Sunday, December 1, 2019

First Sunday of Advent: Be Awake!

What is Advent?
We are now in the holy season of Advent where we prepare for both the coming of Christ at Christmas and the second coming at the end of time.  It is a spiritual period in which to meditate on these two mysteries and prepare for them.  We use the wreath and 4 candles to mark down the 4 weeks before Christmas.  

Three of the candles are purple and one is pink.  The purple symbolizes preparation through penance and prayer.  Purple is also used during Lent.  Another way to see it is purple is a physical sign of healing. When we get hurt, the injury becomes purple.  During the time of healing, it remains purple until it clears up.  Sin hurts us and we need time to heal from it by using the Sacraments of Penance and Eucharist, Prayer, Fasting, Indulgences and a genuine Spiritual life.  

The pink is for the third Sunday or Gaudete Sunday which means "Sunday of Joy."   We are joyous because we are getting closer to Christ's birth.  As each week goes, we light the candle that corresponds to that week.  

Today's readings

Keep watch and wait. This the main message of today's readings. We are now in the season of Advent. A new Liturgical year A cycle has begun. We begin with Christ just like we ended the last Liturgical year with Christ the King.  The first reading tells us of God's house being established at the high of mountains.  All nations will stream toward it. The people will seek this location and seek God there asking to walk in the light of the Lord. Advent is connected to this. We are on a spiritual journey to God who is the light. The Catholic Church is a collection of all people from every nation. She is the body of Christ leading us to Christ her spouse. This spiritual journey calls for us to make changes in our lives. We cannot live as we have in the past.

We must turn our swords into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks. In other words, the things in our lives which we used to engage in human nonsense and violence must be transformed to serve a purpose of life. Swords and spears do nothing but hurt others and ourselves. They serve no ultimate good purpose. While we can use them for self defense, which is not bad, we must seek to create a world where we do not need to defend ourselves because the only rule will be love. This is easier said than done. Human beings do not trust each other. Human beings prefer to be isolated and live in gloom and doom. This is not what the Catholic faith is about. We are the Easter people and alleluia is our song, as Saint Pope John Paul II said.  This is why today's responsorial Psalm says that we must go rejoicing to the house of the Lord. 

The Catholic faith must be about joy, not anger or bitterness. Unfortunately, we will always find some Catholics within every rank who see the faith as the Pharisees did. The faith to them is about judging others and nitpicking faults. Whether it is about the liturgy and claiming one form is better than another to attacking priests who wear short sleeve collar shirts.  The Church has no shortage of these Pharisees who promote gloom and doom. Rather, we must be awake from sleep, as the second reading tells us.  We must set the dark aside and seek the daylight.  We must conduct ourselves as in the day and not like those who party at night engaging in lust and drunkenness. This is what it means to be a good practicing Catholics. Ignore those who see the faith as a means to attack others, including our pope. Ignore those who can never say anything positive and just judge claiming to be righteous. This is not Catholicism.

We must be ready. Jesus will return. We must not be like those people in the days of Noah who laughed at his warnings and continued to live life as if nothing was going to happen. Jesus uses this analogy in today's Gospel.  In the days of Noah, the people continued to do whatever they did and ignored Noah.  Then out of nowhere, the rain came and washed away everyone. We must be focused on the task at hand and not think nothing is going to happen simply because we do not see angels blowing trumpets in the sky.  Jesus will return and it will be like a thief in the night without warning. This is why I say to ignore those Catholics out there who are focused on nostalgia for pre-Vatican II days and simply live their faith to attack and judge others, including the pope. These are like those from Noah's time who ignored God and focused on living in the night time, so to speak. They live life thinking they are doing right when they are doing evil. 

They live life as if God is not watching their evil deeds or as if saying a praying in Latin or receiving on the tongue is ensuring their salvation.  God does not hear the prayers of the wicked and Communion can bring condemnation, Scripture tells us.  Let us be like Noah who trusted the Lord and prepared. He built the ark and spread the message to all. Noah focused on saving others and not himself. We must be ready and not slack off. Jesus tells us this in the Gospel. We must stay awake for we will not know when the Lord will come. Like Noah, we must be ready.   This is what Advent is about. We must call out to the Lord and be ready for Him. 

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Saturday, November 30, 2019

50 Years of the Ordinary Form of the Mass

50th anniversary of Pope St. Paul VI's Missale Romanum (The New Roman Missal). 

This 1,600-word document, though relatively brief as papal documents go, had a wide and profound impact on the life of the Church.

On April 3, 1969, Pope Paul VI promulgated the apostolic constitution, paving the way for the celebration of the Mass according to the Roman Missal promulgated in 1969 (with another slightly revised missal promulgated in 1970). This was one of the most visible changes to occur in the post-conciliar Church.

The revisions to the Roman Missal outlined in Missale Romanum were greeted with great optimism. Many believed these changes would lead to a greater love for and understanding of the liturgy. However, today, we recognize that much work remains to be done to bring Catholics to a deeper appreciation for the liturgy, even as the Mass that Paul VI’s document precipitated remains a pastoral touchstone for priests and an accessible entry point for converts to the faith.

Here are some key points from Missale Romanum:

1. Increased Eucharistic Prayers: The document added an increased number of Eucharistic prayers (anaphoras) to "the venerable Roman Canon that had been the sole Eucharistic Prayer in the Roman liturgy down the centuries." This expansion allowed for a richer variety of prayers during Mass.

2. Inclusive Dialogical Form: The Mass was updated to include a more inclusive dialogical form. Instead of only altar servers responding to the priest during Mass, now the entire congregation is invited to participate. This change fosters active engagement and communal worship.

3. Expanded Scriptural Readings: The Liturgy of the Word was enriched by offering a wider selection of scriptural readings. This included more Old Testament readings and introduced a three-year cycle lectionary. By incorporating more Scripture into Mass, it aimed to nourish the faithful with God's Word.

Pope Paul VI’s Missale Romanum marked a significant step in implementing liturgical reform after Vatican II. As we commemorate its golden anniversary, we reflect on its impact and continue our journey toward deeper liturgical understanding and participation.

Let's explore the Roman Rite, a significant liturgical tradition within the Catholic Church.

The Roman Rite (Latin: Ritus Romanus) is the most common ritual family for performing ecclesiastical services in the Latin Church, which is the largest of the sui iuris particular churches that comprise the Catholic Church. It governs various rites, including the Roman Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, and the administration of sacraments and blessings.

