If you’re a plugged-in Catholic you might be asking why has the Church been rocked with repeated scandals the last 50 years. In his book, Infiltration, Taylor Marshall provides a profound analysis. Marshall gives a detailed historical account that illuminates the there have been demonic forces that have infiltrated the Catholic Church in order to destroy her pure doctrine. As we scan the current landscape in light of the Amazon Synod, it’s hard to avoid this overt attempt to rupture the Church’s ever-standing teaching and create a new counter church.
To see this, we first need to back up to take a look at what the Amazon Synod’s purpose is. Instead of directly evangelizing and converting people, many members within the Church want to create “dialogue” in which conversion to the Catholic faith is non-existent. In vast regions in Brazil and throughout South America, indigenous people continue to practice their tribal religion while few, if any, have been baptized. Bishop Erwin Kräutler, reportedly the principal author for the working document of this Synod, “has boasted that in thirty years working in the Amazon region, he’s never baptized an indigenous person.”
It appears evident that the liberal priests and bishops don’t want to evangelize the Catholic faith to the people of the Amazon. Rather, they prefer to incorporate elements of the Amazonian tribal religion into Catholicism to show a bonding of “togetherness.” In the past, converting indigenous people to the Catholic faith had been a bedrock of evangelization – apart of Jesus’s great commission to “make disciples of all nations.” However, under the liberal Catholic view, such a concept is frowned upon and often invokes negative ideas of “colonialism” or “proselytism.” Therefore, what the Amazon synod clearly displayed is a syncretism in which pagan elements are gradually merged into the Catholic faith.
Brazilian writer Jose Ureta’s article sums up the inept results of this on-going dialogue. He goes on to say, “As a result of the new conception of the Church’s evangelizing action as a mere exercise in inter-religious dialogue Father Dalminago brags about an astonishing fact . . . which many traditional missionaries would consider a most bitter failure. He has directed a mission of presence and dialogue in which after sixty years no one has been baptized.”
Not only has the dialogue produced no conversions, it has now snuck tribal paganism into Catholic liturgy. In the opening ceremony of the Amazon Synod, we observed a shaman, spiritual dancing, and several people bowing down before a nude mother earth-goddess known as Pachamama. There was also a tree-planting ceremony in which people prostrated themselves in front of a tree. The sad reality is that invoking a veneration of a tree is a common sign of earth worship. Therefore, the Amazon Synod became an event where the Church endorsed and participated in pagan acts.
When asked about this tree-planting ceremony being a pagan rite Father Paolo Suess responded by simply saying, “So what.” Suess went on to say “Even if that would have been a pagan rite, it is still a divine service,” he claimed. A rite has “always something to do with worship” and paganism “cannot be dismissed as nothing.”
Paolo Suess is a questionable figure that repeatedly attempts to implant pagan elements into the Church. His liberal views and involvement in this Synod is revealing. But, we don’t have to take Suess’s word that the opening ceremony was drenched in paganism. The woman that led this tree-planting ritual disclosed its pagan undertones. She went on to say,
“To plant … is believing in a growing and fruitful life to satisfy the hunger of Mother Earth’s creation. This brings us to our origin by reconnecting divine energy and teaching us the way back to the Creator Father.”
No mention here of Jesus as the Divine mediator that connects us to the Father. Rather, “mother earth” becomes this ultimate mediator.
De Oliveira Viana, who also guided participants in bowing down around the Pachamama statues said regarding the October 4th event: “The Synod is to plant this tree, water and cultivate. . . experiencing the mystery of the divinity present in the Amazonian soil.”
Here, we have the celebration of not God the Father, rather a celebration of the earth in which the earth provides the “divinity in the soil.”
While the word “pagan” describes the worshiping of many gods, the term’s larger meaning in the Biblical sense is one who is worshiping a false god. What becomes clear when we view the ceremonies at the Amazon Synod is that the false god that is being venerated is mother earth. In other words, this whole synod was built around the old pagan religion of earth worship. Many of the Greek, Roman and tribal gods worshiped various elements of the earth – be it the sun god, moon god, water god, tree god, etc. We can summarize all these false gods under the classic pagan concept of “mother earth.” Specifically, in the Brazilian region, mother earth worship has been going on for centuries.
A Brazilian by the name of Xicao Xukuru revived the pagan concept to venerate mother earth in the 1980s. As he describes in a video, “For us the earth is our mother. If she is our mother she gives us everything we need then she must be cared for and preserved.” The prayers in Xukuru’s funeral service were made to “my mother nature.”
