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'Pachamama' statue on bridge over Tiber river prior to being thrown in, Rome, Oct. 21, 2019.

October 23, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Modernists have predictably gone berserk over news that the Pachamama idol has been tossed into the Tiber. Some have decried the act as “racist” and “xenophobic.” Such accusations are wholly off base, for a number of reasons. 

Firstly, no one at the Vatican seems to know what this carving even is. At best it's a symbol of “Mother Earth.” But isn’t Mary our real mother? The 5th glorious mystery is the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin as Queen of Heaven and Earth, not the coronation of nature itself. The only “mother” honored inside a Catholic Church should be the mother of God. This sort of eco-theology is dangerous. It needs to stop. It’s liable to be co-opted by population control experts and other nefarious actors at the United Nations.

Second, Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli has claimed that the statue is “a traditional symbol for indigenous peoples representing the bond” they have with the environment. Okay. What does that have to do with the Catholic faith? In the United States, a football is a traditional symbol of one of the most popular ways American families come together on Sundays after attending mass. Should St. Peter’s house a pigskin that was thrown by Tom Brady in the Super Bowl? Of course not. Just because some people somewhere in the world believe something is sacred, doesn’t mean Catholics should act like it is.

Third, some have said this object is a fertility goddess and represents “life.” If true, what does that even mean? Why is it sharing a space with icons, statues, and paintings of Saints who died as martyrs for the Catholic faith? If this statue is going to be allowed in a church, then why not start putting up murals of “the Tree of Life” as well? I don't understand how its “racist” or an “act of theft” to remove from a Catholic Church a piece of timber that’s not a Catholic symbol and holds no spiritual value. It simply doesn’t belong there. Justice demands it be removed.

No doubt the admittance of this topless carving into Santa Maria in Traspontina was done out of a desire to encourage warm feelings and mutual esteem with the Amazonians. But what about the rights of God to not have his house defiled? Since when did having good relations with indigenous tribesmen trump the duties we owe Christ to honor him in the religion he has established? It seems the real reason leftists are upset is that they’ve been reminded that there are Catholics who still believe, and are willing to defend, the claim that Catholicism is the true religion and others are false. 

What those who are furious over this courageous act seem to forget is that indigenous persons and their cultures are objectively deficient, and are in desperate need of being brought out of their darkness. Ponder for a moment the following remarks of Pope Leo XIII in 1892 about the now universally hated Christopher Columbus:

By his toil…hundreds of thousands of mortals have, from a state of blindness, been raised to the common level of the human race, reclaimed from savagery to gentleness and humanity; and, greatest of all, by the acquisition of those blessings of which Jesus Christ is the author, they have been recalled from destruction to eternal life.

The Church has always rejected the ideology of multiculturalism now supported by those occuyping the halls of power in the Vatican. It always held that when Christ said “go forth and teach all nations,” he was basically telling his apostles to replace the various pagan traditions of the unbelieving world with Catholic culture. That wasn’t a mandate to demand all nations abide by the customs of 1st century Judea. But it did mean that certain ways of life were to be elevated while others were to be diminished.

For instance, after wiping out all but 8 people with the great flood, God promised He would “enlarge” (Genesis 9:27) the descendants of Japeth, one of Noah’s three sons — the other two being Sem and Ham. Are we to think God was a “xenophobe” on account of his promise and favoring, at least indirectly, of the offspring of Japeth?

Moreover, when Mary appeared to Juan Diego in the 1500s, she was, in effect, “tossing out” the barbaric practices and pagan symbols of the indigenous people living there. She was lovingly welcoming them into the Catholic way of life and eternal salvation. Yet if we follow the logic of those opposed to this praiseworthy act of protest, we’d have to view Our Lady of Guadalupe as a sort of theological terrorist guilty of violating the first principles of interreligious dialogue.

To behave as if this wooden statuette was some sort of priceless artifact or blessed relic deserving of admiration and a place of honor inside a Catholic Church is to forget some of the most basic elements of the Catholic religion and its history. Based on the way liberals have acted the last several days, it seems this statue has become a sort of false god not unlike the golden calf fashioned by the Israelites.

Far from being a hate crime worthy of contempt, those who threw this object out have performed a most admirable spiritual work of mercy. In an age where blending false religions with the true one is an all too common occurrence, I tip my cap to them. Bravo gentlemen. 

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Stephen Kokx is a journalist for LifeSiteNews. A former community college instructor, Stephen has written and spoken extensively about Catholic social teaching, politics, and spirituality. He previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago under the late Francis Cardinal George. His essays have appeared in a variety of outlets, including Catholic Family News and He is the author of St. Alphonsus for the 21st Century: A Handbook for Holiness.