Here are some key points about the Roman Rite:

1. Origins and Development:

   - The Roman Rite developed in the Latin language within the city of Rome. While other Latin liturgical rites (such as the Ambrosian Rite) exist, the Roman Rite has gradually been adopted almost everywhere in the Latin Church.

   - In medieval times, there were local variants, but uniformity increased due to printing and obedience to decrees from the Council of Trent (1545–1563).

   - The Roman Rite has three historical stages: Pre-Tridentine Mass, Tridentine Mass, and Mass of Paul VI.

   - Today, it is celebrated in a form promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1969 and revised by Pope John Paul II in 2002. The use of the 1962 Roman Missal remains authorized under specific conditions.

2. Distinctive Features:

   - The Roman Rite is known for its sobriety of expression.

   - In its Tridentine form, it was also noted for its formality, minutely prescribing every movement during Mass.

   - Concentration on the moment of consecration led to showing the consecrated Host and chalice to the people immediately after the Words of Institution.

   - The Roman Rite emphasizes reverence during these sacred moments.

3. Local Origin and Universality:

   - Despite its widespread use, wherever it is celebrated, it remains "Roman" in a local sense—originally composed for use in Rome.

   - The Roman Missal includes Roman saints, commemorates local Roman events, and reflects its historical connection to Rome.

   - No liturgical rite has ever been consciously composed for general use; they all bear marks of their local origins.

In summary, the Roman Rite stands as a rich tapestry woven from centuries of tradition—a liturgical heritage that continues to shape worship within Catholicism.  Whether the Extraordinary Form or Ordinary Form, both are the One and Same Mass.  The Ordinary Form is just a format that has removed the redundant parts from the Pius V missal.  It is a formula that resembles more the Mass of the early Church.  

Unfortunately, some took it upon themselves to "experiment" with it causing scandal, especially among those who are nostalgic about the pre-Vatican II Pius V form.  As Catholics, we need to work more to ensure that the current form is celebrated reverently and adheres to the rubrics.  It will take time. As the saying goes, "Rome was not built in a day."  The same applies to the Roman Rite. 


The Mass of Paul VI at 50: The Restoration of the Sacred| National Catholic Register (

The Mass of Paul VI at 50: Marking the Golden Jubilee of the New Order| National Catholic Register (

Monday, November 25, 2019

Homophobic Mom who Killed Gay Son and Set Him on Fire gets 25 Years

Tatiana Lozano Pereira of Brazil was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing and burning her gay son Itaberli Lozano.  In 2017, Pereira claimed that her son ran away and came back to kill her. She claimed that she killed him with a knife out of self defense. The authorities did not buy her story. It was discovered that she had hired local boys/men to severely beat her son after luring him home with promises of reconciliation between the two.  The boys/men revealed the details of what really happened to the police. 

Pereira then stabbed her son to death and set him on fire after the men refused to kill him. Her husband then helped dispose of the charred remains. Young Itaberli Lozano has posted things on Facebook detailing the abuse he received from his mother and denounced her homophobia.  You can read more here:

A jury of her peers agreed to a 25 years and eight months prison sentence for her crimes. Two others charged with the plot,  Victor Roberto da Silva and Miller da Silva Barissa were sentenced to 21 years and eight months. Lozano's stepfather and husband of Pereira was charged with the concealing of a deceased body, but his trial is being rescheduled.  The uncle of Itaberli came to the defense of his nephew saying that his nephew had a job, was polite and never quarreled with anyone. He added that his only problem was his mother who did not accept him as a gay male.  The parties sentenced all plan to appeal their sentences. 

The news of the killing of this young man was heartbreaking. How can a mother kill her own son just because he is gay? To me, the sentence is too little. She should have been sentenced to life.  As a Catholic, I naturally disagree with the homosexual lifestyle; however, this does not mean that I or the Church wants gay people to be beaten or killed. This goes against God, the Church and humanity! We are all sinners. No one is perfect. Gay people are human and deserve our love and respect despite our disagreements.

I cannot imagine the horrors this beautiful teenage baby boy faced. To be beaten up by boys your own mom hired or by men hired to kill him is just evil. Moreover, for a mom to stab and set her own son on fire is sickening and evil. To think that this boy went home and saw his mom cheering on as the guys beat him and then calling for his death only to do it herself.  It is just horrendous and saddening. Moreover, we do not know for sure if he was dead when he was set ablaze. Can you imagine being in his position watching your own mom stab you?  It gets me sick to my stomach.   

If you are gay and are reading this. Do not be afraid if your family attacks you. Go and seek help from the police, teachers or clergy. You do not have to be a victim of abuse of any kind.

May young Itaberli Lozano through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Book Review: The Works of His Hands: A Scientist’s Journey from Atheism to Faith

Dr. Sy Garte was kind enough to mail me a review copy of his book "The Works of His Hands: A Scientist's Journey from Atheism to Faith."  I have known him on Twitter for a few years now engaging alleged atheists. In this post, I will review his book.

Dr. Garte comes from an atheist background. He mentions this in the first chapter of his book by giving us details of his family and youth as a student in college. He adopted materialistic ideals stemming from his family's Communist political roots. During this time, he began to question his atheism. The account is very similar to my own and many others who come from an atheist and science background. After studying science beyond an elementary level, we realized something was off with atheism.  Dr. Garte noticed this and explains his experience.  Physics, as usual, is the atheism killers, so to speak. He explains how his lessons on physics made him realize that the world is not as determined as his atheism brought him up to believe. The world, in a sense, is "ordered chaos." It is a paradox if you will.  This along with other facts about physics opened the mind of Dr. Garte to think of a Creator and question the veracity of his atheistic beliefs.

Many atheists or alleged atheists online portray themselves as having all of the answers. They argue unceasingly with theists of all denominations about God claiming that science refuted God. Some even claim that God refutes Himself. Dr. Garte tells us in his book that, while on his journey, he found that he did not have all the answers. No one does. He found out that questions are more important than answers. This is something I can testify to. Midway in the book, Dr. Garte explores the many scientific concepts that brought him to question atheism and eventually to believe in God, a Creator. He goes into detail with each and does not miss any details.  His content is well referenced for those who wish to follow up on his claims which adds credibility and authority to them.

