US priest: Pope Francis must lead Church in formal repentance for Pachamama idolatry
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Popular blogger priest Monsignor Charles Pope has called on the Holy Father to “lead the Church in a formal act of reparation and repentance” for the idolatrous worship of the pagan goddess “Pachamama” in Rome.
Speaking with LifeSiteNews on Saturday after a Solemn High Pontifical Latin Mass at which he assisted, Msgr. Pope called the October 4 ceremony in the Vatican gardens, during which participants – including at least one Franciscan religious – prostrated themselves before the unclothed, red-wombed wooden statues “just heartbreaking.” As the ritual took place, Pope Francis looked on.
“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” said Msgr. Pope, pastor of Holy Comforter-St. Cyprian parish in the nation’s capital.
“What the Pope knew at the time or not, I’m not gonna get into that. I don’t know,” said Msgr. Pope. “But now that he knows what was going on…he himself referred to it as ‘Pachamama,’ my hope is that he will now lead the church in a formal act of reparation and repentance for what happened. That’s my hope and I’m praying for that.”
Following the questionable October 4 ceremony, which kicked off the Amazon Synod, “Pachamama” statues were then displayed inside Santa Maria in Traspontina church near the Vatican along with a poster of a woman breastfeeding a small animal while holding a child. On October 21, a 26-year-old Austrian Catholic named Alexander Tschugguel removed the statues and threw them in the Tiber River. Pope Francis then apologized to those offended by the removal of the statues and referred to them as “Pachamama,” invalidating the claims of some that the statues represented the visitation or simply fertility and life.
Msgr. Pope called Tschugguel’s actions “very heroic.”
“We can just thank him,” he said.
Calling the “Pachamama” matter “very, very serious,” Msgr. Pope said there must be formal acts of reparation for it.
“I also think we’ve just got to really pray a lot that there’ll be repentance now,” he said. “Because if there’s not, I’m very concerned” that there will be divine retribution, “as there was in Assisi and other places where these things have happened.”
“I hope the Holy Father will lead the Church in an act of repentance for the whole Church, for anyone who participated in it, even those who misunderstood,” said Msgr. Pope.
He encouraged Catholics to pray extra rosaries and take on an extra day of fasting to make reparation.
The priest reiterated these points in an article published at the National Catholic Register on November 21 and argued Pope Francis has a duty to correct claims by favored papal interviewer Eugenio Scalfari that the pontiff “believes in annihilationism (that the damned are simply annihilated by God and that Hell is empty), thinks that Christ on Earth was not divine, and denies the bodily resurrection of the Lord.”
“These claims have been addressed by the Vatican only in vague terms. We are told that Scalfari doesn’t always get everything right, that he doesn’t always faithfully record or represent what the Holy Father says, and that he sometimes misunderstands.”
“This is too weak,” Msgr. Pope continued. “The silence has been deafening. The enemies of the faith are encouraged while the faithful are disheartened.”
Msgr. Pope went on to mention the “shocking spectacles of apparent idol worship in the Vatican gardens, and the honoring of Pachamama idols in St. Peter’s as well as a local church near the Vatican.”:
After weeks of silence and the proposals of various explanatory theories and assertions, the Pope expressed regret that someone (a brave soul, in my opinion) removed several of the idols, throwing them into the Tiber. Pope Francis said there was “no idolatrous intention” in bowing before these figures or in honoring them by placing them in Catholic churches — but in the same statement he referred to them as “Pachamama,” the name of a pagan goddess! Again, we are lost and confused by this…
Please, Holy Father, I beg of you to set the record straight by rebuking the errors attributed to you and by asserting the true and Catholic faith. We need you to confirm all of us, your brethren and your flock, in the truth. Do not allow lies or errors to proliferate. Drive idolatry from the Church and lead us in repentance and in reparation for it. Do not let the wolf devour us — drive him away by the Word of truth.
Cardinals Raymond Burke, Gerhard Müller, Walter Brandmüller, and Jorge Urosa Savino all condemned the “Pachamama” events and/or praised Tschugguel’s actions. So did Bishops José Luis Azcona Hermoso, Marian Eleganti, and Rudolf Voderholzer. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò – who is currently in hiding after blowing the whistle on the Vatican’s cover-up of ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sex abuse, as well as Pope Francis’ role in it – also condemned the “appalling idolatrous profanations.”
“I can only express my respect for him and my gratitude for his courageous witness to the faith,” Cardinal Burke said of Tschugguel.
Cardinal Müller commented, “The great mistake was to bring the idols into the Church, not to put them out, because according to the Law of God Himself – the First Commandment – idolism [idolatry] is a grave sin and not to mix them with the Christian liturgy.”
Bishop Athanasius Schneider also condemned the “Pachamama” events, writing about the spiritual dangers they pose.
Four unnamed exorcists, meanwhile, have asked Catholics to make December 6 – the feast day of St. Nicholas – a day of prayer and fasting to drive out “any diabolic influence within the Church” due to the “Pachamama” ceremony.