We heard at the end of the last reflection that Pope Francis said that the Pachamama statues had been integrated without idolatrous intent.
Without questening the Pope’s utterance, I do not think that this statement clarifies the situation.
There are two things to note here.
On the one hand, a distinction must be made between the objective facts and the personal intention. One can have good intentions individually, but one can be objectively wrong. This is related to the ability of man to make mistakes.
Let us assume that an ideologically blinded person believes in his cause and thinks he would do the right thing, but in reality he does wrong things. A strong example is abortion. It may be that people believe it is right that the mother can decide on the life of the child and advocate the spread of abortion. In reality, however, an innocent person is deprived of his right to life and a great injustice is done ojectively.
Objectively, the veneration of Pachamama was an idolatarian act and remains so even if it was not intended with this intention. The intention then concerns rather the question of personal guilt.
Here comes an important point, because the Pope is responsible for all that is happening in Rome under his leadership.
There is a great fear among Catholics that one is “against the Pope” if one expects a correction of possible irritations or wants to have clarified them.
Some Catholics do not properly understand what the infallibility of the Pope is and think that everything the Pope says is to be accepted and correct.
Then there is an attitude that one is afraid not to be “with the Pope and thus with the Church”, if one does not follow everything that the Pope says. However, this lacks any real justification.
St. Paul himself corrected Peter when, out of the fear of men, he did not follow to what he had already known through God (cf. Gal 2,11-14). It is absurd to think that Paul was “against the Pope” by this.
The doctrine of infallibility does not refer to the person of the Pope, but only to very specific clearly defined facts. This certainly does not include the personal opinion of the Pope as to whether or not one can worship such a Pachamama statue. With the introduction of this statue in the ecclesiastical public is not connected, that from now on one can bring foreign statues of all kinds into our churches and bow before them.
You cannot follow the Pope in everything just because he is the Pope. The Holy Father is also bound by the doctrine of the Church, and if words and actions seem to contradict the doctrine of the Church, it is right to name this and clarify matters. Anything else would be a false subservience, which consequently leads to increasing blindness.
Some Catholics believe that such things should not be carried out in public, but only internally, so that the Church does not suffer any harm.
In principle, it is right to clarify things internally, if it is possible. In the case of the Amazon Synod and the veneration of the Paschamama, however, this no longer applies. The informations already gone public and caused irritations. These irritations do not only affect the faithful Catholics, who are outraged.
What are people seeking the truth to think when they become aware of these things? Should they think that it doesn’t matter whom you worship? Should they think that the Catholic Church has now accepted idolatry as an expression of an authentic worship?
What should the Protestant groups think, who believe, and anyway, that the Catholic Church is doing idolatry with the veneration of the Virgin Mary and the Saints? How can we explain the difference? The events of Rome are already being used in this direction by some groups!
How do we stand before our own history of salvation and before the saints? Do we Catholics now have to apologize that our fathers did not compromise with paganism and did not tolerate idols? Were they wrong and did not understand something? Is it no longer valid what the Apostles taught?
The apostles forbade even the slightest hints or ambiguities regarding acts of worship of idols: “How does the temple of God cope with idols?” (2 Cor 6:15-16) and “Escape from idolatry.” (1 Cor 10:14) “The things that the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to the devils, not To God. And I don’t want you to have fellowship with the devils. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of the devil: you cannot participate in the Lord’s table and the table of the devils. Or do we want to awaken the jealousy of the Lord? Are we stronger than him?” (1 Cor 10, 21-22).
Has God changed his mind about idols in both the Old and New Testaments?
What will the faithful Jews think and the Muslims who are opposed to idolatry?
Another great shadow has fallen on our church.
The Pope should have been the first to stop these strange activities in the Vatican Gardens and the further idolization of the Paschamama statues.