Over the weekend I commented on the Pachamama phenomenon over at The Stream and ended by saying as the 21st century unfolds Pachamama may prove to be a greater threat to the Catholic faith than Islam.
In contrast, Christianity makes specific claims. Because God took human form in Jesus Christ, Christians believe particular historical events are important. Therefore particular doctrines must be believed and a particular moral code must be observed. This particularity is, by definition, exclusive. Jesus said it himself, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
That is not going to be popular with the devotees of Pachamama. Remember that old TV commercial for margarine? The nice nature woman suddenly became angry. The sky darkened, lightning flashed and thunder rolled as she roared, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature!”
In the coming conflict of religions it may not be the religion of Islam that most threatens Christianity. It could be the cult of the ancient earth goddess.
Faced with the exclusive claims of Christ, her slaves may very well rise up in fury saying, “It’s not nice to fool Pachamama!”
You can read the whole article here.
Why do I suggest this? For a couple of reasons. Firstly, Westerners are fed up with atheism, nihilism and rationalism. The human soul can not go without religion for very long. There is a hunger for religion–not just be charitable, be respectable, turn in your homework on time and don’t forget to brush your teeth do goodism. People want real religion–something transcendental–something that connects with the supernatural. I wrote further here on this subject in explaining why Pentecostalism and Paganism are on the upsurge.
Old fashioned rationalistic reductionist do-gooder mainstream Christianity is grey and dying. The mainline Protestant denominations and the liberal Catholics are on their way out. It is comforting to think that what will take their place is traditionalist Catholicism. That is the dream of the traditionalists of course. The Latin Masses they attend are full of young families. That’s fine, but I sense another surge which is more disturbing than old school liberalism.
It is the new paganism, and the appearance of Pachamama at the Vatican should give everyone a new perspective. What global Catholicism is faced with is the challenge of neo-paganism. The challenge will come not only from Latin America, but also from Africa and the Far East. The demographics are already upon us. As John Allen has shown in his book The Future Church, the majority of Catholics are already African, Asian and Latin American, and the numbers have been in their favor for almost two decades. The influence of their indigenous cultures and religions will continue to impact the Catholic Church in the West and whether we like or not, the Church of the 21st century will no longer be Eurocentric.
Francis’ election is monumental in that he is the first non-European pope. (The early popes from North Africa don’t really count because they were from the Roman civilization) In saying that, Francis, although he is Argentinian, is the son of immigrants and his background and training was still Eurocentric. The next pope may very well be an African or Asian who is a convert from an indigenous religion himself. Where that will take the church will be a challenge.
What is the threat of neo-paganism? First we have to look at the indigenous pagan culture and understand its resurgence within Latin America. This article from National Geographic explains about the trend for spirituality tourism.
With a recent boom in spiritual retreats sweeping the tourism industry, more people are journeying to the Amazon in search of natural healing. Some travel for ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew that’s said to have powerfully transformative effects on the mind and body. But in Bolivia, few realize that ayahuasca merely scratches the surface of an ancient mysticism that’s been flowing through the country for thousands of years.
Bolivia is home to brujas (witches), the Kallawaya (medicine men) from the altiplano, and curanderos (local healers or shamans). For some, magical intuition comes to them after near-fatal encounters with lightning strikes, snake bites, and harsh conditions in the rain forest. For others, spiritual prowess is gifted at birth when they are delivered from the womb in a standing-up position, or born with six fingers or toes. While their work differs in scope, their beliefs are centered around Pachamama, or Mother Earth, who is appeased through ceremonial payments.
La Paz’s Mercado de las Brujas, or the Witches’ Market, is a hot spot for spiritual workers, who read fortunes and facilitate cha’llas (“offerings”) to Pachamama. Vendors sell items like colorful sugar tablets, cigarettes, dried starfish, lacquered frogs, coca leaves, and even llama fetuses that can be assembled into custom-made payments. In exchange, locals believe they will be blessed with better health, prosperous business, safe travel, and good luck.
