The world, it would seem, stands accursed on account of the outright idolatry endorsed by Rome in the weeks bookending the infamous Amazon Synod. Indeed, in the immediate aftermath of the enthronement of a grotesque and simian statue of the heathen goddess Pachamama in the Eternal City, a spate of calamities has ravaged mankind in what can be little other than divine chastisement for Church leaders' blasphemy.
Although the Pachamama incident of 2019 — despicable as it was — has become a nigh ubiquitously known and oft-lamented bit of lore in the annals of ecclesiastical scandal, let us briefly recall the events in question, that we might better substantiate what is (admittedly) a sensational-sounding thesis.
On Oct. 4, 2019, the pagan idol Pachamama went on full display in the Vatican Gardens. There, "she" became the center of what can only be described as pantheistic jungle-liturgy, with many (including priests) prostrating themselves before the chthonic statue, as curia cardinals and even the Pope himself looked on. The sacrilegious event crescendoed with Pope Francis bestowing a blessing on the idol.
On Oct. 7, Pachamama was displayed in front of the main altar at St. Peter's Basilica — the site of St. Peter's tomb and one of the holiest Catholic shrines in existence — and then borne to the Synod Hall with the pomp and self-righteousness of a procession. Pope Francis joined in the sad, little parade and prayed in front of the statue of Pachamama.
Asked about the alleged idolatrous ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica, Fr. Paulo Suess — a German priest (and liberation theologian) who served as general secretary of the Brazilian bishops' indigenous ministry council (CIMI) and who is an apt figurehead for the "spirit of the Amazon Synod" — downplayed the scandal, saying:
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. That's something to think about.
On Oct. 15, Catholic media began reporting that the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina was displaying, in keeping with the Amazon Synod's broader totemistic milieu, an outrageous and debasing picture of a topless indigenous woman breastfeeding a weasel.
Finally, on Oct. 21, overcome with pious zeal at the contamination of the house of God, Alexander Tschugguel snatched five statues of Pachamama from Santa Maria Traspontina and, in an act redounding to the cathartic gratification of the faithful throughout the world, hurled the fell wooden goddesses from the Ponte Sant'Angelo into the bowels of the Tiber River. It should have been a jarring call to repentance for the prelates who had sanctioned the defilement of hallowed ground.
Yet many of the shepherds of the Church remained obstinate and — exchanging pagan babbling and deaf-mute idols of stone for authentic liturgy and the one, true, living Triune God — doubled down on their infatuation with regressive naturalism.
On Oct. 25, Pope Francis tendered an apology, not for the outright idolatry in the Vatican, but for the removal of the foul Pachamama effigy, begging forgiveness from those offended by the false goddess' burial-at-sea. Pope Francis went on to assert that the statues had been recovered from the Tiber, suggesting they could be displayed at the Synod's closing Mass on Oct. 27.
At the Synod's closing Mass, in lieu of having a Pachamama effigy physically present, Pope Francis accepted a bowl used in religious rites connected to the idol and placed it on the altar (in defiance of liturgical norms). And thus the ignominious spectacle that was the Amazon Synod ground to a halt.
In the wake of the Synod, all hell has broken loose. Tribulation and unrest of biblical magnitude have been unleashed on the earth. The timing is uncanny.
We are presently living through what is perhaps the most significant pandemic since the outbreak of the Spanish flu over a century ago — the infamous COVID-19 scourge. It's noteworthy that the earliest confirmed case of COVID occurred on Nov. 17, 2019 (in the Hubei province of China), a scant three weeks after the Amazon Synod ended.
While the human casualties of COVID remain murky (owing to the practical difficulties that are part and parcel of diagnostic testing and the not-subtle politicization and weaponization of the virus by the globalist cabal), estimates put the number of global Wuhan flu deaths around 650,000.
Coincidentally, the Amazon region has, by comparison with the rest of the world, seen a uniquely deadly outbreak of the virus. "The Amazon, Giver of Life, Unleashes the Pandemic," read the headline for the front-page article of The New York Times on Sunday, July 26. The flagship American paper reports that the Amazon region has taken an especial shellacking from the virus, with people in remote towns "as likely to get sick as [people] in New York City."
"The virus is taking an exceptionally high toll on the Amazon region and the people who have depended on its abundance for generations," laments the Times.
But in addition to its immediate and deleterious physiological effects (and, in a certain sense, even over and above them), COVID has inflicted grievous economic and cultural wounds on mankind, shutting down the world's leading economies and kneecapping production and service sectors. A significant proportion of the world's workforce was laid off or suspended from their jobs as part of "social distancing" initiatives, leading to a genuine uptick in financial hardship for the lower and middle classes.
Beyond this, many have been relegated to lonely, hermitic existences, as government shutdowns have stripped Westerners of pleasures, pastimes and routines that, in their First-World opulence, they have long taken for granted. Schools have been closed, social gatherings quashed, athletics curtailed, recreation of all stripes smothered.
