Pope Francis announced the retrieval of the controversial “Pachamama” statues seen at the Amazon synod that were thrown into the Tiber River.
On 21st, the “Pachamama” statues that have been at the heart of contention surrounding the Amazon synod were taken from a church in Rome and thrown into the Tiber River.
Last Friday, Pope Francis announced the statues of what he referred to as the “Pachamama” had been retrieved from the river and issued an apology for the actions of the two unknown men. His off-the-cuff comments were delivered after the liturgical prayer opening the 15th General Congregation for the Amazon Synod.
“First of all, this happened in Rome, and, as Bishop of the Diocese, I ask pardon of the persons who were offended by this act.”
Pope Francis said the statues of a pagan god that were in a Roman church “without idolatrous intentions were retrieved from the Tiber and “were not damaged.” They are now being held in the office of the Italian police commander until they can be used in the celebration of Mass to close the Amazon synod.
There is no clarification if Pope Francis used the term “Pachamama” colloquially or was referring to the Andean fertility goddess “Mother Earth.” Some have also made the claim the statue is the Virgin Mary. However, communications official for the Amazon synod Father Giacomo Costa added clarity to the situation, saying: “It is not the Virgin Mary, who said it is the Virgin Mary?”
Paolo Ruffini, Prefect of the Dicastery for Communications, agreed with Costa, saying in his personal opinion the figure “fundamentally, represents life. It represents life through a woman.” He equated the image to that of a tree, saying “a tree is a sacred symbol.”
Read the full transcript of Pope Francis’ comments here.