This indigenous witchcraft based in the worship of Pachamama also has a political dimension. John Zmirak vents his spleen here writing that the Pachamama cult…
… is part of an ideology growing all across South America. Hard leftists like Bolivia’s Evo Morales, and sympathetic priests, are using this paganism for politics. Conjured from the dry, lifeless corpse of Liberation Theology, which has driven millions of Catholics to join Pentecostalist churches.
By invoking these pagan gods and goddesses, whose worship had almost vanished, these activists did something special. They gave their dialectical materialism a spirit. Perhaps quite a few them. The goddess Pachamama can put an indigenous face on the German ideology that is Marxism.
It is also interesting (and alarming) to see how this witchcraft is being espoused by New Age nuns. Rod Dreher comments:
To let you know where this is all headed, take a look at the story of “Sister Jaguar” — an elderly American Dominican nun named Judith Bisignano. She went to the Ecuadoran jungle, saw a black jaguar, took ayahuasca, and … well, let her tell it:
While resting on sacred ground under the canopy of a star-filled universe, Pachamama (Mother Earth) invited me to take my place within her web of life that began with the first crack of the Big Bang. I knew I was called to blend my story of forgiveness into a new creation story. I knew I had to live and tell my truth.
She has written a prayer to Pachamama, that includes these groovy lines:
Pachamama, I celebrate the shift; the radical change that is emerging in human consciousness. This transformation transcends national, cultural and religious boundaries, and creates common ground for the emergence of a single Earth community. As I stretch my vision and imagination, I see that I am connected to a much larger family than I ever dreamed possible. This new community challenges my old ways of perceiving consciousness and gives me new visions that include all people, all creation, and the entire universe.
“Sister Jaguar” is a radical nun who tooted up on ayahuasca and went fully native.
And where does women’s ordination fit into this syncretistic soup?
It used to be imagined that women’s ordination was really just the ecclesiastical face of the women’s liberation movement. Feminists were simply campaigning for equal rights…right? Not really. I lived through this in the Anglican Church in the 1980s, and even then it was clear just by dipping your toe into the literature of Christian feminism that they were intent on overturning the entire Christian religion.
Read a bit of feminist theology sometime and you will see that they want to get rid of all masculine references to God, they want to re-name the Holy Trinity, get rid of all forms of sexism, re-write the liturgy, the Bible and the entire Christian tradition in favor of a female based religion. Women’s ordination is just one plank of the platform.
Even in the 1980s there were hints that this “female based religion” was really the worship of the ancient mother goddess. Included in a number of the feminist theological volumes is the writing of Starhawk — a “theorist of feminist Neopaganism and ecofeminism.” While Starhawk is the most open in her witchcraft, (excuse me, we don’t call it witchcraft. It is called “Wicca” or “Ecofeminist Activism”)
The women’s ordination movement has been dancing around the cauldron with these folks for decades now. If you don’t believe me, check out the mysterious female Anglican priest who kept turning up at the Pachamama ceremonies in the Vatican. Rev. Emilie Smith is a priestess in the (Anglican) Church of Canada. She was invited to Rome to participate in the synod celebrations (we don’t know by whom). Emilie is a lesbian–“married to her church choir director, Patti Powell. Rev Emilie is typical of the feminists who now increasingly control mainstream Protestantism.
Now connect the dots. In this article I also give five reasons why liberal globalists are gonna love Pachamama paganism:
- It’s non dogmatic – Dogma divides. No dogma? Intentional ambiguity? a”pastoral approach”? That brings people together
- It’s syncretistic – every culture around the world has a history of earth mother–They will dovetail.
- It’s ancient – people want their religion to have ancient roots. This is even more ancient than Christianity….It goes right back to the Garden of Eden don’t you know? My further thoughts on that here.
- Ecotheology fits the Green Movement – paganism fits neatly with the global ecology movement. It gives the eco warriors a spirituality.
- It’s non-moralistic – Paganism is essentially a non-moralistic spirituality system. Pagans do magic to please the gods. They’re not that concerned about morality. That’s attractive for all who wish for no restraints.
