An international group comprising over 100 Catholics priests, historians and scholars have asked Pope Francis to issue a public apology for holding a ritual on Vatican grounds which included the worship of a pagan fertility goddess, The Daily Telegraph reported.
Pope has been accused of being “sacrilegious” and idolatrous for embracing indigenous symbols in the Vatican’s summit on the Amazon.
The petition, signed by 100 clergy, scholars and influential voices of the Church, launched a strong criticism on pontiff and demanded that he “repent publicly and unambiguously” for participating in the worship of Pachamama, a pagan fertility goddess . The group noted that “all participation in any form of the veneration of idols is… an objectively grave sin that only God can judge.”
Various statues of the goddess Pachamama prominently featured in ceremonies during last month meeting of bishops on future of Catholicism in the Amazon.
The traditionalists also described the statuettes of Pachamama as “pagan idols” which represented “a false goddess of mother earth.”
After the ceremonies created a huge controversy,replicas of the Pachamama statue were later seized from a church near St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and dumped into the Tiber River. The deed was committed by a man who described the statues as false idols that violated Catholic teachings. In response to the incident, Pope asked forgiveness from Amazonian bishops and tribal leaders which further angered the traditionalists.
Francis is facing backlash from conservative Catholics who are outraged over his position on homosexuality and the prospect of giving communion to divorced Catholics who have remarried in civil ceremonies.
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