Most poignantly, Catholics' access to the Sacrifice of the Mass and the seven sacraments — the preciousest treasures of our earthly sojourn — has been compromised as a result of the scheming of a hostile, progressive political class and the gullibility of a too-frequently weak and rudderless episcopacy. We have been left orphans, bereft of the food of the angels and the medicine for the soul that comprise the nucleus of the Christian spiritual life. The overflowing conduits of grace to the world have been sealed off.
In the months since the Synod, the advanced state of Western societal decay has been made utterly manifest. Violent mobs of anarchists and Marxists are swarming the streets of America's urban cesspools to demand the annihilation of the nation as we know it, urging that the light of the "shining beacon on a hill" be forever extinguished in favor of a dictatorship of the proletariat. Certain cities, such as the smoldering pile of communist ruin that is Portland, Oregon, have endured over two months (two months!) of successive nightly riots.
On top of its hatred for the United States, the mob is forthright about its seething disdain for Christianity, truth and order. Spurred on by what can only be preternatural evil, it has taken to torching churches, defacing and vandalizing icons and toppling statues of august saints. Complicit state and local executives categorically refuse to wield their authority to disperse and prosecute the rampaging barbarian hordes, snarling with delight at the doom of Christian churches, which they've long despised in secret.
And the Left's malice towards Christianity is far from being a U.S. phenomenon. Indeed, throughout Europe, churches find themselves under an all-out assault. Just last week, St. Peter and St. Paul Cathedral in Nantes, France was set aflame by a Rwandan refugee. The resultant inferno tore through the building, causing millions of dollars in damage. Many on French social media openly celebrated the attack on the cathedral. The attack, far from being a one-off, typifies anti-Christian violence that has become routine across the Atlantic.
Likewise, the Church in China has felt an increase in repression in 2020 as the Chinese Communist Party has become more brazen in eradicating Christian venues, removing crosses and denying State benefits to the faithful. All of creation is beginning to seem hostile to the religion established by the Creator.
We have also seen in 2019–2020 the ascent of a prophetic token that is paradigmatically biblical (read: apocalyptic): Swarms of locusts composed of tens of billions of individual specimens (enough to cover the city of Paris 24 times over) are presently ravaging the crops and food supplies of large swaths of Africa and the Middle East. For example, according to Forbes, it is estimated that "a million people need emergency food assistance in Ethiopia alone because of the locust infestation."
National Geographic describes the locust swarms as follows:
East Africa is in the midst of a crisis that sounds like something out of the Book of Exodus: A plague of locusts is spreading across the region, threatening the food supply of tens of millions. City-sized swarms of the dreaded pests are wreaking havoc as they descend on crops and pasturelands, devouring everything in a matter of hours. The scale of the locust outbreak, which now affects seven East African countries, is like nothing in recent memory (emphasis added).
In addition to the foregoing, the world is also presently being marred by a giant, swirling dust storm spawned by the Sahara. The storm has been labeled by some environmental specialists as the "most significant weather event of the last 50 years." The 2,000-mile-wide storm may spark toxic algae blooms, but also poses a breathing hazard, magnified by its overlap with COVID-19.
All of creation seems angry. A cosmological malaise seems upon us, and the world can't seem to catch her breath.
Scripture tells us that "the gods of the Gentiles are devils" (Psalm 96:5). And so, while it appears beyond cavil that the Pachamama debacle at least surpasses the threshold for being categorized as run-of-the-mill, Old-Testament-style idolatry, it's also true that Rome's promotion of Pachamama worship was at least a material (and perhaps, for some, formal) dalliance with devil worship.
As Rome, the seat of Christ's vicar on earth, can be reckoned the capital city of the world, the devilry allowed to take place there during the fateful Amazon Synod was a sort of creational anti-christening, a consecration of the earth to the powers of Hell. Whether by active divine wrath or merely by God's permissive will allowing the dark powers temporary license, man is undergoing a period of chastisement. As proof of this, we can point to Holy Writ:
If you reject my statutes and loathe my decrees, refusing to obey all my commandments and breaking my covenant, then I, in turn, will do this to you: I will bring terror upon you — with consumption and fever to dim the eyes and sap the life. You will sow your seed in vain, for your enemies will consume the crop. I will turn against you, and you will be beaten down before your enemies and your foes will lord it over you. You will flee though no one pursues you (Lev. 26:16–17).
So let us implore the bishops and the Pope to seek God's pardon for what transpired last October. Perhaps if our fathers in the Faith, the members of the Church's Magisterium, collectively regain their senses, reverse course and publicly recant the mischief proudly broadcast to the world a few months back, the world — owing to God's infinite clemency — may see her tribulations mitigated. But more importantly, would that our spiritual fathers repent, as those who love God mourn when He is offended.