The demonic Pachamama idol mess isn’t going to go away

The constant veneration and display of the demon Pachamama during the Amazon Synod must not be simply waved aside.

Two things for the record.

Card. Cupich of Chicago has defended the veneration of this demon idol, though that is not what he thinks it is.  Lifesite HERE  Chicago Catholic HERE on 6 November. He writes with anger about how “statues” were taken from Santa Maria in Traspontina and thrown into the river.  He write:

The artwork from the Amazon region depicted a pregnant woman, a symbol of motherhood and the sacredness of life, that represents for indigenous peoples the bond humanity has with our “mother earth,” much as St. Francis of Assisi portrayed in his Canticle of the Creatures.

He then admits that the statues were from a “pagan” culture.   But he then defends the … respect?… they were shown threw his understanding of inculturation.   The argument is… remarkable.  It’s not convincing, however.

Moving overseas, we find a defense of Pachamama veneration the Bishop Emeritus of San Cristóbal de las Casas, Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel in, of all places, the Vatican’s daily L’Osservatore Romano of 12 November!

?È una divinità la Pachamama?

Is Pachama a diety?

You won’t be surprised to learn that, NO!, indeed not. She is really a manifestation of our respect for the love of God through our respect for “mother nature” which God created. See?

Anni fa, durante un incontro del Celam che ho coordinato a Cochabamba, in Bolivia, sui diversi nomi di Dio nelle culture originarie del Cono Sud, ho chiesto a un indigeno aymara se, per la sua gente, la pachamama (la madre terra) e l’inti (il padre sole) erano dei e lui mi ha risposto: «Chi non ha ricevuto l’evangelizzazione li considera dei; per noi che siamo stati evangelizzati, non sono dei, ma i doni migliori di Dio». Risposta stupenda! Questo sono! Sono manifestazioni dell’amore di Dio, non dei.

Years ago, during a meeting of the CELAM which I coordinated in Cochabamba, Bolivia, on the different names of God in the original cultures of the Southern Cone, I asked an indigenous Aymara if, for his people, pachamama (mother earth) and the inti (the sun father) were gods and he replied: ‘Those who have not received evangelization consider them gods; for us who have been evangelized, they are not gods, but God’s best gifts ». Wonderful answer! This is it! They are manifestations of God’s love, not gods.

So there it is.

I guess that if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then its a prairie dog.


Meanwhile, the woman who was the “priestess” in the Vatican Gardens idol fiasco at the beginning of October, said what it was all about.  HERE

The female indigenous leader who planted a tree alongside Pope Francis in the Vatican Gardens ahead of the Amazon Synod was clear from the beginning about the syncretistic and pagan meaning of the act which, she explains, was intended to “satisfy the hunger of Mother Earth” and reconnect with “the divinity present in the Amazonian soil.”

In an October 4 statement that went under the radar during the Synod itself, Ednamar de Oliveira Viana, of the Maués region in Brazil, says of the Vatican Garden tree-planting ceremony: “To plant … is believing in a growing and fruitful life to satisfy the hunger of Mother Earth’s creation. This brings us to our origin by reconnecting divine energy and teaching us the way back to the Creator Father.”

I dunno.  That doesn’t sound good to me.

There are a lot of kabuki dances going on to explain away what sure looked like demonic idol veneration.

No… correction… kabuki is quite beautiful.  Nothing about the idol or the explanations is beautiful.  It is more like Three Card Monte with all the teamwork.  We got a dealer (also called a “tosser”… ya, I know…) and some shills in the crowd who place bets to give punters the idea they could win.  And their muscle will eventually manifest, who takes out some of the naysayers.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in You must be joking! and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Cy says:

    …or an “Emeritus.”

  2. scoot says:

    “Cult”, “Culture”, and “Cultivate” all share the same root, which is “to raise up from a certain place”. A Cult raises beliefs, Cultivation raises crops, and Culture raises people. All implies that the thing raised will be like the seed planted. You plant corn seeds to get corn crops, American culture raises americans, the cult of Christ raises Christians. The whole idea is to raise up something of a like kind as yourself. Inculturation, according to google, has two definitions: “the gradual acquisition of the characteristics and norms of a culture or group by a person, another culture, etc.” or “the adaptation of Christian liturgy to a non-Christian cultural background.” In both cases, the idea of inculturation is one of introducing heterogeneity among a homogenous culture. Presumably the culture being introduced hopes to raise up a new culture of a like kind as itself, but it is not our culture. Cultivation is all about raising crops. Through natural processes of inculturation, weeds are introduced into the farm, and they choke out the natural fruit, until the field is barren of anything useful, and is nothing but weeds. Remember Luke 8:5-11.

