Many Catholic faithful yawned today at the latest conservative attempt to smear Pope Francis with “sacrilege” accusations over the native statues at last month’s Amazon Synod.
Driving the news
100 priests and scholars released on Tuesday a “Protest against Pope Francis’s sacrilegious acts”, in which they accused the leader of the world’s Catholics of condoning the “idolatrous worship of the pagan goddess Pachamama”.
That was despite repeated assurances by the Vatican and Synod organisers that the statuettes at Synod events were not pagan figures, but instead representations of life, mother earth and indigenous peoples.
The “Protest” against the Pope was carried today by outlets such as LifeSite News, which have been relentless in their criticism of Francis throughout his entire pontificate.
“The same few dozen names, over and over and over, isolated from the People of God by their neurotic response to modernity. They are articulate, rich and loud. But not important”, papal biographer Austen Ivereigh said on Twitter of the signatories to the “Protest”.
Those signatories included many of the same people who have tried again and again to undermine Pope Francis’ papacy, such as with the 2017 “filial correction” of supposed “heresies” in Francis’ 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia.
Among the endorsers were Gloria, Princess of Thurn und Taxis in Germany, who recently called Francis-critic Cardinal Gerhard Müller the “Trump of the Catholic Church”.
The signatories also included notorious Pope-basher Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who has accused Francis of “undermining doctrines, practices and structures” and even of covering-up the sex abuse of former cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
But at the time this story was published, just twelve new signatories had been added to the “Protest” today, November 12.
Why it matters
Twitter user Jacqueline Baligian questioned whether Ivereigh’s labelling Francis’ critics as “articulate” really applied.
“It really cracks me up that they show such venom & hatred that’s in their hearts but yet they think a statue is the problem. SMH [Shaking my head]”, Baligian added.
‘”Articulate, rich, and loud’ indeed”, said Twitter user Tony Annett, adding that “I suspect ‘Gloria, Princess of Thurn und Taxis’ has a problem with a ‘poor Church for the poor’…”, in reference to one of Pope Francis’ most famous mottoes.
“Can we do a list of 1,000 more-or-less important Catholics asking these 100 to repent, submit to the pope, and officially announce that they were wrong and have understood that there was no pagan worship?”, asked for his part on Twitter Georg Stoeger.
“I quite like that Maike Hickson, who wrote the [LifeSite] report [on the “Protest”], is a signatory of the letter. It’s almost as though journalistic integrity isn’t important to these people”, observed Twitter user Thirsty Gargoyle.
For the record
Beyond the Twitter criticisms, over, some Twitter supporters of the Pope “Protest” revealed their true colours when they said the Francis criticisms didn’t go far enough.
In reference to the protesters “respectfully” asking Francis “to repent”, Twitter user Novus Ordo Watch said: “Hey, fellows, don’t you think it’s time to ask him a little bit DISrespectfully?!”
“The Pope commits idolatry in the Vatican and only 100 call for him to repent. There should be open, global revolt against this act”, said Twitter user Jonathan Burdon.
In the meantime, though, Pope Francis on Tuesday again showed no signs of being worried by the ultraconservative resistance to his reforms.
He preached in his daily Mass in his residence, the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican, on “the envy of that proud angel who refused to accept the incarnation”, a sin that led that devil “to destroy humanity”.
“When you talk badly about someone you destroy them”, Francis warned.
“Today we have to say it clearly, there are many who sow hatred in the world, who destroy”, the Pope denounced, before praying for “the strength not to play the game of the envious one, the great liar, the sower of hatred”.