In the latter chapters, Dr. Garte explores the philosophical questions and ideas that he explored with aided him on his journey and made him realize that science is not the be-all-end-all of academic fields. Scientism is a concept that has taken control of the minds of the so-called new atheism movement and some scientists. It is an idea that posits that only science is necessary. With its methodology, science is seen as superior to other fields of study. This idea has led to some scientists, including the disgraced physicist Dr. Krauss to mock philosophy. Joining him in the mockery Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson has not been shy about bashing philosophy. This led to one of my philosophy professors from my years at CUNY and an atheist himself, Dr. Pigluicci to confront him on it. Dr. Pigluicci has also debated Dr. Krauss on scientism.  Dr. Garte explains to readers why scientism is not feasible. Science cannot answer everything.  Despite its nearly perfect methods of empirical study, it is still limited to a range of experience and inquiry. He writes on page 120, "The denial of any knowledge other than the scientific kind gives us a distorted view of reality." This is very true. 

Lastly, Dr. Garte takes us on his personal journey and how he ended up in the Methodist denomination where he currently practices his Christian faith. He explains evolution to readers and why it does not conflict with Christianity or the Judeo-Christian theology. Dr. Garte relies on his knowledge of biology and other references to make his arguments showing that evolution, the human body, and life, in general, are a miracle of God. They show an intelligent creation, or as he describes it, a "divine design." Despite the evil and suffering in the world, Dr. Garte saw that this world and the universe is truly a miracle. He writes on page 168, "I saw that the world, the world as it is, is not a terrible place but a place of beauty, of intricate design, a cleverly woven fabric of amazing order and perfect harmony." 

I really enjoyed reading Dr. Garte's book and know you reading this review will enjoy it as well. The book does not drown readers with heavy scientific knowledge but does not water it down either. Anyone who has had a basic grasp of science and philosophy will be able to follow the book without issue.  The book will certainly help those atheists out there who are on the same journey or who are seriously looking to find answers. While reading the book, I noticed God's hand in both the life of Dr. Garte, my own and others who have shared their stories with me. It is so clear that there is a God out there guiding everything, a divine providence. This book makes it so clear, especially for people like myself and others who were once atheists and can see nearly identical patterns in the journey of Dr. Garte. 

This book will make a great companion for anyone's personal library and can be used to hold discussions in a church group setting or even a college setting. I can see this book being used at college Christian clubs and even atheist/secularist/humanist clubs as a means to start discussions.  This book is well written and to the point. One will not want to put it down once started. As one reads it, one can get a feel for Dr. Garte's personal journey and his sincerity. The book is only 250 pages long. I finished it within 2 hours. Dr. Garte does not proselytize nor push any doctrines. He simply shares his journey to faith and how science led him to it. 

This book is a must-have for those into apologetics of all faiths and for those seriously inquiring who are still within the umbrella of atheism.  Dr. Garte truly showed us "The Works of His hands" in an eloquent, academic and personal way.  Well done! 

You can find Dr. Sy Garte online here:

Monday, November 4, 2019

'Pachamama Good Thief' Alexander Tschugguel Comes Out

The "good thief" Alexander Tschugguel finally revealed himself as one of the men seen on the now famous video thrown the "Pachamama" figures into the Tiber river (see: He claims that when he learned that the purpose of the Amazon synod was political rather than religious, this angered him. The images of a Franciscans and other bowing to the figure was the last straw.

He and the other man went early to Rome and waited for the church to open. They prayed the Rosary and then entered the church to remove the figures of "Pachamama" and casting them into the Tiber river. Here is the video:

I have been reserved about this whole situation. Regardless of the motive, no one has the right to steal from any location and vandalize. This is the main issue we should all be concerned about. The "Pachamama" figures were not worshiped. The images were re-purposed as symbols. This is not foreign in Catholicism. In Rome, we see many Pagan items that were re-purposed as Christian symbols.

As it stands, I will refrain from calling these men "heroes" because there is no evidence that the figures were worshiped as idols. They should face some sort of criminal charges for their actions. We cannot have people mimicking their false heroics in other situations. A clear message must be sent.

It is interesting to note that conspiracist Dr. Taylor Marshall immediately had the young man Alexander Txchugguel on his YouTube broadcast. Some have speculated online as to whether Marshall has something to do with the theft and vandalism. His Twitter account mysteriously was wiped and became inactive prior to the incident with the "Pachamama" figures (see: In today's interview on YouTube, one can see Marshall's "Infiltration" book in the background facing the camera out of place on the bookshelf.

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Sunday, November 3, 2019

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time: God is Close to Us

Before I get to today's reflection, I want to ask you for help. As many of you know, I started this site years ago and began with only 12 views. From there, this site has exploded with nearly a million views, a radio podcast and broadcast on You Tube. I noticed the hunger out there for God, especially from those outside of the Catholic Church. I believe the Lord is calling me and others to "go out into the deep" and "fish" for these souls. In order to do this, I need to expand this work and this costs money. I need to continually renew the domain names I use, purchase equipment to keep the broadcasts as up to date and professional as possible and need to pay for subscriptions in order to expand radio podcast hours. Moreover, I want to form an apostolate focused on reaching lapsed Catholics and those outside of the Church who may have been alienated. In order to do this, I will need to hire a lawyer to help with the legal documentation in order to trademark the apostolate and form it into a legal entity allowing for tax deductions for donators. I ask you to please help me raise about $35,000 in order to begin the process.  Please donate at You can also become a patron on God will truly reward you for this effort. Be like Zacchaeus in today's reading and give away your possessions in order to help others spread the faith and care for souls.


Today's readings remind us that while God is bigger than the universe, He is not far from us or untouchable. The first reading reminds us that the universe is just a grain on a balance before God.

Those of you who studied astronomy know that the universe is extremely large. In fact, recently, astronomers have declared that there are more galaxies in the universe than previously thought. We with our technologies have barely scratched the surface, so to speak, on how big the universe really is. It may be eternal or may have a "wall" or end. We just do not know. The fact that this beautiful thing we call "the universe" exists is testament to how much bigger its creator is.  Despite the awesomeness of the creator, He is not far away (Acts 17:27, Jeremiah 23:23).  He is not an impersonal creator as deists believe. God looks upon all with mercy. This is because God can do all things (Luke 18:27). Sin, suffering and even death are not an obstacle to God. We who are the created panic when we see evil in the world.  This is because we are finite creatures.  We only see the limited, not the infinite.  God loves all things and does not hate anything or anyone. Those who go around speaking for God claiming that He hates Gays, Muslims, other Christians and so on are mistaken. God loves all.  He loves all so much that He sent His only son to die a horrible death in order to redeem the world (John 3:16). God truly loves all of us.  He will us to existence, as the reading tells us.  This was the purpose of the Amazon synod the Vatican held last month. The Church is trying to reach all peoples and preach the Gospel to them.  The Gospel is the love of God, Jesus Christ. 