Now, for a Catholic to say that the earth is our mother is straight-up blasphemy. The Church is our mother, and Our Lady is our mother – not the earth. The earth does not have a living soul that a personal agent like the Church does (see Ephesians 5: 22-33). Yet, the language in the synod in which we “hear the cries of the earth” places the earth at the level of a personal agent. The distinction is God created the earth, but the earth is not a personal agent like the Trinity. In fact, the creation of human beings is higher than the earth because man was created in the image of God while the earth and all of nature was not. Now, nature does communicate by way of natural law. But, as Aquinas teaches, natural law is always intended to lead the person to God, not to the earth or creation itself.
In paganism there is a profound respect for nature in that one must have this inner connection to nature through an ecological system. Under this view, people put all this energy into purifying the earth because man is a nuisance that continuously “rapes” the earth of its sacred resources. In other words, human beings are viewed as the cancer and the earth is seen as a sacred entity. This notion reverses the order and hierarchy of creation in which the earth supersedes man in value. While in Genesis the creation of the earth (along with the animals) is described as “good” (Gen. 1: 12), after the creation of mankind, creation is then elevated to a higher level in being described as “very good” (Gen. 1:31). Therefore, the creation of people elevates nature because in creation it is only people that are created in God’s very image and likeness (see Gen. 1:27). Notice it is man who is made in God’s image – not the earth.
The important distinction is that a person is created in God’s image with a rational soul that includes an intellect and will while the earth is an inanimate object that lacks a free will or a rational soul. In fact, the material realm of the earth will one day be extinguished and die while the human soul will never die.
In Genesis, God clearly communicates that man has a higher value than the earth. In fact, all of creation that includes the land, animals, waters were created for man to use to help him in which he is to have dominion over it (see Genesis 1:26, 28-30, Deut. 22:6-7, Psalm 8: 6-8, cf. Matt. 6: 26-29). Earth worship flips the creation teaching on its head in which the earth is elevated above man where man is forbidden to touch the treasures of the earth. It should be noted that demonic teachings always reverses God’s pure teaching.
In paganism, a demonic reversal occurs as sacrifices of humans are made to appease and protect the earth. This still goes on today as politicians insinuate that we need abortion for population control so as to save mother earth from climate change.
We can see the idolatry of earth worship in Exodus when God sent the ten plagues on Egypt. The Egyptians worshiped all aspects of nature: the sun, moon, stars, the Nile River; frogs, fish, plants—you name it, they revered it. So, with the plagues that destroyed the river, the crops, animals, the weather pattern, God deliberately undermined and demolished these false earth deities for all to see.
The earth is the vehicle by which God provides for us. While it’s prudent to take care of the earth, you certainly shouldn’t place it on a level above humans and definitely shouldn’t venerate it or worship it. What the creation account poetically communicates is that the physical creation is good precisely because the material creation points to the spiritual reality (the image of God) much like a sign points to an ultimate destination. But, no one should honor and worship the sign more than where that sign points to. Would it make sense for people to worship a sign that says “God This Way” over and above worshiping God? When the icon (the sign) is placed above the Divine image, the icon then becomes an idol – a false god.
What is also concerning is that the pagan concept of animal veneration was on display in the synod. A bizarre poster in the church Santa Maria in Transpontina displayed a picture of an indigenous woman breast-feeding an animal with the caption reading “we are all connected.” The message behind the picture is a subtle way to blur the distinction that man is above the animals. Rather, now animals are at the same level as humans, or in a strange sense animals have a higher value than humans. This backwards mentality of animals above humans remains a constant in our culture. Isn’t it strange that we are not allowed to destroy baby birds in their eggs but we can kill human babies in the womb?
This whole idea to worship the created material world over and above worshiping the Creator is spelled out in Romans. Here, Paul indicates that the wicked have rejected natural law. “For although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God. . . While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or birds or of four-legged animals. Therefore, God handed them over to impurity . . . they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature [creation] rather than the creator” (Romans 1: 21-25).
With the appearance of the Pachamama statues, we see this earth worship on full display at the synod. The word “pachamama” is translated as mother earth. In fact, the Encyclopedia Britannica states rather plainly that Pachamama is worshiped as the goddess of the earth. As a admirer of Pachamama writes,
Pachamama is the Supreme Goddess honoured by the indigenous people of the Andes including Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. Pachamama is referred to as both the Physical Planet Earth as well as the Universal Feminine Energy in Time and Space, The Cosmic Mother. Pacha is an archaic Quechua word meaning universe, world, time and space. So She is in fact the Goddess of all that exists for all time, eternal. . . . The Andean People believe that recent quakes in the region are a direct result of humanity’s disregard for the planet.
