Nov. 12, 2019, 11:30 AM EST update: Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò added his name this morning to the statement urging Pope Francis to repent for Pachamama idolatry. Read full report here.
November 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – An international group of 100 priests and lay scholars published a statement today to protest the pagan worship of Pachamama that took place last month during the Amazon Synod in Rome with Pope Francis' active participation and apparent support. They called upon the Pope to “repent publicly and unambiguously of these objectively grave sins” and asked bishops’ around the world to “offer fraternal correction to Pope Francis for these scandals.”
Titled “Protest against Pope Francis's Sacrilegious Acts,” the statement (read full below) highlights Pope Francis' personal responsibility for the worship of a pagan idol in Rome.
Among the signatories, which include more than 20 priests and deacons, are Professor John Rist, Professor Roberto de Mattei, Professor Claudio Pierantoni, Professor Josef Seifert, as well as Professor Anna Silvas. There are also to be found twenty priests and deacons, among them Father Brian Harrison and the outspoken critic of Pope Francis, Father Cor Mennen. The prominent German Catholic laywoman, Gloria Princess of Thurn und Taxis, also signed, in addition to authors such as Henry Sire, José Antonio Ureta, and Dr. Gerard J.M. van den Aardweg.
The priests and scholars “protest against and condemn the sacrilegious and superstitious acts committed by Pope Francis, the Successor of Peter, in connection with the recent Amazon Synod held in Rome,” and they give detailed evidence of the different incidences of pagan worship during the Amazon Synod.
Most prominently, Pope Francis hosted a pagan ceremony with Pachamama statues in the Vatican Gardens on Oct. 4 and even blessed one of the statues. Additionally, he prayed in front of the Pachamama statue at St. Peter's Cathedral on October 7 and then accompanied it in procession into the synod hall.
As the statement points out, “Pope Francis himself confirmed that these wooden images were pagan idols. In his apology for the removal of these idols from a Catholic church, he specifically called them Pachamama, a name for a false goddess of mother earth according to pagan religious belief in South America.”
The signers make it clear that pagan worship by Catholics is unacceptable.
They state that “the rendering of worship to anyone or anything other than the one true God, the Blessed Trinity, is a violation of the First Commandment,” and that therefore “absolutely all participation in any form of the veneration of idols is condemned by this Commandment and is an objectively grave sin, independently of the subjective culpability that only God can judge.”
The authors also quote Professor Josef Seifert with regard to Pope Francis' claim that these statues had been used “without idolatrous intentions.” Stated Seifert: “Even if there is no subjective idolatrous intention behind this, as Pope Francis affirms, the objective fact of putting idols in a Church, let alone in St Peter's, is an offence against God and an objectively sacrilegious act.”
For the signers, the Pachamama worship that took place under Pope Francis' leadership “was anticipated by the statement titled 'Document on Human Fraternity', signed by Pope Francis and Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, on February 4, 2019.” That document states that the “diversity of religions” is “willed by God.” “Pope Francis’ involvement in idolatrous ceremonies,” the signers continue, “is an indication that he meant this statement in a heterodox sense, which allows pagan worship of idols to be considered a good positively willed by God.”
Additionally, the statement refers to the many cardinals and bishops who have already condemned the Pachamama veneration in Rome (among them Cardinals Burke, Müller, Brandmüller, Urosa; and Archbishop Viganò, as well as Bishops Eleganti, Voderholzer, and Azcona). And the statement also quotes a passage from Holy Scripture which makes clear that “the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God” and that “you cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord, and of the table of demons” (St. Paul).
“We respectfully ask all the bishops of the Catholic Church,” the signers conclude, “to offer fraternal correction to Pope Francis for these scandals, and to warn their flocks that, according to the divinely revealed teaching of the Catholic faith, they will risk eternal damnation if they follow the present examples of offending against the First Commandment.”
Clergy and scholars are invited to add their signatures by going here.
Protest against Pope Francis's Sacrilegious Acts
We the undersigned Catholic clergy and lay scholars protest against and condemn the sacrilegious and superstitious acts committed by Pope Francis, the Successor of Peter, in connection with the recent Amazon Synod held in Rome.
These sacrilegious acts are the following:
- On October 4, Pope Francis attended an act of idolatrous worship of the pagan goddess Pachamama. (1)
- He allowed this worship to take place in the Vatican Gardens, thus desecrating the vicinity of the graves of the martyrs and of the church of the Apostle Peter.
- He participated in this act of idolatrous worship by blessing a wooden image of Pachamama. (2)
- On October 7, the idol of Pachamama was placed in front of the main altar at St. Peter’s and then carried in procession to the Synod Hall. Pope Francis said prayers in a ceremony involving this image and then joined in this procession. (3)
- When wooden images of this pagan deity were removed from the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, where they had been sacrilegiously placed, and thrown into the Tiber by Catholics outraged by this profanation of the church, Pope Francis, on October 25, apologized for their removal and another wooden image of Pachamama was returned to the church. (4) Thus, a new profanation was initiated.
- On October 27, in the closing Mass for the synod, he accepted a bowl used in the idolatrous worship of Pachamama and placed it on the altar. (5)
Pope Francis himself confirmed that these wooden images were pagan idols. In his apology for the removal of these idols from a Catholic church, he specifically called them Pachamama (6), a name for a false goddess of mother earth according to pagan religious belief in South America.
