What do our Holy Fathers teach about the Pachamama?

Do our Holy Fathers teach that it is an idol? No. Our Holy Fathers Saint John Paul II and Francis refer to it as “Mother Earth” or, in another case, a statue or representation that is not an idol. As anything in creation, it can be idolized (which is a grave sin), but it is not an idol per se.

Pope Francis has already said that the figure of the Pachamama did not have idolatrous intentions.

“Good afternoon, I would like to say a word about the pachamama (mother earth) statues that were removed from the Church at Traspontina, which were there without idolatrous intentions and were thrown into the Tiber.” – (Source).

Pope Benedict XVI in this General Audience calls “Mother Earth”. Saint Francis of Assisi also refers to Mother Earth (Prayer).

Now, in 1988, Pope Saint John Paul II made an Apostolic Travel to Uruguay, Bolivia, Lima (Peru) and Paraguay. When he used to get off the plane and stepped on foreign soil, he used to kiss the ground. Was he worshipping the earth? Of course not! To say otherwise is calumny. Not only that, but when he went to Bolivia, most specifically to Valley of Cochabamba and celebrated the Eucharist, he taught the following during his homily regarding the Pachamama:

Blessed is he who, in any work, seeks God from the heart. Blessed is he who, in the exercise of any profession, seeks the good of others.

I want to address now, from this land of Cochabamba, peasant par excellence, to you, Quechua peasants, men of the “bronze lineage”, who from time immemorial populate these valleys and are at the roots of Bolivian nationality; that you have given to the world your nutritional and medicinal findings such as potatoes, corn and quinoa. The Lord continues to accompany your work with His help. He takes care of the birds of the sky, of the lilies that are born in the field, of the grass that sprouts from the earth (Mt 6, 26-30). This is the work of God, who knows that we need the food that the earth produces, that varied and expressive reality that your ancestors called the “Pachamama” and that reflects the work of divine Providence by offering us His gifts for the good of man.

Such is the deep meaning of the presence of God that you must find in your relationship with the earth, which covers for you the territory, the water, the stream, the hill, the hillside, the creek, the animals, the plants and the trees , because earth is all the work of creation that God has given us. Therefore, when contemplating the earth, the crops that grow, the plants that mature and the animals that are born, raise your thoughts to the God of the heights, the creator God of the universe, who has manifested to us in Christ Jesus, our Brother and Savior. That way you can reach Him, glorify Him and thank Him. “Because the invisible of God, since the creation of the world, [His] intelligence is revealed through his works” (Rm 1:20).

“Blessed is he who … rightly administers his affairs; the righteous will never falter ”(Ps 112 [111], 5-6). Blessed is he who strives in his work, despite the difficulties of the environment. Blessed is he who seeks to build the civilization of love with his work.” – (May 11, 1988).

His entire homily can be read here. There is no English translation in the Vatican website, so the above is my translation from the Spanish.

Pope Saint John Paul II refers to Pachamama as “Creation”, “Mother Earth”. Not an idol.

-Francisco Figueroa.


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15 Responses to What do our Holy Fathers teach about the Pachamama?

  1. Robert Fastiggi says:

    Thank you so much for this important passage from St. John Paul II. I hope it silences those who continue to insist that the “Pachamama” statues at the Amazon Synod were idols.

  2. Alex says:

    Thank you, Ron! You nailed it down. So, the great St John Paul II, considered by some to be the next doctor of the Church, said:
    “This is the work of God, who knows that we need the food that the earth produces, that varied and expressive reality that your ancestors called the “Pachamama” and that reflects the work of divine Providence by offering us His gifts for the good of man.”

    I’d wish all those noisy websites who pretend they defend the “authentic catholic teaching” to publish these words of St John Paul II, along with the words of their beloved pope Benedict. but no, they will “move on”, as with the words of these same popes on environment and climate change that are non existent for them. As with the words of St John Paul II on Galileo. It is all fake science for them. If they would succeed, we would move into the trib earlier, thanks God they would not.

    I’d wish to see some excommunications though. Because if we let the things go like they are now, besides the millions deluded people after those fanatical wolves in sheep clothing, we risk to lose the point and to mess things up, as with the married priesthood that was already voted on by Amazon synod, and to demonize it on following synods (as it happens with the German synod, see what the fanatical blogs write as if there is a proven heresy there).

