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Pope Francis receives a Pachamama statue in the Vatican gardens during the pagan indigenous ceremony, Rome, Oct. 4, 2019.Vatican News / video screen grab

October 24, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Video footage of the indigenous ritual that took place in the Vatican Gardens on Oct. 4 as a prelude to the opening of the Amazon Synod shows Pope Francis being presented with the controversial wooden “Pachamama” statue and then blessing it. 

The footage shows an indigenous woman approaching Pope Francis with the wooden statue. They bow to each other. She then blesses herself. The Pope then imitates her and blesses himself. She reaches for his hand and shakes it. The Pope then appears to reach out and touch the statue before proceeding to bless it. As the woman turns to go away, another indigenous person motions to her that she is to give the statue to the Pope. She then turns back to Pope Francis and hands him the statue. The Pope receives it with a bow. 

The Vatican has refused to say what the statue is. An official interpreter at the Santa Maria in Traspontina Carmelite Church, where the statues were on display in a side altar, confirmed that the statue was ‘Pachamama,’ saying that she was the “mother, who cares for life, who gives nourishment to life.” 

Earlier this week, the statues were taken from the Church by Catholic men and thrown into the nearby Tiber River. 

When reports of the pagan ceremony at the Vatican Gardens first came out, many observers were distracted by the question as to whether the Pope actually approved of the ceremony since he did not deliver his prepared speech, but, instead, just prayed an “Our Father.” The fact that he blessed the statue was overlooked by many.