What happened? The man who threw the controversial “Pachamama” statues into the Tiber has come forward. Alexander Tschugguel, a 26-year-old Austrian, said the statues were idols. He told the National Catholic Register: “Being Catholic means being clear, and the problem is that even the high officials in the Vatican called them ‘Pachamamas’. It was an official term, and so if it can be official that you can have indigenous idols in your church, then that’s just wrong.”
What people are saying about the statues
A month after the statues were first introduced at a ceremony in the Vatican Gardens, and a fortnight after activists took versions of the statue from a Rome church and threw them into the river, the debate rumbles on. The Guardian said in an editorial that the statues should be welcomed by Catholics out of “humility … no culture or tradition has unique access to the true and the good.” Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg said in a sermon that the Church had often transformed and purified pagan images; but it was not apparent that the figures that we are talking about had undergone the transformation and purification – from a natural piety toward a Marian devotion in light of the history of salvation – as had been done by Catholic missionaries of the past.”
What people are saying about the synod
At Get Religion, the Orthodox blogger Terry Mattingly said he had “noticed something strange” about the synod coverage: “Increasingly, I am finding that conservative and progressive Catholics sort of agree on what is happening in their global Communion. What they disagree on is whether it is good or bad.” For instance, he wrote, the papal biographer George Weigel recently wrote that much is at stake for the Church: for instance, its identity as a “universal Church”, as well as its teachings on such matters as Holy Orders, intrinsically evil acts and “the unique role of Jesus Christ as Saviour.” “I wonder,” wrote Mattingly, “if legions of journalists and liberal Catholics would agree” that Weigel’s analysis of the major trends is correct – “only they would not see them as threats”.
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