Two videos surfaced showing two people throwing controversial statues used at the Amazon Synod into the Tiber river.
While one person holds the camera, the other enters the area with the statues. After taking them, he genuflects and the shot changes. They then appear walking with the statues away from the church towards Castel Sant’Angelo.
Upon arriving at the Tiber river, they line the statues up on the Castel Sant’Angelo bridge and push them in one at a time.
The wooden-carved nude pregnant woman used during several of the Amazon Synod’s events recently stirred major controversy due to its alleged similarity to the Pachamama (Mother Earth), the Andean peoples’ goddess of fertility. Others believe the statue represents the Blessed Virgin Mary.
However, Head of Vatican Communications Paolo Ruffini said the statue is “neither pagan nor sacred.” He added that “it is a feminine figure” of “an indigenous woman who represents life.”
Watch the full video below:
The account posted a second video of higher quality along with music. The video depicts in greater detail two people stealing the statues. The videos do not show faces, however.
The second video’s caption reads, “This was done for only one reason: Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, his blessed Mother, and everybody who follows Christ, are being attacked by members of our own Church.
“We do not accept this! We do not longer stay silent! We start to act NOW!
“Because we love humanity, we cannot accept that people of a certain region should not get baptized and therefore are being denied entrance into heaven. It is our duty to follow the words of God like our Holy Mother did. There is no second way of salvation.
“Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat! (Christ conquers, Christ rules, Christ commands!)”
Here’s the second video below:
Paolo Ruffini responded to the event at a press conference saying “to steal something from a place and, in sum, to throw it away, is a stunt.”
He added that it “is a gesture that seems to me to contradict the spirit of dialogue that should always animate everything.”
“I don’t know what else to say. It was a theft,” Ruffini said.
Amazon communications official Fr. Giacomo Costa said throwing the statues into the river “doesn’t make sense,” and “really, however, it is never constructive to steal an object.”
Social media responds
One user claiming to be from the Amazon responded to a journalist accusing other twitter users of “racist, xenophobic tweets regarding theft of statues carved by indigenous artists.”
The user said, “I am from the Amazon (Belém, PA, Brazil) and I say with all authority: Amazonian Catholics are celebrating the destruction of the ‘Pachamama’ pagan idol.
“Cry, modernist. In the Amazon we have only one queen: Our Lady of Nazareth, the horror of the pagans.”
Another Catholic writer commented along with a photo of the vandalized altar where the statues were placed.
He said, “Just prayed here at Transpontina church at altar where, in an act of appalling disrespect and violence, fanatics egged on by ethics-free journalism this [morning] broke in here and threw into the Tiber the figurine described by the Catholic people of Amazonia as Our Lady of the Amazon.”
Fr. David Palmer of Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham responded to the journalist with a quote from Isaiah 44:9.
He said, “‘All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless. Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame.'”