    And by doing so they make the case for the next election, whether they will try to overtake the vote, or they will move into a separate vote if they know for certain they will lose. As if we watch a political drama from Washington DC, a reality show of some kind. Only the Catholic Church is not and cannot be a bi-polar partisan institution framed after the American political model. Pres. Trump is not equivalent to “pope Sarah” on the spiritual battleground those people pursue. It is just absurd how low those people put their belief in God, in the Church, in Salvation. As if they are sinless, when they do not commit extra marital sexual relations (and I believe they don’t).As if this is the only sin that can lead to hell. What is the sin of Lucifer then? They just repeat it. At least the Arians listened finally to the voice of God. Will those people ever change their mind and heart? Their leaders must be excommunicated before “they decide themselves to walk out”. They may never decide so for reasons I talked about before. Pope Francis risks way too much by showing unparalleled patience to them, never seen before in history. Even St John Paul II resorted to excommunication of Lefebre.

    Catholic Church is led by the Holy Spirit. And paradoxically, today many so called Protestants and others are MUCH CLOSER to the faith than many of those fanatical communities that pretend to be “true catholics”. THEY ARE WORSE THAN ARIANS! At one point they will accredit extreme powers to Satan or to his earthly servant, exactly by doing their fanaticism. Only several centuries ago their spiritual forefathers did so.

  3. Alex says:

    Here is one children’s song showing the German Christmas tradition of Santa Claus, the Christmas tree and so on. It is all not in the Gospel!

    How bad and heretic!
    The fanatics have lost their mind and normal human interactions even before they have lost their faith. The rest of us cannot be held hostages for years and decades to several million deluded people and a handful of leaders. False leaders who are not appointed by anyone, certainly not by the Pope to oversee all Catholics and say what is a sin and what is good loving human behavior. Cardinals Muller, Burke and Sarah do not have authority over me even a little. Two of them are retired, and the third one although he still holds a position, was told personally by pope Francis that he doesn’t have the right to revert back the liturgy approved by St pope Paul VI to “turn to the east” or similar nonsense. Sarah has ZERO authority over me! I am not Catholic because of Sarah and people like him, rather, despite them!

    Those people will never turn their heart to the Love of God, at least not in this life, but maybe deep in purgatory if they get to it at all. Personally, i cannot wait for their turning to the light of God any longer. And I think the German bishops are also fed up with all that, some 50+ years after Vatican II and 30 years after the fall of Berlin wall. Wait for what? For the nationalism of the first half of 20th century to come back in 21st, or for the returning of Tridentine times in the Church?
    Someone must do the change first, so the Holy Father can step on something to take his decision. The Holy Father is unlikely to make decisions in the void, out of the blue.

    Some more Christmas songs of “heretical” German children who sing even in the Vatican. When the pope said righteously a word about SOME of the American ultraconservatives, he was accused of “not loving our country (USA)”. And now those same people in forums cannot wait to attack German Catholics after they attacked Amazon synod that represents a good part of the most populous Catholic region in the world. The Amazon synod was perfectly valid and I don’t have the patience to hear what pope Francis’ decisions will be based on it. And you know well, those people will reject it even before reading it. As they rejected Amoris Laetitia and the other synods. As they reject Vatican II. As they reject the pope. What is it they do not reject? Their lists of sins that they “confess” frequently to buy ticket to heaven? Did they update their old lists of sins with things like hatred and false accusations for example? As of pachamama, they just did a major false accusation, if we are to believe the words of the Saint pope John Paul II. But they will not admit it, as they will not admit the rest, even less to repent sincerely and change their lives…
    Will baby Jesus be ever born in their hearts?

  4. This is a video footage of Pope Saint John Paul II arriving on Bolivian territory in 1988. From the 3:49 to the 4:15 minutes mark we can see the Holy Father getting off the plane and kissing the ground. And no, he was not “worshipping the earth”.

  5. Rob says:

    Have you heard about the German bishops going completely off the rails on homosexuality? They need to be reigned in soon.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I’m sure the Holy Father will correct them. They think they can use Pope Francis’ writings to support liberal ideas he never espoused, the way that some persons misuse Vatican II. But he won’t allow it, I’m sure. It’s one thing to be merciful and lenient to the divorced and remarried. It’s another to approve of grave sin.

    • Alex says:

      I didnt see that comment before but in fact I answer in my long comments for whoever wants to hear. Where is the action of the holy father against those who repeatedly defied the teaching of the Church and now accuse him of nothing less than abomination and satanism? If instead he takes actions against the German bishops who until now didn’t say anything different from what was already said in Amazon synod, Amoris Laetitia and the cathechesis regarding homosexual acceptance, wouldn’t that be a flagrant example of double standard with unimaginable consequences for the majority of Catholics who actually voted against the Church teaching on many occasions? And, where did Jesus say a word against the homosexuals? With reference to Sodom maybe? St Jude clarifies in his epistle that Sodomite sin was with animals. Let the Church start discussing the leaning of John on Jesus’ chest on the Supper. Was it a customary behavior in His time?

