The Twilight of the Idols

(Photo by Giulio Origlia/Getty Images)

As I return from my break from blogging, the Catholic news world has been alight with the recent actions of Pope Francis and his “Amazonian rite” held in the Vatican gardens. As LifeSite News recounts:

VATICAN CITY, October 4, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In a move which will most likely heighten the concerns of critics of the upcoming Amazon Synod, Pope Francis today participated in a “highly symbolic tree-planting ceremony” in the Vatican Gardens, where indegenous leaders offered prayers for the Earth and people bowed before carved images of pregnant women.

Participants planted the tree in dirt from the Amazon region (“celebrating the wealth of the bioregion’s cultures and traditions,” Vatican News explained) and India. Also brought in was “soil representing refugees and migrants, forced to leave their homes because of war, poverty, and ecological devastation” and “more soil from the Amazon, earth bathed in the blood of those who have died fighting against its destruction.” 

“There was earth from places of human trafficking, and from sustainable development projects around the world,” according to Vatican News. The tree that was planted came from Assisi, a nod to today’s feast day of St. Francis, and Pope Francis used the occasion to consecrate the upcoming Synod for the Amazon to the protection of St. Francis of Assisi…

After event participants knelt and bowed to the statues of pregnant women, Pope Francis “set aside his prepared remarks, opting instead to offer the Our Father without comment,” CNA reported.

The event was organized by the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network, the Order of Franciscan Friars Minor, and the left-wing Global Catholic Climate Movement. The Global Catholic Climate Movement includes working groups that “coordinate Catholic engagement in the Paris Agreement” and promote “Climate Strikes” and “fossil fuel divestment” to youth. Its executive director “served in the UN Climate Secretariat doing political outreach and comms for the COP21” – a UN climate conference – and has worked for Google, according to his bio. The group also offers a free guide that teaches strategies on forming parish “green teams,” “engaging parishioners on low carbon lifestyle choices” and “advocating for climate justice.”

“Various religious congregations and representatives of the indigenous people of the Amazon Region played important roles in providing colour and creativity” for the tree-planting ceremony, according to Vatican News. 

Cardinal Peter Turkson, Prefect of the Francis-created Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, also participated in the unusual Vatican ceremony. He said the “Season of Creation” is also “a season to respond to the ecological crisis” and suggested that Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Prayer for Creation is “a time of change: humanity’s turning a new leaf to save the planet.”

How is this anything but blatant pagan worship and idolatry? Several left-leaning Catholic news outlets have tried to cover for the Holy Father in stating that these wooden fertility idols were “Our Lady of the Amazon” or some other blasphemous representations of Our Lady and St Elizabeth, but I just honestly cannot buy that explanation.

Participants kneel before bowing to a set of items during a tree planting ceremony in the Vatican gardens, Oct. 3, 2019. Credit: Vatican Media.

And interesting thing to note, apart from the obvious paganism of the rite, is that the Holy Father was given a black tucum ring by one of the tribeswomen, which is a common symbol used by Brazilian Catholics to signal for social justice causes but more importantly it has associations with Liberation theology, of which the Holy Father has definite sympathies. What I find disturbing about this particular event, aside from its preceding the potentially heretical and apostate Amazon Synod (which started today), is it’s parallels to an event in Holy Scripture.

The Golden Calf

The above-mentioned rite took place last Friday, and coincidentally (if I believed in coincidences), I was making my way through the Book of Exodus once again and happened to be reading Chapter 32 which recounts Moses’ descent from Mt Sinai after receiving the tables of the Law to find the Israelites committing idolatry. To recount:

And the people seeing that Moses delayed to come down from the mount, gathering together against Aaron, said: Arise, make us gods, that may go before us: for as to this Moses, the man that brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what has befallen him. And Aaron said to them: Take the golden earrings from the ears of your wives, and your sons and daughters, and bring them to me. And the people did what he had commanded, bringing the earrings to Aaron. And when he had received them, he fashioned them by founders’ work, and made of them a molten calf. And they said: These are thy gods, O Israel, that have brought thee out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it, and made proclamation by a crier’s voice, saying: Tomorrow is the solemnity of the Lord.

And rising in the morning, they offered holocausts, and peace victims, and the people sat down to eat, and drink, and they rose up to play. And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Go, get thee down: thy people, which thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt, hath sinned. They have quickly strayed from the way which thou didst shew them: and they have made to themselves a molten calf, and have adored it, and sacrificing victims to it, have said: These are thy gods, O Israel, that have brought thee out of the land of Egypt. And again the Lord said to Moses: See that this people is stiffnecked: Let me alone, that my wrath may be kindled against them, and that I may destroy them, and I will make of thee a great nation.

Exodus 32:1-10. Douay-Rheims Bible

One would have to be blind not to see the parallels, or even prefigurements, of these acts with the road the post-Conciliar, or Synodal, Church has been taking over the past 50 years. Which has only accelerated to outright heresy and apostasy in recent months. The erection of the golden calf is no different than the worship offered these wooden fertility idols and the lip-service paid to “mother earth” by the leaders of the Church. And not only is there a parallel to be found in the golden calf, but also the actions of the High Priest Aaron, which mirror that of the Church hierarchy and Pope Francis himself in their admission of these pagan rites to be performed on consecrated ground before the very See of Peter.