Despite our wrongdoings, He spares us and waits for us to turn back to Him. God warns us about our sins and redirects us. We must be aware of this in our spiritual lives.  This will bring us to praise God's name for ever as the responsorial Psalm tells us. God is our king and also our father.  He loves each of us and knows each of us by name. We must bless Him and praise His name. We must be thankful to God always. In all He does, He is compassionate and loving.  God is not a liar. He always keeps His promises. We must remain faithful even if we feel God is far away, which He is not. We must ask God to make us worthy of His calling, as the second reading reminds us.  Only God can direct our paths and perfect them. With His grace, we can fulfill whatever good purpose He calls us to.  Every effort of faith is perfected in Him, now ourselves. While we do cooperate in grace, it is ultimately God who is justifying us. We must try our best to live holy lives that glorifies the name of Jesus. Our lives must reflect to others Christ. This is what it means to become a saint. Being a saint does not mean having magical powers or halos around our heads. It means becoming like Jesus Christ. Today we also celebrate the saint Martin de Porres who was a very holy and humble friar of the Dominican order. I invite you to read his life and learn from his example. 

Lastly, in today's Gospel, we read of the tax collector named Zacchaeus who was short in stature. He wanted to see Jesus, but could not for this very reason. Zacchaeus climbs a sycamore tree in order to be able to see Jesus. As Jesus passed, He sees Zacchaeus and tells him to come down because He is staying at his place. Can you imagine this? Imagine if Christ sees you and tells you He is staying at your place! Would this not be so awesome?  Well guess what! He does this every day. Christ tells us that He wants to stay in our place, the heart. He waits for us in the Blessed Sacrament. Zacchaeus I can imagine was a bit confused. He probably wondered why Jesus chose him out of the many others. This was because Zacchaeus did everything possible to "see" Jesus. He climbed an obstacle. Jesus notices this. We today are like Zacchaeus who climb every obstacle in our lives in order to see Christ. When we do this, Christ notices us and makes a place for Himself at our home, the heart. Now, there will be those people who will criticize us when we get closer to God. In the Gospel, we read of those who went to see Jesus who were upset that Jesus paid more attention to Zacchaeus, a tax collector who was hated for doing his job.

Even today, the tax collector is not a welcomed person. Those who pay taxes to the IRS or any other government tax agency know very well how tax employees are disliked. Who likes to pay taxes or pay bills at all?  Despite this,Christ loved Zacchaeus. Christ is not prejudice. Moreover, Zacchaeus was overjoyed that Christ wanted to go to his home. Despite being a sinner and hated by the crowd, Jesus wanted to spend time with him. Christ goes after those who are pariahs in society. The sinner is not far from God despite his or her sins. Christ waits for him or her to invite him to his or her home. Zacchaeus offers half of his goods to the poor. He shows the change he made after realizing that Christ wanted to go to his home. He turns around and offers to repay four times what he took from others. Jesus sees this and tells him that salvation hascome to his home. The story of Zachaeus should remind us of our spiritual lives. We must not feel like God is impossible to reach. He may be bigger than the universe, but not impossible to reach. Like Zacchaeus, we must climb obstacles to see Him and let Him come inside to our home, the heart. However, this is not all. We must make the necessary changes in order to obtain salvation "in our home." St. Augustine tells us, "The Lord, who had already welcomed Zacchaeus in his heart, was now ready to be welcomed by him in his house. He said, 'Zacchaeus, hurry up and come down, since I have to stay in your house.' He thought it was a marvelous piece of good luck to see Christ. While imagining it was a marvelous piece of luck quite beyond words to see him passing by, he was suddenly found worthy to have him in his house. Grace is poured out, and faith starts working through love. Christ, who was already dwelling in his heart, is welcomed into his house.  Zacchaeus says to Christ, 'Lord, half my goods I give to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone of anything, I am paying back four times over." It is as if he were saying, "The reason I am keeping back half for myself is not in order to have it, but to have something from which to pay people back.' There you are. That is really what welcoming Jesus means, welcoming him into your heart. Christ was already there. He was in Zacchaeus and spoke through him. The apostle says that this is what it means, 'For Christ to dwell by faith in your hearts.' ("Sermon 174.5", quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 291.)

We must invite God in and allow Him to enter, no questions asked. We must not shut ourselves to christ, even in difficult times. Changing out lives and becoming detached are important. We must be willing to let go of even our possessions for the sake of Christ. This is why I invest a lot on bringing the Gospel to others, especially those outside of the Church and why I ask my readers to become benefactors and help me expand this evangelization work. We can use money to please ourselves or we can use it to please God and spread the Gospel. Which is more important? St. Jerome tells us, "There certainly is much truth in a certain saying of a philosopher, 'Every rich man is either wicked or the heir of wickedness.' That is why the Lord and Savior says that it is difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Someone may raise the objection, 'How did wealthy Zacchaeus enter the kingdom of heaven?' He gave away his wealth and immediately replaced it with the riches of the heavenly kingdom. The Lord and Savior did not say that the rich would not enter the kingdom of heaven but that they will enter with difficulty. ("Homily on Psalm 83", quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 290.)"  Having possessions or wealth in itself is not bad. As St. Maximus of Turin tells us, "Zacchaeus must be praised. His riches were unable to keep him from the royal threshold. He should be greatly praised because his riches brought him to the threshold of the kingdom. From this, we understand that wealth is not a hindrance but a help to attaining the glory of Christ. While we possess it, we should not squander it on wild living but give it away for the sake of salvation. There is no crime in possessions, but there is crime in those who do not know how to use possessions. For the foolish, wealth is a temptation to vice, but for the wise, it is a help to virtue. Some receive an opportunity for salvation, but others acquire an obstacle of condemnation ("Sermons 95-96", quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 291.)." We must make use of our wealth to serve God and others. Storing up wealth on earth just for the sake of storing is problematic. When we die, we do not carry our checkbooks with us nor our safes. These stay on earth for others to enjoy. If we use our wealth to serve God and others, we will demonstrate that resolve to change just like Zacchaeus. This is why I ask you to please be generous and help me raise the funds necessary to truly expand this evangelization work. This work serves God and others. God will reward you for being generous. Remember that you are not held back from approaching God. Climb the sycamores in your life and allow Christ to visit your home. Be generous and let go of material wealth for the sake of the faith. May Jesus Christ be praised.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time: God Loves the Humble

Today's readings continue from last Sunday on the theme that God is just and listens to the humble and righteous person.