  3. Ms. M-S says:

    Oh, le sigh. Is there anyone out there, even with no more than a comic book or Netflix familiarity with satisfying the hunger of Mother Earth or Father Sky/Creator, likely to conflate the Lord God of the Church with the understandably feeble attempts of pre-revelation mankind at understanding the Divine? If so, we need to double down on prayers for them. What’s left is those chipping away at the Church from without and within. I guess we need to double down on prayers for them as well.

  4. PostCatholic says:

    Oh, please don’t let it go away! It’s very entertaining to watch the 21st century Catholic tradition, Titan of Western culture, be worried about animistic polytheism to the point of conjuring demons to explain superstitions. It suggests a surprising blind spot in religious cosmology.

  5. Ages says:

    At the 7th ecumenical council, the use of images in worship was defended on the basis that the invisible God, having become matter through Christ, could be depicted in an image. We likewise depict the saints in images because they radiate the holiness of God through becoming partakers of Him.

    Abstract ideas cannot be depicted, nor is the earth a partaker of God’s divinity. So even an image representing earth cannot possibly be proper.

  6. dplentini says:

    Each of these statements sounds like the typical Freemasonic “it’s all the same god” and “god is just a word that we can define as we like any time any place.” None of this is remotely Catholic, and it’s time to remove these men for incompetence and perhaps worse.

  7. UncleBlobb says:

    The optimist in me that somehow refuses to die can’t help but hoping or wondering if these types of clerics have somehow been alowed to swallow this pagan nonsense by Our Lord as some kind of “rope-a-dope” situation that will have long-term positive consenquences for the whole Church, such that they weed themselves out, or give themselves away, that is, show their true identies, faster and more definitively than they would have otherwise. I wonder at how something so obvious to me as evil and bad is, apparently, not so clear to them.

  8. “Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.”

  9. Charles E Flynn says:

    When Moses came down the mountain with the Ten Commandments tablets, and saw the activities in which his people were engaged, I figure he spent about 3.5 milliseconds trying to deny the evidence of his own senses.

  10. Mac in Calgary says:

    @fmsb78: What would you say if you WERE trying to scare us? On second thought, maybe don’t answer that one.

  11. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    If we didnt have video of Amazonians and a religious brother laying prostrate face down to ground with incense in a circle around the Pachamama, I could buy all these afterward arguments.

    They treated the idol like a god totem. And Francis just watched on in approval. They subsequently carried the idol in processions of veneration. Placed it in the Holy Places of honor in our Churches.

    They cant just pretend like this didnt happen. They cant pretend like it wasnt scandalous to the Faithful.

    It did happen. It was and still is a grave scandal.

  12. Benedict Joseph says:

    Reality is what it is and we need to face it. Cardinal Cupich provides us a bitter angle on the reality of contemporary “theological” perspectives. But it is better that we know the real lay of the episcopal landscape. It is best when the masks are off. It allows us to contextualize other statements and teachings and provide them their due.
    While it would be bracing indeed it would do the faithful well if there was more such audaciousness. Credence is best measured out when there is an absence of duplicity.

  13. Gab says:

    It is beyond my comprehension how the prelates of the Church cannot see what they are doing is just so gravely wrong. Not all of them but it seems to be most.

  14. chantgirl says:

    Let me be blunt:

    Francis does not kneel before the Eucharist, and yet he is ok participating in a ritual in which people prostrate themselves to the ground before a pagan idol?

    Cupich locked his own people out of Church to prevent them from celebrating the (Catholic) Triduum, but has a problem with someone kicking pagan idols out of a church?

    The sacred is deserving of reverence, and these actions speak volumes about what these men consider sacred.

  15. anotherphilothea says:

    Speaking as a mental health professional… in a family, if one parent is crazy/drunk/abusive and the other parent acts like nothing is wrong, it does a heck of a lot more damage than the initial parent could do alone. Orthodox, faithful Bishops – please. Your silence is hurting the Church. We kids all know Dad’s wandered off the reservation. Can you please just acknowledge it, for the good of the Church??

  16. FrAnt says:

    This is the plan, a lot of people come out and declare what Pachamama is and what it is not to the point where no one cares and moves on.

  17. MundaCorMeum says:

    This sordid Pachamama affair, while properly causing an outcry over idolatry, is also causing some to generalize all forms of inculturation as inherently wrong. Examples I have seen include snarky comments about use of feathers. Point in fact, feathers are symbolic of royalty in some cultures such as those of Polynesia. The Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu has two Hawaiian feather kahili placed on each side of the crucifix on the high altar as symbols of the royalty and kingship of Christ. The kahili are not objects of worship in Native Hawaiian culture, but just symbols of status. That’s inculturation done right because it uses an element of native culture and symbolism to reflect a Christian truth (i.e., the kingship of Christ). Much of what we think of as properly Catholic is the result of inculturation with the symbols and cultures of the Greeks and Romans. For those who would flatly dismiss the use of feathers as inherently heretical, I would ask whether the ostrich feather flabellum of yore is similarly problematic. This is not to say, of course, that symbols of indigenous cultures cannot be improperly used. One of the beautiful things about our faith is the ability to “baptize” pagan symbols for use in the Church. However, just as with real baptism there must be a dying to the old meaning and a rebirth of a new Christian meaning.

