A Costly Ambiguity

So, a couple of days ago, someone stole the ‘Mother Earth’ statues used in the opening ceremony of the Pan-Amazon Synod at the Vatican and threw them into the Tiber River.

If nothing else, whoever did this has a good sense of the historical.

But were their actions right?

If the statues were actual idols then I’m only sorry that the thieves didn’t burn them first before scattering the ashes across the Tiber.

However, if the statues were representations of Our Lady then what happened was an act of desecration.

If they represented a thing or an idea, such as life, fertility or motherhood, etc, then they should have been let be. Having them in a church wasn’t ideal but they are not idols and, to be honest, we accept the presence of worse things in our churches.

So many ifs, and that’s the problem. All this could have been avoided if those behind the Pan-Amazon Synod had explained clearly what exactly the statues were meant to represent. They didn’t, and so naturally some people applied the worst possible meaning to them.

Responsibility for the statues’ destruction lies with the thieves, but they were helped along the way by the either deliberate or accidental (in)actions of others.

  • For footage of the statues’ theft, see the Catholic Herald website here

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