In the first reading, we are reminded how God has no favorites but does focus a bit more on the weak, the oppressed and the widow.  God is not deaf to them and we are given an image of how the prayers of the weak, orphan, oppressed and widow "travels" to God.  They pierce the clouds and do not rest until they reach their goal.  God, in turn, does not delay in answering them. God is always there listening and answering our prayers, especially those prayers that come from those who are suffering injustices (Psalm 34:17).  We must remember those around the world suffering injustices. Our Holy Father Pope Francis has made it a top priority to help refugees in war-torn lands and in poor regions like the Amazon. This is why the Amazon synod is taking place at the Vatican to address the needs of the people there. It is sad to read tweets and other comments on social media from alleged Christians who attack the pope for reminding us how to be Christian.

These people put partisan politics over Christ and the Works of Mercy. God will judge them for this because we all will be measured against how we treat others (Matthew 7:2).  Matthew 25:35-40 is a top priority in the Christian faith.  We are not just called to go to Mass and pray; we are also called to be our brother's keeper, even if this brother is a stranger or even an enemy (Deuteronomy 10:19, Matthew 5:44). I know this is very difficult to process for all of us, but we must trust God. We must set aside our worries and ego and let charity take over.  When we do help others, we must do it for God and the person, not for recognition (Matthew 6:4). These acts should be genuine, without ulterior motives. We cannot be like those who keep a list of the good works they have performed believing God is taking score in heaven and will reward them.  He will tell them that He does not know them (Matthew 7:21-23).  Pride and careerism are not part of the Christian life.  We must do good and not look at who we are doing good towards, so to speak.  God will help them and us.  We are reminded in the responsorial Psalm that God hears the cry of the poor.  God is a just God who hears the cry of the poor and handles the evildoer with justice (Psalm 147:6).  God is close to those who are brokenhearted, depressed and crushed in spirit (Proverbs 29:23). He saves them and rescues them from their misery.

God is a Father to us.  He is not some oppressive cosmic agent out there in existence taking pleasure at our demise like how the ancient Greeks described Zeus and other malevolent deities as being. They totally did not understand the nature of God which is goodness (Psalm 136:1) and used the human experience to describe God instead. God only seeks the best for us, even in times of suffering.  This is why we read in the second reading how St. Paul describes his suffering.  He is "poured our like a libation." A libation was used in Pagan rituals to please the gods by pouring wine or other liquid on altars or sacrifices. St. Paul uses the Pagan imagery to describe his life and service being offered to God. Our lives must also be a libation to God. We should "pour ourselves" before the Lord and offer Him all of our pains, sufferings, joys and all that makes us human (Colossians 1:24). We are in a race, as St. Paul describes. In this race, we will tire from running. Things around us will try to prevent us from finishing, but we must move on without stopping.  At the end, if we persevere, we will receive the crown of righteousness.  The Christian life is not "puppy and kittens," so to speak. We must suffer.  This suffering may even include the abandonment of those we thought were our friends, family, and fellow Catholics!  We must pray for them. God is the one who gives us strength and keeps us on the course.  He will rescue us from the "lion's mouth" we may face daily in our lives. Faith, hope, and love are our guides. These are more effective when we are humble.

The Gospel for today reminds us of being humble. Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee and tax collector.  Both were praying.  The Pharisee took his place and prayed to God thanking God that he was not like other people.  He even singled out the tax collector as an example before God.  The Pharisee then lists all the things he does in the name of God as if God needs to be reminded.  We can see how arrogant this guy was! He thought he was the best thing since slice bread, so to speak! The tax collector, on the other hand, prayed looking downward and beat his breast in an act of contrition. He did not thank God for making him different from others, nor did he list his religious practices or good works. All he did was an act of contrition. Jesus uses this parable to present the importance of how being humble is if we are to be with God. St. Basil tells us, "Never place yourself above anyone, not even great sinners. Humility often saves a sinner who has committed many terrible transgressions ("On Humility", quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 280.)." We must never put ourselves above anyone else. All of us are equal in the eyes of God. Human beings can make themselves kings or queens, presidents or prime ministers, but we are all the same before God. One of us may live in a mansion and another in the projects in an inner city. 

In the end, we all will dwell in the cemetery in the same earth.  Humility is important in the Christian life.  It puts things in perspective. If we see ourselves as not being above others, then we will be more psychologically compelled to help others and love them. However, if we look down at others, we will feel all high and mighty believing others are like bugs under us that we can trample over without concern. St. Augustine puts it using the role of a doctor and patient, he states, "How useful and necessary a medicine is repentance! People who remember that they are only human will readily understand this. It is written, 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.' … The Pharisee was not rejoicing so much in his own clean bill of health as in comparing it with the diseases of others. He came to the doctor. It would have been more worthwhile to inform him by confession of the things that were wrong with himself instead of keeping his wounds secret and having the nerve to crow over the scars of others. It is not surprising that the tax collector went away cured, since he had not been ashamed of showing where he felt pain (: "Sermon 351.1", quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 279)." We must be reminded that we do not justify ourselves, God does. Unfortunately, some of us Catholics live life religiously in a mechanical way. We do things in the name of obligation and not sincerity. In our parishes, we may encounter others who seek positions of power just to lord over others. We see others give money or perform a task just to gain recognition. This is not Christianity.  It is egoism. We can go to daily Mass, confess every day, pray a million Rosaries and chaplets, but if we do not have love and humility, then there is no point (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). We like the Pharisee will only be condemning ourselves. St. Cyril of Alexandria states,"What profit is there in fasting twice in the week if it serves only as a pretext for ignorance and vanity and makes you proud, haughty and selfish? You tithe your possessions and boast about it.

In another way, you provoke God's anger by condemning and accusing other people because of this. You are puffed up, although not crowned by the divine decree for righteousness. On the contrary, you heap praises on yourself. He says, 'I am not as the rest of humankind.' Moderate yourself, O Pharisee. Put a door and lock on your tongue. You speak to God who knows all things. Wait for the decree of the judge. No one who is skilled in wrestling ever crowns himself. No one receives the crown from himself and then still waits for the summons of the referee.… Lower your pride, because arrogance is accursed and hated by God… No one who is in good health ridicules one who is sick for being laid up and bedridden. He is rather afraid, for perhaps he may become the victim of similar sufferings. A person in battle, because another has fallen, does not praise himself for having escaped from misfortune. The weakness of others is not a suitable subject for praise for those who are in health ("Commentary on Luke, Homily 120", quoted in Arthur A. Just, ed., Luke, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005), 279)."  We all must be humble. Humility begins when we remember that we are not God. It begins when we ask God for mercy. This act reminds us that we are not perfect and need God. Since it reminds us that we are not perfect, this brings us to help others because we are no better than they are. 