The Descent of Moses and the Ascension of Christ

I would further like to note Moses’ prefigurement of Our Blessed Lord with his ascent up the holy mountain to commune with God. As Christ dwelt among us and then ascended to the Father, so too did Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt and then ascend Mt Sinai to the Lord. The time which Moses spent on Sinai to receive the Law is similar to the absence of Christ’s human presence on earth: the Israelites became restless with the absence of their leader, so they sought other means to worship through the influence of their priests. So too has the Church been met with such a period while we await the return of the Redeemer at the end of time, our priests and hierarchy have constructed new altars and new means of worship or even apostasy due to this visible absence of Jesus Christ.

Aaron, if we recall, was the priest and leader of the Israelites in the absence of Moses. When the Israelites cried to Aaron with their desire of something to worship, he caved to human respect and constructed for them an idol of gold in the shape of a calf. And erected an altar before it for sacrifice and adoration. So too do we see this sort of betrayal in the Church hierarchy, who no longer pay mind to eschatology and rather seek to create something worthy of veneration here and now. We see the Holy Father act in these ways of human respect, as did Aaron, by erecting new forms of worship and new worldly idols to worship under the guise of respect for the Amazonian peoples.

Yet, we need to remember what occurred upon the descent of Moses from Sinai:

And Moses returned from the mount, carrying the two tables of the testimony in his hand, written on both sides, And made by the work of God: the writing also of God was graven in the tables. And Josue hearing the noise of the people shouting, said to Moses: The noise of battle is heard in the camp. But he answered: It is not the cry of men encouraging to fight, nor the shout of men compelling to flee: but I hear the voice of singers. And when he came nigh to the camp, he saw the calf, and the dances: and being very angry, he threw the tables out of his hand, and broke them at the foot of the mount: [20] And laying hold of the calf which they had made, he burnt it, and beat it to powder, which he strowed into water, and gave thereof to the children of Israel to drink.

And he said to Aaron: What has this people done to thee, that thou shouldst bring upon them a most heinous sin? And he answered him: Let not my lord be offended: for thou knowest this people, that they are prone to evil. They said to me: Make us gods, that may go before us: for as to this Moses, who brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is befallen him. And I said to them: Which of you hath any gold? and they took and brought it to me: and I cast it into the fire, and this calf came out. And when Moses saw that the people were naked, (for Aaron had stripped them by occasion of the shame of the filth, and had set them naked among their enemies,)

Exodus 32:15-25. Ibid.

Moses acts in wrath towards his fallen people, seeking out Aaron who recounts and repents of his actions. Further:

Then standing in the gate of the camp, he said: If any man be on the Lord’s side let him join with me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him: And he said to them: Thus saith the Lord God of Israel: Put every man his sword upon his thigh: go, and return from gate to gate through the midst of the camp, and let every man kill his brother, and friend, and neighbour. And the sons of Levi did according to the words of Moses, and there were slain that day about three and twenty thousand men. And Moses said: You have consecrated your hands this day to the Lord, every man in his son and in his brother, that a blessing may be given to you. And when the next day was come, Moses spoke to the people: You have sinned a very great sin: I will go up to the Lord, if by any means I may be able to entreat him for your crime.

And returning to the Lord, he said: I beseech thee: this people hath sinned a heinous sin, and they have made to themselves gods of gold: either forgive them this trespass, Or if thou do not, strike me out of the book that thou hast written. And the Lord answered him: He that hath sinned against me, him will I strike out of my book: But go thou, and lead this people whither I have told thee: my angel shall go before thee. And I in the day of revenge will visit this sin also of theirs. The Lord therefore struck the people for the guilt on occasion of the calf which Aaron had made.

Exodus 32:26-35. Ibid.

The response of the Lord’s Justice was swift and terrible: the sons of Levi were instructed to slaughter 23,000 Israelites in punishment for their grave sins, forced to kill every man his son, brother and neighbor. Keeping in mind that the Israelites were small at this time, a loss of so many would be devastating and traumatizing to them. And while God’s Justice was fairly small in number, when it comes to the Church today, whose faithful number over a billion, the loss of a second chastisement will be great.

A Vision of Chastisement

Over the past 100 years of Church history, we have seen various significant apparitions of Our Lady warning of the coming blow of God’s Justice upon the earth for their transgressions. And I believe that the actions of the Holy Father in this overt act of pagan worship, combined with whatever scandals await us as the Amazon Synod unfolds, will merit swift and terrible punishment by the Hand of the Lord. I would like to end with a recount of a warning issued by the little-known approved apparition of Our Lady at Akita, Japan :

The third message on October 13, 1973, the actual anniversary of the final visions and miracle of Fatima is as follows: “As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by my Son. Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and the priests. The work of the devil will infiltrate even into the Church in such a way that one will see cardinals opposing cardinals, and bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate me will be scorned and opposed by their Confreres. The Church and altars will be vandalized. The Church will be full of those who accept compromises and the demon will press many priests and consecrated souls to leave the service of the Lord.

It’s interesting to note that this act of pagan idolatry occurred just as the 54-day rosary novena has come to a close. Perhaps the veil will be lifted and many will come to see the rotten fruits which have arisen in the Vatican. I ask that we faithful Catholics pray for the Holy Father, the clergy and the Church throughout the Amazon Synod, hopefully to curb the punishment that we have merited for our transgressions as the Israelites suffered for their transgressions.

Our Lady of Akita, pray for us!

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