  6. Alex says:

    The drama continues with the open letter to pope Francis by lay ultraconservatives, where he is accused of sins against the First commandment, and equaled to a doctor who after performed an abortion then denies he killed the baby… That is quite much enough is enough, imo. I understand the fanatics want their “villain personage” in the Vatican to justify their own corrupt views. What they do is nothing short of a religious coup.

    Bishop Schneider goes on to accuse also the environmental movement:
    “Anyone who has dealt with the global environmental movement has undoubtedly heard the term Gaia. Gaia is a revival of paganism that rejects Christianity, views Christianity as its greatest enemy, and sees the Christian faith as the only obstacle to a global religion that focuses on the worship of Gaia and the unification of all forms of life concentrated around the goddess ‘Mother Earth’ or the ‘Pachamama.’ ”

    Cardinal Burke demonizes: “Something very grave happened during the special assembly of the bishops’ synod for the Amazon region. An idol was introduced into St. Peter’s Basilica — the figure of a demonic force. Therefore reparation is necessary and also prayers, so that the diabolical forces that entered with this idol are vanquished by the grace of God, by Christ who wants St. Peter’s Basilica to be purified of the sacrilegious act that took place during the synod.”

    On the other side, card. Ouellet is calm:
    “I don’t know the Amazonian culture well enough to say what the scope of these symbols is, but they didn’t bother me. To say that it was idol worship is an exaggeration.”
    Let remember that cardinal Ouellet got many votes in the conclave that he asked to be given to cardinal Bergoglio instead, thus assuring his election.

    The ultraconservatives go completely out of scope, accusing now the science. Pretty much as their predecessors did with Galileo. It is a dangerous cult, that I wonder would it stop here at verbal accusations only, or will go to a riot against pope Francis, as seen in the prophetic vision of St Pius X for a future pope. Measures against the plotters must be finally taken before it becomes too late. 1.3 bln sincerely believing people who have nothing to do with Burke, Schneider, Muller and Sarah, cannot be held hostages with guns to their heads in form of threats to going forever in hell for things they either never committed or that are not sins in first place. Something must be done and soon, before the multitude of believers decide that their spiritual well-being is not the first priority for the prelates, rather outdated and absurd theoretical schemes proved nonworking several centuries ago (yes I mean the Inquisition), and endless quarrels between the hierarchy themselves. I think we had enough of that already, waiting 20 years since St John Paul II proclaimed the “Civilization of Love” to start around the year 2000. Now is the time for actions, as St Paul declares:

    1 Corinthians 5:12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

  7. Alex says:

    Ron, if there is an option to edit posts, I wouldn’t post so many :)

    The logical conclusion of the escalating accusations, is the accusers will seek to accuse the pope and/or his aides in committing the ultimate abomination of desolation and will start counting 3.5 years. Because only in that way they will make their theories work. (together with other factors in the world that i will not comment here). otherwise they are nobody, and after one generation their absurd ideas will be forgotten.
    The expected idol of abomination is already present in their scheme. Maybe some environmental or other action of the holy father or the document after Amazon synod. Those people want to have what to accuse. Sure they will never invoke the canticle of St Francis where he sings to Mother Earth… In spite of lack of more facts, they will explore the “idolatry” of pachamama to maximum.

    One may think, the sooner they declare themselves as accusers and schismatics the better because they will leave the Church then… No, they will not! Not until they are forced out. Either by several excommunications of their leaders, or by the next conclave and the election of another reformist pope. Having in mind pope Francis is rather healthy despite his advanced age, it seems it is he who will determine whether the next conclave will happen if he decides to resign. In a way, any weakness within the team of pope Francis will be explored to maximum by his accusers, every patience and mercy will be taken as weakness to strike at.

    The German synod will be also exploited to that end. There will be a storm against it in the coming months, and maybe the fundamental cult will ask for excommunications of German bishops much more forcefully than anyone has asked for their own excommunications (nobody officially, except for the vague warning of schism by the pope). Because if they succeed of even one German bishop removed, they will score a major victory and ultimately will pursue the next papacy. I want to believe that will not happen, but everything is possible as history teaches us. Those people are not meek and humble who offer prayers and sacrifices, as they pretend to be infront of their base of several million sincere but deluded followers.