Let us be humble.  Let us not be the Catholic-Pharisee who finds faults in others and not our own.  Let us not be like the Catholic-Pharisee who thinks he or she knows more than even the pope and bishops.  Let us not be the Catholic-Pharisee who is so stuck on nostalgia that we label others as "Novus ordo cultists" and begin to decide who is a true Catholic and who is not based on our nostalgia, bias and ignorance. The Amazon synod has been attacked by these kind of people who do not understand what it means to be pastoral. They focused on Amazon indigenous figures of Pachamama and accused the pope of idolatry.  This is said out of ignorance.  Pachamama, while seen as a deity in the Andes, is also seens as a representation of the Earth as a mother. Natives in the Amazon used this imagery to represent the Blessed Mother Mary as well, (Merlino, Rodolfo y Mario Rabey (1992). "Resistencia y hegemonía: Cultos locales y religión centralizada en los Andes del Sur". Allpanchis (in Spanish) (40): 173–200). We must be humble and not jump to conclusions when we see culture expressed in the faith.  Humility is key to the Christian life. One of my teachers exhibited this well. Mrs. Mildred Green was one of my English teachers during my formative years. She was a humble lady. She passed away recently.  Her humility was an example to me.  A seed grows from the ground up, not the other way around. This is why humility is the way to go if we are to rise up to God. Remember, pride comes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18).  May Jesus Christ be praised!


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Friday, October 25, 2019

Pope Francis says Amazon Figures are of 'Pachamama'

Finally, after nearly a month of speculation we have something solid regarding the Amazonian Indigenious figures that were cast into the Tiber a week ago.

Pope Francis has called them "pachamama" and offered pardon for those men who threw the figures into the Tiber. He praised officers for retreiving the figures from the Tiber and said that they will be present at the closing Mass for the Amazon Synod. Here are his off-the-cuff words:

Pope Francis' words
Good afternoon. I want to say a word about the statues of the pachamama that were taken from the church of the Transpontina – which were there without idolatrous intentions – and were thrown into the Tiber.
First of all, this happened in Rome, and, as Bishop of the Diocese, I ask pardon of the persons who were offended by this act.
Then, I want to communicate to you that the statues which created such attention in the media, were retrieved from the Tiber. The statues were not damaged.
The Commander of the Carabinieri desires that you should be informed of this recovery before the news is made public. At the moment, the news is confidential, and the statues are being kept in the Italian Carabinieri Commander's office.
The Commander of the Carabinieri has expressed his desire to follow up on any indications that you would like to give concerning the manner of publication of the news, and any other initiative you may want to take in this regard: for example, the Commander said, “the exhibition of the statues during the Holy Mass for the closing of the Synod”. We’ll see.
I have delegated the Secretary of State to respond to this.
This is a bit of good news. Thank you.

The pope called the retrieval "good news" and clearly stated that the intentions of the figures was not idolatry. I am sure that Dr. Taylor Marshall, Rorate Caeli, Fr. Z, Church Militant and others are fuming mad now knowing that the celebration of their stunt was premature and futile. The statues were recovered undamaged, and now will be on display at the closing Mass. Perhaps this last bit was the Pope's "in your face" response to the outrage. We may never know.

However, I do have concerns now that the figures have been confirmed as "pachamama." This is Pagan imagery representing "mother earth." However, St. Francis has called the earth "mother" as well. The difference here is inculturation with Christianity. The Church allows this. the Church borrows from the customs and ways of the people she evangelizes. We read in Ad Gentes:

22. The seed which is the word of God, watered by divine dew, sprouts from the good ground and draws from thence its moisture, which it transforms and assimilates into itself, and finally bears much fruit. In harmony with the economy of the Incarnation, the young churches, rooted in Christ and built up on the foundation of the Apostles, take to themselves in a wonderful exchange all the riches of the nations which were given to Christ as an inheritance (cf Ps. 2:8). They borrow from the customs and traditions of their people, from their wisdom and their learning, from their arts and disciplines, all those things which can contribute to the glory of their Creator, or enhance the grace of their Savior, or dispose Christian life the way it should be.(5) (Ad Gentes)

The things the Church borrows from the culture of the people she evangelizes is used to give glory to the Creator and enhance the graces needed so the Christian life can be lived. These elements are culture are purified in order to serve God. We read in Lumen Gentium:

Through her work, whatever good is in the minds and hearts of men, whatever good lies latent in the religious practices and cultures of diverse peoples, is not only saved from destruction but is also cleansed, raised up and perfected unto the glory of God, (Lumen Gentium 17)

So we see that the Catholic Church does not want to destroy or erase the culture of the people and replace it. Rather, she borrows from them, cleanses them and uses them to glorify God and evangelize the people so that the people can live their Christian life as it should be lived. The Catholic Church is not an imperialistic empire looking to assimilate and destroy other cultures. She has made it clear. In Faith and Inculturation and Evangelii Praecones, we read this clearly:

24. The Holy Spirit does not establish a superculture, but is the personal and vital principle which will vivify the new community in working in harness with its members (FAITH AND INCULTURATION, 1988).
"The Church's aim is not the domination of peoples or the gaining of temporal dominions; she is eager only to bring the supernatural light of faith to all peoples, and to promote the interests of civilization and culture, and fraternal concord among nations."[23] (Evangelii Praecones)

Those vocal about the figures have been affluent white men who adhere to a so-called "traditionalist" take on Catholicism.  They seem to prefer Eurocentric ideas over anything else.  The idea that every culture must adopt a European or white way of doing this is not the Church's thinking. As stated, The Holy Spirit did not create a super culture in the Church that seeks to replace other cultures. The Catholic Church does not exist to dominate other people and erase their culture. Rather, she cleanses them and makes use of them so they can glorify God and evangelize the people more effectively. Evangelii Praecones goes further by stating:

