As far as I am aware, Pope Francis has certainly been one of the most controversial popes within this last century. A simple internet search will show that this is the case. He has done much to erode the trust of Catholics worldwide, and to confirm the suspicions of Protestants and others.
There are a number of articles on this topic, and the following one cites a fairly recent example of his controversy. On October 4, 2019, the pope attended the Amazonian Synod during the worship services in the Vatican gardens. It is said that in this synod, “Pope Francis attended an act of idolatrous worship of the pagan goddess ‘Pachamama.’” Pachamama is a wooden image depicted as a naked, pregnant Amazonian woman. He “further participated in this act of idolatrous worship by blessing a wooden image of Pachamama.”
This particular article also stated, “On October 7, 2019, the idol of Pachamama was placed in front of the main altar at St. Peter’s and then carried in procession to the Synod Hall. Pope Francis said prayers in a ceremony involving this image and then joined in this procession.”
Looks like full participation from the pope, to me. Then the backlash came:
“When the wooden images of this pagan deity were removed from the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, where they had been sacrilegiously placed, and thrown into the Tiber [river] by Catholics outraged by this profanation of the church, Pope Francis, on October 25, apologized for their removal.”
Because of his ecumenical agenda, Francis would rather apologize to (and save face with) his pagan Amazonian members, than he would with the God of the Bible (Exodus 20:1-6; 1Corinthians 10:14).
“Another wooden image of Pachamama was returned to the church. Thus, a new profanation was initiated.”
The people were not happy about this, but Francis wasn’t finished with his idolatry:
“On October 27, in the closing Mass for the Amazonian Synod, Pope Francis accepted a bowl used in the idolatrous worship of Pachamama and placed it on the altar of St. Peter’s Basilica.”
See this link:
But reportedly, the Vatican was silent about all this.
In an interview with Vatican Media, Paulo Suess, a German priest who served for decades among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, recognized the pope’s sin. The priest who interviewed Suess acted as though paganism in the Catholic Church was no big deal, and Suess stated:
“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...”
The article states that “Vatican Media eventually removed those comments from its interview with the priest, with no note or indication of the redaction.”
Hmmm. Seems that the Vatican didn’t want this detail in the story to go public. Even among many Catholics, the pope’s actions did not sit well. In fact, it caused quite a stir and it was the “subject of fierce social media debate among Catholics.”
What the people were seeing clearly looked like worship to them:
“Figures used prominently in unexplained and unfamiliar rituals or spiritual expressions, even with persons prostrating themselves in front of the statues, led journalists to ask what connections the figures have to indigenous religious rituals.”
“But at least three times, Vatican officials or synod participants were asked about the statues, and the events in which they were involved. Questions went mostly unanswered. Vatican officials pointed to organizers of synod events, who pointed back to Vatican officials.”
In other words, they were playing the old “pass the buck” game. But it got worse:
“… the same commentators began to claim that the figures were indigenous symbols about which asking questions was somehow an expression of prejudice, or even racism… Even in the Vatican press room, one journalist said during a press conference that other reporters, presumably those who had asked questions about the statues, had committed lamentable acts of racism against indigenous persons. Vatican officials did not refute that charge.”
“Still, one synod participant told CNA [Catholic News Agency] that behind closed doors, some Vatican officials dismissed concerns as either propaganda from ‘anti-Francis Americans’ or overt racism.”
Boy, does this sound like American leftist politics of today, or what! If you say something they don’t like (or don’t want to answer), you are immediately labeled a racist (even if there is no evidence for that claim). That’s when you know they have an ulterior motive.
There seemed to be questions about the actual identity of these images, but on October 25, after the statues had been recovered from the river, Francis acknowledged the truth about the Amazonian statues and indeed referred to them as “Pachamama.” But sensing that his own people were recognizing the obvious idolatry, he tried to counter and stated that the idols had been placed in the Church without “idolatrous intentions.”
Of course, the Vatican tried to downplay these events. Just one month after this happened Catholic World News wrote a short editor’s note defending the pope:
“Pachamama is not a divinity or idol that is worshiped, but is mother earth, honored as the ‘creation and manifestation of the love of God,’ writes retired Mexican Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel. He recalls that years ago, while in Bolivia for a meeting, he asked a member of the indigenous Aymara people whether his people consider Pachamama and Inti to be gods. The man replied, “Those who have not received evangelization consider them gods; for those of us who have been evangelized, they are not gods, but God’s best gifts.” Bishop Arizmendi commented, ‘Wonderful response! … They are manifestations of God’s love, not gods.”
It looks as though the Vatican just does not want to admit to the pope’s idolatry!
But my response is, how can a demon be a manifestation of God’s love? And how can this Catholic bishop, a leader in the Church, call the Amazonian man’s reply a “wonderful response”?!!!
Someone might ask, “But why do you call Pachamama a demon?
The apostle Paul, himself, calls idols demons/devils:
“But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: Ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” (1 Corinthians 10:20-22)
Not only that, but according to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, Pachamama is an Andean deity (a god/goddess), especially in Peru and Bolivia, where she is worshipped as “the goddess of the Earth.” It goes on to say, “Through the centuries, the Roman Catholic Church has accepted some indigenous rituals and customs by assimilation [i.e., taking in and fully understanding information or ideas], mainly through combined Catholic and traditional celebrations that continue to be an important part of life in rural and urban settings.”
In other words, the Catholic Church purposely allows the pagan aspects to be blended into their Catholicism for the sake of Amazonian “tradition.”
Furthermore, according to World History Encyclopedia, on the Inca religion, Pachamama was considered a “lesser” deity, although still important. She was considered the “earth goddess.” See here:
And interestingly, all this stuff that the pope did ties in with the “Mother Earth” movement, nature worship, and the “going green” mentality that leftists are pushing today. Just an observation.
So there is no escaping the fact that Pachamama is an idol, a false god. And it has no business in ANY church that claims to be Christian. Many of the Catholics recognized this fact. So, kudos to those Catholics who did recognize the pope’s idolatry concerning Pachamama – but what about Mary? Why can’t Catholics see their own prayers to (and prostration before) Mary and other “saints” as idolatry? What’s the difference? Yes, what the pope did was wrong, but the “devotion” given to Mary by many Catholics is, I would say, not less than those Amazonians’ devotion to Pachamama. If the Amazonians can’t worship as they do, then the pope and other Catholics can’t either. If what the Amazonians do is worship, then how much more is it worship when the same things (and more) are done by Catholics toward Mary? We would do well to stick to the biblical examples of worship for everyone.
One of the previous articles that I mentioned above says that the synod’s working document proclaims that “Jesus was a person of dialogue and encounter.”
As if to say that Jesus would not have been offended by the pope’s actions. They seem to think that rather than condemning those involved, Jesus would have encouraged dialogue and promoted diversity with them, instead.
But why do you think that Jesus was turning over the money changers’ tables in righteous anger (Mark 11:15-17; John 2:13-16)? It was because of the idolatry of the Jewish leaders, concerning their love of money (e.g., Luke 16:14). Neither Jesus nor the early church was tolerant toward idols.
So, the problem here is not just a bad pope whose cohorts in the Vatican are covering his every evil deed – it is the fact that the Catholic Church is an unbiblical religious system in which he is the head. This is a hard pill to swallow for members of the Catholic Church, but hopefully, many Catholics’ eyes will be opened after this.