    Poor common Catholics who struggle everyday and want nothing else than a normal life and Love. Who want Help when they enter a beautiful cathedral or local parish, and not all that nonsense. Where is the Love in all that? Isn’t it all about that, as Jesus himself defined the two biggest commandments?

  8. stefano says:

    I ask permission to make a personal comment on the Pachamama issue.
    In premise, I do not think that it contributes to a beneficial debate to always split in two parties, the papal accusers and the papal defenders. The point here is not to accuse the Pope, but to understand what happened. As a necessary side remark, no one but God can judge the Pope, this is out of the question, however, as faithful members of the Church, it would be foolish to believe that a Pope can never fail personally or even sin gravely, at least objectively if not subjectively; and, when it happens, it would be twice as foolish to exchange such shortcomings for acts of virtue. This would be a lack of prudence and discernment which would lead to replicate such errors.

    So, in principle, I am ready to share Ron’s position and accept the Pope’s justification that there was no idolatrous intention in the rituals set up in connection to the Synon for the Amazon. However, what we need to establish here and not to dismiss as trivial, is whether or not something went beyond his intentions, with or without his responsibility (but this is a matter of less importance).

    It is not correct to say that the Pachamama is just a symbol of Mother Earth; in actual fact, it is a divinity to be worshipped. The crucial point is that Nature was created by God, and that man was created to worship God, not the creatures.

    Not only the statues of Pachamama were used in indigenous rituals held in the Vatican Gardens in the presence of the Pope and shown in the Via Crucis in Saint Peter’s, but they were also housed in the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina where every day a magic ritual entitled Moments of Amazonian spirituality took place. When someone got in the church, stole the statues and flew them into the river Tiber, the Pope apologized for the offense, not even realizing the offense perceived by many worshippers of the only true God, and totally ignoring the criticisms from many sources. I think he might have at least apologized for any misunderstandings resulting from the housing of the statues in the church, beyond the good intentions of the organizers of the Synod. The lack of apology seemed to me even more offensive as if he were saying “in my church I can do what I want, and those who don’t like it deserve no respect”. These are the facts.

    Now, if we take a look at the following interview to the German-Brazilian theologian Paulo Suess, one of the main architects of the Synod (Life Site https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/if-pagan-rites-are-part-of-amazon-synod-theyre-still-worship-of-god-synod-working-doc-writer), the least reaction is disbelief: Q.: “It is definitely the case that there is a noticeable sentiment against the synod on the part of certain media… Someone wrote that it was a pagan rite”. A.: “So what? Even if that had been a pagan rite, what took place was still a worship service. A rite always has something to do with worship. Paganism cannot be dismissed as nothing. What is pagan? In our big cities we are no less pagan than in the jungle” (note that the Vatican Media eventually removed those comments from its interview, with no note or indication of the redaction).

    Well, after such declarations from a highly respected reference person of the Synod, can anyone really think to dismiss the Pachamama case just pointing the finger to the heretic and schismatic papal accusers? Is there not some big issue to discuss, other than accusing each other of heresy?
    Is there not any justified reason to raise some respectful criticism and requests for explanation to the Holy Father?

    • louisdemontfort says:

      If the Pachamama carvings were brought into the Vatican with idolatrous intent, I’m pretty sure that the Holy Father would not have been aware of this in advance. I mean absolutely no disrespect when I say that it’s perhaps naive for people to imagine that Pope Francis is personally aware of every single thing that goes on within the precincts of the Vatican. This whole incident will doubtless have caused Pope Francis a lot of embarrassment, but the accusations which have been made against him are extremely disrespectful and unworthy of anyone who claims to love Jesus and His Church. Pope Francis is the Vicar of Christ and, even if it should turn out he (at worst) mis-judged the Pachamama situation, he nevertheless warrants the loyalty and respect of all Catholics. It is not for any of us to judge Pope Francis.
      I say this with the utmost charity.

    • Ron Conte says:

      At the event in the Vatican garden, I’m sure Pope Francis thought it was a tree planting ceremony. He seemed disturbed at the pagan ceremony that unfolded. He omitted his prepared remarks, omitted the closing prayer, omitted the closing song, said an Our Father, as one does in the face of evil, and then hurriedly left. So I don’t see how he can be accused of idolatry.

  9. Ron Conte says:

    Mark Miravalle on the Amazon Synod: “I, for my part, am going to trust the Vicar of Christ to make the right decision. Why? because as a Catholic I don’t claim to have the same portion of the Spirit as he who is the successor of Saint Peter. His office is guided by the Spirit. So I am going to defer to Pope Francis’ decision and I will follow it, and I will obey it, and I will defend it.”

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