58. This is the reason why the Catholic Church has neither scorned nor rejected the pagan philosophies. Instead, after freeing them from error and all contamination she has perfected and completed them by Christian revelation. So likewise the Church has graciously made her own the native art and culture which in some countries is so highly developed. She has carefully encouraged them and has brought them to a point of aesthetic perfection that of themselves they probably would never have attained. By no means has she repressed native customs and traditions but has given them a certain religious significance (Evangelii Praecones 58)
We said: "The herald of the Gospel and messenger of Christ is an apostle. His office does not demand that he transplant European civilization and culture, and no other, to foreign soil, there to take root and propagate itself. His task in dealing with these peoples, who sometimes boast of a very old and highly developed culture of their own, is to teach and form them so that they are ready to accept willingly and in a practical manner the principles of Christian life and morality; principles, I might add, that fit into any culture, provided it be good and sound, and which give that culture greater force in safeguarding human dignity and in gaining human happiness. Catholic inhabitants of missionary countries, although they are first of all citizens of the Kingdom of God and members of His great family,[46] do not for all that cease to be citizens of their earthly fatherland."[47] (Evangelii Praecones 60)
So as you can see, the Catholic Church does not seek to make every culture into a European one. While we are the Latin rite, that does not mean that every culture must become Roman in the cultural sense. She can and does incorporate even Pagan symbolism in order to serve Christ and His Church. This is the key thing we need to understand and which Taylor Marshall and others do not seem to process.  If the pope allowed "pachamama" to be used in these non-liturgical rituals, it is because the imagery was Christianized and used to serve Christ.  It became a symbol, not an object of worship.  This would be like using fire to represent the Holy Spirit.  Many Pagan cultures thought fire was a god or some supernatural power entity.  However, the Church has incorporated the imagery and transformed it.  This is allowed.  Here is some reaction on Twitter:

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni now claims that the word pachamama was in italics in the statement indicating that the pope simply mentioned it because that was how the media was identifying it. In other words, he did not mean to say that the figure was pachamama.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Taylor R. Marshall Claims Wikipedia Libel

Conspiracist and author Taylor R. Marshall has been in the news on the Catholic blogsophere lately. From alleged racially sensitive criticisms, alleged suspension from Twitter, to the celebration of the Amazon wooden figures being thrown into the Tiber.  Well now, he seems to be caught in a real conspiracy scenario. According to him, the Wikipedia article describing his biography was edited and replaced with this:

"Taylor Marshall Ph.D. is a self-appointed Catholic theologian without a Catholic Theology degree and apologist for Catholic radical traditionalists, who is known for his praising Amazon Synod theft and defence of radical traditional Catholic heretical teachings." (

Clearly, the person who edited the Wikipedia is out to get Dr. Marshall. The content posted is not false, but it is clearly an attack on Marshall and possibly an attempt to intimidate him. However, this is not the major issue. The major issue is that the editor of the Wikipedia is allegedly from within the Vatican. Wikipedia posts the IP addresses of those who contribute to articles and edit them. The IP address of whoever did this edit to the Wikipedia page on Marshall is This IP can be traced to the Vatican.

Here are some Tweets on this new development:

While I cannot truly verify nor confirm whether or not this is true, I can tell from experience that it may be true that people in the Vatican stalk other Catholic bloggers. Years ago when disgraced priest Father Rosica threatened to sue Catholic blogger Vox Cantoris, I wrote a piece on the story (see: Shortly afterwards, I noticed that Fr. Rosica blocked me on Twitter without provoking on my part.  We never interacted, so how did he know where to find me to block me?   I then noticed that a Vatican IP visited my site and looked at the blog post on Rosica, see this old tweet:

So as you can see, the situation Dr. Marshall is in may in fact be a real one. Now, as usual, I am always skeptical of things and need evidence that can be vetted. VPN can be used to post false IP addresses. This whole thing can be a publicity stunt by Taylor. Anything is possible. However, from personal experience, I think this scenario with Marshall is probable. The IP address is very similar to the one that visited my site years ago.  As many of us can imagine, Marshall is not a favorite with the powers that be at the Vatican. His constant attacks against the Vicar of Christ, misinterpretations and cherry picking of Catholic doctrine and rigid understanding of the Liturgy is certainly not a welcomed ideology or tactic of evangelization in the Catholic Church.  It is fundamentalist in nature. So clearly, Marshall does not have any friends at Rome, so to speak. The editing of the Wikipedia is obviously intentional.

If so, then this is troubling. At least with me, someone just viewed my point. However, with Marshall, someone actually wrote something, that while true, can be interpreted as detraction. In any event, Dr. Marshall Taylor should be concerned and on alert. He should employ technologies that will shield his own personal computers and devices from any possible hacking attempts. As he showed, it is odd that the Vatican internet system went down. This could be a coincidence, but we can not rule out any attempt to clean up bread crumbs, so to speak. If Dr. Marshall is being targeted by someone at the Vatican with access to computer experts, anything can possibly happen including any hacks of Marshall's devices which may have content that can compromise his reputation and his family and friends. Pray for him and everyone involved. 

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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Priests at Amazon Synod: Stop Using Gold in Liturgy

If the drama surrounding the Amazonian figures that were thrown into the Tiber yesterday was not enough, during the synod presser in Rome, priests made suggestions surrounding the use of gold in the liturgy.

Father Thomas Reese of the Jesuit order said, "the Catholic Church continues to use gold in it's Sacred vessels, it would send an educational message if the Church banned gold in the liturgy." This was affirmed and followed by Fr. Dario Bossi, a Comboni Missionary in Brazil who is also a member of REPAM, the organization behind the Amazon Synod. Bossi said, "Yes, it would be a very strong message if the Church could avoid using gold in the liturgy and the sacraments." Here are the video clips:

GIRM states:

327. Among the requisites for the celebration of Mass, the sacred vessels are held in special honor, especially the chalice and paten, in which the bread and wine are offered and consecrated, and from which they are consumed.
328. Sacred vessels are to be made from precious metal. If they are made from metal that rusts or from a metal less precious than gold, then ordinarily they should be gilded on the inside.
329. In the dioceses of the United States of America, sacred vessels may also be made from other solid materials that, according to the common estimation in each region, are precious, for example, ebony or other hard woods, provided that such materials are suited to sacred use and do not easily break or deteriorate. This applies to all vessels which hold the hosts, such as the paten, the ciborium, the pyx, the monstrance, and other things of this kind.
330. As regards chalices and other vessels that are intended to serve as receptacles for the Blood of the Lord, they are to have bowls of nonabsorbent material. The base, on the other hand, may be made of other solid and worthy materials.

It seems that the reasoning behind this suggestion is to present a "poor" Church to the world. Pope Francis has stressed his desire for the Church to be poor and not the wealthy and indifferent institution the world believe it is. While the idea is noble and I agree that the Church can be seen as too "worldly" with her riches, we need to put things into perspective. The gold used in sacred vessels is to show the importance of whom they contain: Jesus Christ, His body, blood, soul and divinity under the appearance of bread and wine. These vessels are not dining utensils or dinnerware for priests or anyone else. That being stated, it is one thing for a priest or bishop to live lavishly in a mansion, with expensive cars, spending on clothing, liquor and even inappropriate sexual encounters and it is another thing to use the best to worship the Lord.