Different features of these proceedings have been condemned as idolatrous or sacrilegious by Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Bishop José Luis Azcona Hermoso, Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer, and Bishop Marian Eleganti (7). Lastly, Card. Raymond Burke has given the same assessment of this cult in an interview. (8)
This participation in idolatry was anticipated by the statement entitled “Document on Human Fraternity”, signed by Pope Francis and Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, on February 4, 2019 (9). This statement asserted that:
“The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings. This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives.”
Pope Francis’s involvement in idolatrous ceremonies is an indication that he meant this statement in a heterodox sense, which allows pagan worship of idols to be considered a good positively willed by God.
Moreover, despite privately advising Bishop Athanasius Schneider that “You [the Bishop] can say that the phrase in question on the diversity of religions means the permissive will of God…” (10), Francis has never corrected the Abu Dhabi statement accordingly. In his subsequent audience address of April 3, 2019 Francis, answering the question “Why does God permit that there are so many religions?”, referred in passing to the “permissive will of God” as explained by Scholastic theology, but gave the concept a positive meaning, declaring that “God wanted to permit this” because while “there are so many religions” they “always look to heaven, they look to God (emphasis added).” (11) There is not the slightest suggestion that God permits the existence of false religions in the same way He permits the existence of evil generally. Rather, the clear implication is that God permits the existence of “so many religions” because they are good in that they “always look to heaven, they look to God.”
Worse, Pope Francis has since confirmed the uncorrected Abu Dhabi statement by establishing an “interfaith committee”, (12) which later received the official name of “Higher Committee,” (13) located in the United Arab Emirates, to promote the “goals” of the document; and promoting a directive issued by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue addressed to the heads of all the Roman Catholic institutes of higher studies, and indirectly to Catholic university professors, asking that they give the “widest possible dissemination to the document,” including its uncorrected assertion that God wills the “diversity of religions” just as He wills the diversity of color, sex, race and language. (14)
The rendering of worship to anyone or anything other than the one true God, the Blessed Trinity, is a violation of the First Commandment. Absolutely all participation in any form of the veneration of idols is condemned by this Commandment and is an objectively grave sin, independently of the subjective culpability that only God can judge. (15)
St. Paul taught the early Church that the sacrifice offered to pagan idols was not offered to God but rather to the demons when he said in his First Letter to the Corinthians:
“What then? Do I say, that what is offered in sacrifice to idols, is any thing? Or, that the idol is any thing? But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God. And I would not that you should be made partakers with demons. You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord, and the chalice of demons: you cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord, and of the table of demons.” (1 Cor. 10:19-21)
By these actions Pope Francis has incurred the reproach uttered by the Second Council of Nicaea:
“Many pastors have destroyed my vine, they have defiled my portion. For they followed unholy men and trusting to their own frenzies they calumniated the holy Church, which Christ our God has espoused to himself, and they failed to distinguish the holy from the profane, asserting that the icons of our Lord and of his saints were no different from the wooden images of satanic idols.” (16)
With immense sorrow and deep love for the Chair of Peter, we beg Almighty God to spare the guilty members of His Church on earth the punishment that they deserve for these terrible sins.
We respectfully ask Pope Francis to repent publicly and unambiguously of these objectively grave sins and of all the public offences that he has committed against God and the true religion, and to make reparation for these offences.
We respectfully ask all the bishops of the Catholic Church to offer fraternal correction to Pope Francis for these scandals, and to warn their flocks that according to the divinely revealed teaching of the Catholic faith, they will risk eternal damnation if they follow the present examples of offending against the First Commandment.
November 9th, 2019
In Festo dedicationis Basilicae Lateranensis
“Terribilis est locus iste: hic domus Dei est
et porta cæli; et vocabitur aula Dei”
[List of signers here]
1. See the complete video of the pagan ritual on Vatican News: https://www.religionenlibertad.com/video/118451/Ritual-de-la-Madre-Tierra-en-el-Vaticano.html
3. See here a photo of the event: https://catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2019/10/12/amazon-synod-where-we-are-after-week-one/
6. See the words of the Holy Father with an English Translation here: https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2019/10/francis-defiant-in-defense-of-pagan.html.
11. https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/audiences/2019/documents/papa-francesco_20190403_udienza-generale.html. See also: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/fr.-thomas-weinandy-comments-on-abu-dhabi-statement
13. https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-09/committee-document-human-brotherhood.html. Its official website: https://www.forhumanfraternity.org/higher-commitee
15. As explained by Professor Josef Seifert: “Even if there is no subjective idolatrous intention behind this, as Pope Francis affirms, the objective fact of putting idols in a Church, let alone in St Peter's, is an offence against God and an objectively sacrilegious act.” See: https://gloria.tv/post/nK8YgEUATNuj4WXBi9WrfBzPg
See all the relevant biblical references in Bishop Schneider’s open letter: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/bishop-athanasius-schneider-issues-open-letter-condemning-pachamama-statue-as-new-golden-calf
16. Concilium Nicaenum II (787), in: Corpus Christianorum. Conciliorum Oecumenicorum Generaliumque Decreta, ed. G. Alberigo, I: The Oecumenical Councils. From Nicaea I to Nicaea II, Turnhout 2006, 295-345.