Why will this neo paganism be a threat to Catholicism? Because it will be well funded (hey Ford Foundation do you have any other grant applications to hand?) It will be promoted by the globalists with huge reserves of cash and control of Mass Media. It will be espoused by all globalists as a spirituality for all people–which will draw all people together into the so called “Shift” that is to take place. The “Shift” for those who are unaware, is a New Age term for the . supposed transformation of global consciousness that happens during this century.
This “shift” is away from patriarchy and the masculine strengths of ambition, subjugation, invention and achievement towards intuition, spirituality, harmony and peace. You can see how ecotheology, feminism and neo-paganism all converge. Why is it a threat to Catholicism? Because this syncretistic religion will not seek to overthrow Catholicism, it will seek to absorb it. Neo-paganism, like all syncretism, abhors exclusivity. It especially abhors the exclusivity of the Christian gospel. There will not be an attack. There will be an infiltration.
Those who stand up for that exclusivity will be see to be the enemies of the globalist neo paganism. They will be branded as unreformable, deplorable patriarchal racists.
This neo-paganism, like every other earth based ideology belongs to the Dark Lord of this World.
Like all ideologies, it will bulldoze the opposition.
I do not wish to be a scaremonger, but history has shown us that the demon gods devour all those who stand up to their plans for complete domination.
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Thank you for your article. This explains so much as I see this already occurring in my children’s theology classes at a catholic university.
The Catholic writer Charles Coloumbe once quipped that Catholicism will endure any heresy but no disunity, and that vice versa the Orthodox will endure any disunity but no heresy. It is a funny way of saying that we need each other. But alas, with this Pachamama mess. Whither now?… It is truly sad. Rod Dreher points out at the end of his article that this is a huge barrier to unity. The Two Lungs need each other, but this Pachamama nonsense is a no go. It’s tragic. Lord have mercy.
The mission of the Catholic Church is to save souls and bring people out of the darkness and into the light of Christ. And just how are we supposed to do that with all this Pachamama nonsense being engaged in with none other than the Pope himself? Who, by the way, is not supposed to be capable of teaching error – yet he is. And, I’m not even beginning to mention all the scandals surrounding McCarrick and all the other lost souls in our clergy. Why is Jesus allowing this to happen to us? By doing so, innocent souls are being lead astray and lost – by the very people who are supposed to lead them to salvation.
The pope is not preserved from making mistakes and errors in prudential judgement. He is preserved from formally teaching error in matters of doctrine and morals.
Yes, I understand that. But it looks like the Pope is implicitly teaching error just by watching people bow to an idol in the Vatican gardens. Respectfully, something is seriously wrong with all of this.
I cannot disagree
Well it would be no surprise if the next Pope was from Africa or Asia, but neither would necessarily come as a convert from an indigenous religion. Cardinal Sarah certainly would head the wish list of many to lead our Church and I hope there are many others from Africa from his mold.It’s also worth noting that it was the African Methodists who turned back the tide of the LGBT the Methodist Church last year. My concern about Africa from a Christian stand point is the rise of prosperity churches, which follow a North American pattern. Regarding Asians, perhaps if we look around at Mass we will notice a steady rise in the number of Vietnamese beside us and as their number grow so will the probability that a shrine to Our Lady of La Vang will be placed somewhere in the Church. When Our Lady of La Vang appeared to persecuted Vietnamese Catholics in QuangTri Province James Madison was President, so it’s been a while. Beautiful Story, Our Lady of La Vang, I wish it and the hope if offers was taught more often.
I could not agree with you more that Earth Worship in it’s various forms which include shades of Paganism is already permeating our Society with a virtually limitless future. A final issue along the lines of Nature Worship which has been concerning me more and more in past years is the elevation of Animal Rights and Welfare to a point where it has in some ways surpassed concern for humans. The majority of this years 300+ murders in Baltimore will go unsolved, but the current headline in the Baltimore Sun is concern of a Cat missing in a car jacked vehicle. I strongly oppose animal cruelty and support the blessing of animals, but Rescue Dogs and Cats are not replacements for children, it used to be young couples looked forward to having children. At least we now now know the enemy Pachamama has revealed itself and we can prepare a defense.