The roots of Pachamama come from the myths of a pregnant moon goddess and a pregnant earth goddess coming together to generate the universe through self copulation. Therefore, these pagan goddesses were able to produce the universe through their own virginal conceptions. This, of course, is a perversion and a mockery of the virgin birth through our real mother – Mary
What is highly concerning is that the pope has made this Pachamama image as a central symbol in the Amazon Synod. Raising up Pachamama as the main focal point within a worship context is a direct violation of the First Commandment. The First Commandment is simple: I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have any other gods besides me. This is not just an Old Testament sentiment. Ask any exorcist how violating this Commandment can lead to demonic infestations, obsessions, and even possessions. The idol worship in the synod has caused a group of priests and theologians to formally signed a petition entitled A Protest Against Pope Francis’s Sacrilegious Acts. While many more bishops have called these acts in the synod scandalous, the synod leaders have not regressed.
The reason idols are so problematic is not merely because these false gods end up confusing people, these idols are in fact, the devil in disguise. As the psalmist notes, “For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils” (Psalm 95:5 Douay-Rheims translation, cf: Psalm 96: 5, 1 Cor. 10: 19-21). In fact, four exorcists explicitly indicated that idolatry causes demonic infiltration. In a recent statement exorcists said,
In light of recent events regarding the Pachamama ritual in the Vatican Gardens, the subsequent procession of the idol into St. Peter’s, as well as placing the idols in St. Maria in Traspontina church, we are reminded of the words of St. Paul (1 Corinthians 10:20), ‘Do I say, that what is offered in sacrifice to idols, is anything? Or, that the idol is anything? But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. And I would not that you should be made partakers with devils.’
We are, therefore, encouraging all Catholics who recognize the evil of the events to join us in a day of prayer and penance on December 6th, for the purpose of driving out any diabolic influence within the Church that has been gained as a result of these recent events — along with any other events.”
By citing Paul in Corinthians as well as the experience of exorcists we can know the basic formula equates to where there are idols, there are demons present.
We can see the idol = demons connection by understanding what the worship of idols leads to. Everywhere an earth goddess is worshiped anthropologist have found child sacrifices. In various places in South America, child sacrifices were made to appease “mother earth” to bring good weather and plentiful growth (see also here). These barbaric practices have been repeated throughout history from the Aztec’s ritualistic killing of people to appease their sun god, to the current practice of abortion so as not to leave a carbon-footprint on the earth.
The violence that ensues from paganism is repeated in the Amazon region. The Yanomamo tribe in northern Brazil is an extremely violent group. Half of the Yanomamo males die a violent death. Indeed, they are the second most violent group in the world. In their raiding of other villages they kidnap the women and brutally killed the children. A Brazilian woman named Elena Valero was kidnapped by the Yanomamo tribe when she was eleven years old. She described what the Yanomamo people did during their raids. “They killed so many. I was weeping for fear and pity but there was nothing I could do. They snatched the children from their mothers to kill them while the others held the mothers tightly by their arms . . . All the woman wept. The men began to kill the children. . . They beat them against the trees and the rocks.” (Sexual Paradox, p. 156). The Yanomano people perform other savage acts such as eating their enemies ashes after they have burned them. They also kill their own children that they perceive as weak or imperfect and their ceremonies often involve inhaling hallucinogenic drugs.
At this point, it should be obvious. Earth worship is pagan, demonic and eventually leads to sadistic acts. Rather than cheer on earth worship and implant these pagan elements into Catholicism, the Church needs to simply do what she’s always done – bring these people to the truth of the Gospel and destroy the idols. This simple formula happened in Mexico 488 years ago. The Virgin Mary appeared to the indigenous people as Our Lady of Guadalupe. Here, the real pregnant mother appeared to an earth worship religion and converted the entire land in a few years. So, if we want a pregnant female figure that indigenous people can pray and honor let’s look to the one who converted a million indigenous people in Mexico and Central America and put an end to their child sacrifice. For this reason, we can thank God that the Pachamama statues ended up floating in the Tiber River.
Taylor Marshall’s theory that the Church has been infiltrated begins to make sense the more we see the Vatican drift further away from traditional Catholicism and into idol veneration. The scene today is reminiscent of the book of Maccabees in which Israel embraced idol worship and desecrated the temple. We’ll notice in Maccabees, it was lay people that gathered together to fight back and purify the temple to keep God’s worship pure. Let’s recall the Maccabees story so we too can take back the Church from the idol lovers.