Mike Lewis at WPI explains the full episode behind the theft of statues at the Vatican’s Amazon synod two years ago. According to Vatican correspondent Austen Ivereigh, they didn’t even do “research”:
I noticed that they never actually asked an indigenous leader what the statuette symbolized.
Maybe it was all about the money to be made from maintaining an anti-Francis narrative of their choosing. More from Mr Ivereigh:
EWTN decided to try to make a profit from their vast army of reporters on the ground in Rome by keeping them on the story, which never quite died down. I honestly don’t think the Holy See Press Office had any idea what they were dealing with. No one seemed to be able to give an authoritative declaration as to the meaning of the statues because, of course, there was no fixed meaning. For some, they symbolized fertility and life — in other words, God the Creator — while others referred to her as Our Lady of the Amazon, combining Marian devotion with local depictions of women as people have done for centuries. In the absence of a clear narrative from the Vatican, EWTN could just carry on …
Sure. I can imagine the uproar in their homes in two weeks if those old pagan symbols from Pope Benedict’s 2nd century ancestors were thrown into a nearby river. There would be no story in that, I’m sure. The universal synod process beckons. Will the forces of EWTN/LSN/CNA assemble in an attempt to derail the discussion there? It can only hurt their point of view. The synod will proceed, and will in many places bear fruit. And with fruit comes a harvest and following that, consumption plus nourishment plus new energy for new horizons.
This month, the entire Church is embarking on a two-year synodal journey. We are being given a prime opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to work miracles in our hearts and in the hearts of our fellow Catholics. Many people have told me that the work we did on this site to bring the truth about the Amazon Synod to light opened their eyes and snapped them out of their former mindset.
Sadly, destructive ideas and lies have become common currency in the Church and have swayed many ordinary Catholics. This is tragic because narrative, which has tragically taken hold of the consciousness of so many Catholics. But I am encouraged by the words of Pope Francis in Fratelli Tutti, “The heroes of the future will be those who can break with this unhealthy mindset and determine respectfully to promote truthfulness, aside from personal interest. God willing, such heroes are quietly emerging, even now, in the midst of our society.” Sometimes the division in the Church can seem hopeless, but the Spirit is alive. God calls us to continue to tell the truth and to pray and to have hope.