Amazon Synod theologian: Virgin Mary represents ‘Mother-God’ in indigenous thinking
VATICAN CITY, October 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― A theologian at the Amazon Synod currently happening in Rome has suggested that the Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe converted the Americas to Christianity because of her resemblance to an indigenous concept of God that holds that God is part “feminine.”
Fr. Eleazar López Hernández, a special collaborator of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazonian region, said yesterday that indigenous people believe that God is partly “feminine.”
“It was through the Virgin Mary that not just the indigenous, but all of Latin America became Christian,” López declared.
“Why? Because in the ancestral relationship that the people had with God there was included the feminine part,” he continued.
“When we people of Meso-American speak of God, we always speak of Father-God and Mother-God, or God-Father-Mother, including the two parts that in the indigenous thinking are those who engender life.”
The Mexican priest, who is a member of the Zapoteca people, said that there must be “two elements involved” in giving life.
“If it is God who gives life, who safeguards life, and fosters life, in human experience and animal-vegetative experience, there are two elements involved,” he said.
“Thus, God includes the feminine.”
The God of the Old and New Covenant, however, has exclusively revealed himself as “Father.” When asked how they should speak to God in prayer, Jesus taught his disciples the “Our Father.”
López also said that Our Lady of Guadalupe underscores that God not only powerful but mercifully.
“I believe that the Virgin of Guadalupe, who has been said to be the maternal face of God, has helped to make understood that which we have tried to emphasize: that God is not only almighty but also fundamentally merciful,” the theologian said.
“When God is said to be merciful, all of these are feminine categories. For our people, this understanding of God from the feminine aided in understanding the offer of Jesus,” he continued.
“It is thus that the Virgin holds a very important place in the religious experience of not only the indigenous, but also mestizos [mixed race people], and all of Latin America.”
López suggested that this understanding of the Blessed Mother should be reincorporated by the Church and linked this to the idea of women’s ministries.
“This is the time to recuperate this: the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Virgin of Caacupe, and many expressions of popular devotion should be consciously reexamined and reincorporated by the Church,” he said.
“This implies giving to women the place that they deserve within the Church.”
The priest admitted, however, that the Synod had not discussed the Blessed Virgin Mary as one of its themes.
The Catholic Church does not believe or teach that the Blessed Virgin Mary is divine
Although the Church venerates Mary as “blessed among women” for being the mother of Jesus, she has always taught that the Blessed Virgin Mary is a human being, albeit immaculate, conceived without sin.
The high regard Catholics have always held for the Mother of God, as she was dogmatically defined in 431 by the First Council of Ephesus, has sometimes led non-Catholics to believe that she is the subject of Catholic worship. She is not. All honors offered to Mary are principally offered in honor of her Divine Son, whom she presents to the viewer in all depictions of Madonna and Child.
Mary is called Mother of God to stress that Jesus Christ was Divine before, during and after his conception. Dogmas about Mary focus on truths of faith about Jesus Christ. Catholics do not believe that Mary existed before the sempiternal Blessed Trinity.
Rexcrisanto Delson, a member of the indigenous Igorot tribe of the Philippines, told LifeSiteNews that he was aware of the Father-Mother-God concept.
“I am somewhat aware of this from talking to American Indians,” he said.
Delson said that he had joined American Indians in their pow wows by performing Ingorot dances for them.
“Syncretism seems to run deep with many American Indians,” he said.
“I am not surprised to hear about ... their view of Our Lady. This is why it is vital that all indigenous people hear the fullness of the Truth, as deposited by Christ in the form of the Church's perennial teachings. Unless this is done, many subjective beliefs will arise.”
Delson said that Catholic doctrine is otherwise “left vulnerable to personal and cultural beliefs, at which point Truth ceases to be supernatural and becomes natural.”
“When my mother converted to Catholicism, she abandoned every religious and spiritual belief and practice of our people,” Delson added.
“If someone were to suggest to her that the Church needs an Igorot face, she would completely reject that idea.”
Fr. Eleazar López Hernández was investigated in 2005 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for allegedly misquoting the then-pope, giving a “simplistic interpretation” of the history of the Christian missions, and promoting syncretism.