  18. JonPatrick says:

    “To plant … is believing in a growing and fruitful life to satisfy the hunger of Mother Earth’s creation. This brings us to our origin by reconnecting divine energy and teaching us the way back to the Creator Father.”

    Funny, I thought Jesus Christ was the only way back to the Creator Father? I don’t see much talk of Christ in these various statements.

  19. Dismas says:

    This all stinks of Romans 1:18-32.

    On another note, MundaCorMeum, feathers are not uniquely used in Polynesia. If you get any guff from the insolent on the matter, remind them of the “flabellum”.

  20. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Romans 1
    1:22  For, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
    1:23  And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible (wo)man and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts and of creeping things.
    1:24  Wherefore, God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness: to dishonour their own bodies among themselves.
    1:25  Who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
    1:26  For this cause, God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature.
    1:27  And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts, one towards another: men with men, working that which is filthy and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.
    1:28  And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient.

    We should not be surprised to have a hierarchy filled at the top with sodomites also approving idolatry. Paul called out the connection between sodomania and idolatry 2000 years ago.

  21. Just Some Guy says:

    Just wait for Pius XIII to go out into the Vatican Gardens with a chainsaw (probably could be added to the coronation ceremonies).

  22. Ages says:

    @UncleBlobb “I wonder at how something so obvious to me as evil and bad is, apparently, not so clear to them.”

    Because they are benighted by the devil. Or at worst, they are cooperating with him.

    The Fathers speak of demon possession as pitiable, but also say it can turn one to repentance. Chrysostom: “the demon makes men humble.” “Great is the admiration it calls for, and many the praises, when struggling against such a spirit, they bear all thankfully.”

    With these princes of the church who are following the prince of this world, it is too easy to let them off the hook and call it demon possession. I don’t think they are, because they continue to participate in all the rituals, prayers, and sacraments which would burn a demon. I think it’s more likely they are just that evil, and have willfully chosen to do these things. I am less optimistic than you are, I’m afraid.

    Hopefully they will open their eyes like Balaam and see the angels of God standing against them, swords drawn.

  23. Gil Garza says:

    Ceremonial offering bowls are used by Indigenous cultures for sacrifice and invocation of pagan deities. That Pope Francis commanded that such an item, used exclusively for pagan worship of idols, be put on the high altar at St. Peter’s during Holy Mass has me sick to my stomach with grief and profound sadness.

  24. Toan says:

    The quote from the leader of that ceremony was helpful. With all the “what was that” fuss, it should be most helpful to ask the actual participants what they were doing there, preferably when they’re not on their guard. Instead, to me, most of the effort so far has seemed to me like guesswork based on appearances (bad as appearances certainly were). So, this statement from Ednamar is real progress, in my estimation.

    I’d love to see an interview with this Ednamar lady.

  25. NBW says:

    It looks like we are in the midst of a Golden Calf moment in the Church. I am not surprised with Cupich defending the Pachamama; he is “yes” man for the pope. He is not a man of the Word or a man of his word. One can see that from his views on the abortion issue at the USCCB meeting and how he playing the Hunger Games with the parishes in his diocese. He pits parishes against one another and the best liberal one wins. Please pray for this misguided cardinal and for all of the people stuck in his diocese.

  26. Josephus Corvus says:

    Does there seem to be a correlation between those who claim this is not a pagan idol and those who claim that the god of Islam is the same as the True God, or am I just making a leap there?

  27. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    Charles E. Flynn had me at: “When Moses came down the mountain with the Ten Commandments tablets, and saw the activities in which his people were engaged, I figure he spent about 3.5 milliseconds trying to deny the evidence of his own senses.”

    Only three species of animals would deny that when Moses came down with the Ten Commandments, and saw the golden calf and the revelries of the people, that Moses’ discernment of iniquity in the scene was imaginary, mistaken, hysterical . . . and here is the list of those animals: (1) frogs who’ve been living in a pot of almost-simmering water for too long; and (2) wolves (3) golden calves.

    Next question: guess which species of animals would deny that when faithful Catholics saw photographs of the Pachamama abomination which took place in Saint Peter’s Basilica and in the Vatican gardens, that these Catholics’ discernment of iniquity in these scenes was imaginary, mistaken, hysterical . . . ?

Comments are closed.