Pope Francis himself has modeled his papacy after St. Francis of Assisi, the saint of poverty, the poverello. St. Francis stressed the idea of not having possessions. He took to heart the Gospel where Christ commanded that we should not have riches stored and that we should not worry where our food or clothing would come from. St. Francis even banned his friars from owning books! Despite this, the seraphic holy father stressed the importance of using the best for Christ in the Sacred Species. He wrote this letter to the Custodians of his friars minor:

To all the custodians of the Friars Minor to whom this letter is sent, Brother Francis, your servant and little one in the Lord God, sends a greeting with new signs of heaven and earth, which are great and extraordinary in the sight of God and yet are regarded as of little importance by many religious and other people. I beg you, with all that is in me and more, that, when it is appropriate and you judge it profitable, you humbly beg the clergy to revere above everything else the most holy Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and His written words which consecrate His Body. The chalices, corporals, appointments of the altar, and everything which pertains to the sacrifice must be of precious material..." (Francis and Clare: The Complete Works.)

So as you can see, even St. Francis said to his friars that they must use "precious material" for anything related to the Mass; chalices, corporals etc. This is why the late Mother Angelica spared no expense with items related to the Blessed Sacrament. Many criticized the use of expensive vestments and vessels on the EWTN Mass citing her Franciscan way of life. However, as you can see here, the founder of the order was okay with it and ordered it.

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Monday, October 21, 2019

Ambiguous Figures of 'Our Lady of the Amazon' or "Amazonian Life" Thrown into the River

Something incredible happened in Rome. Thieves entered the Santa Maria in Traspontina church just before dawn and stole the carved wooden Amazon figures which were presented to Pope Francis on October 4th as "Our Lady of the Amazon" but were later described in a Amazon Synod presser as a "representation of life. (see:"

Fr Giacomo Costa, a synod official had told a press conference: “It is not the Virgin Mary, who said it is the Virgin Mary?… It is an indigenous woman who represents life.” But another synod official, Fr Roberto Carrasco Rojas OMI has insisted that the statue is a Marian figure. “This figure is the Virgin Mary of the Amazon, Our Lady of the Amazon,” he told Rome Reports. “It’s a devotion that started in the indigenous communities… They carved in wood an image of a blessed mother, who is pregnant.” However, Bishop David Martínez De Aguirre Guinea told reporters at an press briefing on October 7 this: “Probably, those who used this symbol wished to refer to fertility, to women, to life, the life present among these Amazonian people and Amazonia is meant to be full of life. I don’t think we need to create any connections with the Virgin Mary or with a Pagan element.”

So-called traditionalist bloggers and podcasters such as Dr. Taylor Marshall and Michael Voris have called the figure "Pachamama" or a pagan goddess. I have not found any Vatican offical call the figure by this name. It derives solely from traditionalist and conservative squares. Moreover, the images of "pachamama" do not match the ones presented at the Vatican. Pachamama is often depicted as a heavy set indigenous woman. Other depictions show her as pregnant or as a mountain figure.

Here are the videos:

The video has this caption:

“for only one reason: Our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ, his blessed Mother, and everybody who follows Christ, are being attacked by members of our own Church. We do not accept this! We do not longer stay silent! We start to act NOW!” [sic]
“Because we love humanity, we can not accept that people of a certain region should not get baptised and therefore are being denied entrance into heaven,” the caption continues. “It is our duty to follow the words of God like our holy Mother did. There is no second way of salvation. Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat!”

The act was described by Vatican officials as a "stunt" and "theft." Ruffini said, "is a gesture that seems to me to contradict the spirit of dialogue that should always animate everything. I don't know what else to say. It was theft." He added of the incident, “seems to me to contradict the gesture of dialogue." Fr. Costa said that the images represents life in the Amazon like "glass of water or parrots" represents the region. Focus on the statues, and the gesture of throwing them into the Tiber river, doesn't make sense. However, it is never constructive to steal an object."

Here is some reaction on Twitter. Many Catholics celebrated the theft and dumping of the statues. Others have interpreted as a sign of xenophobia:

As you can see, many Catholics are happy that the images were stolen and thrown into the river. They see the images as idols or even a demon which was enthroned at the Vatican. However, not everyone was happy. Some consider the act as an act of xenophobia and racism. A Jesuit priest even reported Deacon Nick, Dr. Taylor and others for this:

As I stated before, I am not sure what the images are. They were presented as Our Lady of the Amazon, but then were presented as a female figure representing life only to later be described as the Virgin Mary again and then as a figure of the Amazon. It is so confusing. I personally do not believe it is Pachamama. I see no evidence for this and no one at the Vatican nor the Amazon natives have called the figure by this name. The name only can be found from sources within the so-called traditionalist blogosphere and other reactionaries.

What is troubling to me is the celebration of theft and the destruction of property. Let us supposed that, in fact, these were idols and the bloggers are correct. Should we steal things and destroy property? When the Statue of Liberty was proposed as a gift to the United States, Catholic New Yorkers protested heavily because the statue is a pagan goddess Libertas. They felt that this was a celebration and introduction of Paganism into American lives. The protests went nowhere and the frenzy died down. No one saw the statue as a pagan goddess. Even today, no one even identifies the statue as such. The Statue of Liberty stands alone as simply the Statue of Liberty that represents liberty, immigrants, New York and America.

To see Dr. Taylor Marshall and others celebrate the sin of theft is disturbing. What happened to "thou shalt not steal?" He cites events in the past regarding saints and others, but we are not in those times. Are Catholics supposed to enter satanic temples now and bash the heads of satanic statues? Are Catholics supposed to now go and destroy Buddha statues? Is this the norm he wants? This is crazy talk. Furthermore, the charge about xenophobia and racism is not one we can ignore. Even if this figure is not the Virgin Mary, we have to be concerned about the hate being demonstrated by whites against indigenous people. Virgin Mary or not, the image is representative of a culture, of a people. To trash it and speak ill of it is pretty much a reflection xenophobia and hate. This issue has to be looked into greatly. If this image is finally decided by the Vatican as representing the Virgin Mary as the Amazonians interpret her, then Taylor and company are in big trouble. They will have to answer to the charges of racism and xenophobia.

We should also be concerned about copycats looking to make a statement, as well as, the fact that this church has no security.  How can this Vatican landmark not have security?

The group behind the Amazon Synod will be charging the men and is looking to identify them:

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