged by God alone. This is why the Holy Father says there was no “idolatrous intent” even if the situation got out of hand. Nevertheless, if the indigenous shaman and her friends out of ignorance truly did not know better, those Catholic clerics (who would certainly know right from wrong) might be more culpable. I suspect this is why many critics are demanding correction, repentance and reparation for the public and objective grave sins likely committed at the Amazonian synod.

Regardless of intention, the placing of idols in a church is sacrilegious act offensive to God. Those demanding recantation point to the following:

  • The pope allowed and attended an act of idolatrous worship of “pachamama,” a pagan goddess.
  • The Vatican Gardens as well as the graves of the martyrs and of the church of the Apostle Peter were desecrated.
  • The pope participated in this idolatry by blessing the “pachamama” image.
  • The pope prayed with an idol (naked woman with child) placed in front of the altar at St. Peter’s and joined in procession with it.
  • After wooden images were taken from Santa Maria Church and thrown into the Tiber by outraged Catholics, the pope apologized for their removal.
  • A new profanation was committed when another wooden image of “pachamama” was returned to the church.
  • At the closing Mass, the pope accepted a bowl (of plants) used in the idolatrous worship of “pachamama” and placed it on the altar.
  • The pope called the images “pachamama” in his apology for their removal: a name for a false goddess of mother earth (in South America).

Beginning with St. Paul, the early Church fathers taught that sacrifices made to pagan idols were actually oblations made to demons. Christians were urged to have no part in them or even to take of the food that was subsequently shared with the poor.

“No, I mean that what they sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to become participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and of the table of demons” (1 Corinthians 10:19-21).

I will have to give some serious reflection to this matter before writing further.  My suspicion is that the Holy Father’s compassion for wayward children was given precedence over their errant behavior.  Note that when initially presented with the statue he crossed himself instead of the image.  When pressed to bless and receive it, did he truly bless it or was it a simple exorcism?  When he takes it notice that the statue is quickly passed off to an attendant.