It is not breaking news that the Left tends to read strict texts as if they were highly interpretative Walt Whitman poems. It happens with the American Constitution all the time. Yet alarmingly, this phenomenon is spreading into the religious sphere. And now, it’s to such a degree that the DIE religion (diversity, inclusion, and equity) and Christianity are becoming increasingly intertwined.
On Tuesday, an Argentinian Catholic diocese apologized for promoting a prayer to the Andean deity Pachamama. The indigenous goddess with well-known devotees like former Bolivian President Evo Morales and Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro was hailed in an unusual prayer posted to the Diocese of Venado Tuerto’s social media.
The now-deleted post read, “[Pachamama] is a symbol of fertility, of the earth and the sacredness of life. It is a myth full of spiritual meaning [that] can be used to advantage.”
Additionally, the post claimed that “religious festivals have a sacred meaning and are occasions for gathering and fraternity. These are the new paths for the Church and for the achievement of an integral ecology. Holy Father Francis.” All this sounds absurd coming from the Catholic Church, but the most shocking factor was the prayer itself:
“Hail Pachamama, sweet source of our life, may you be forever venerated. Blessed are the fruits of your womb, our daily bread, may you be blessed now and forever. Look with compassion, Holy Mother, upon the human pack that destroys you out of ambition. Blessed be your clemency Pachamama. My land preyed upon by madness. You are the source of life and joy. Pachamama, holy land, Holy Mother, Virgin Mary.”
While distinct Christian groups might have disagreements as to whether one should pray to saints or Jesus Christ’s mother, none appear to revere indigenous deities. And many would consider such admiration a sacrilegious practice.
The publication of the prayer followed the annually commemorated Pachamama Day. The celebration, which takes place on August 1, is widely popular among indigenous communities, but not so much in Christian churches. The social media post elicited strong reactions from thousands of Catholics across the South American nation, which seems predictable in one of the most populous nations in the most Catholic continent.
Over the past century, the share of Catholics on the planet has more than tripled. In 1910, 291 million Catholics inhabited the globe, and in 2010 the figure grew to nearly 1.1 billion, according to a Pew Research Center comprehensive demographic study.
But although the centurial growth looks like a reason to celebrate for Catholics, the trend was inverted in the last decades. When using Latin America as a case study, another survey from the Pew Research Center revealed that in 2014, 69 percent of Latin Americans called themselves Catholic. In contrast, that same figure reached 90 percent in the 1960s.
When zooming in on Argentina between 2008 and 2019, the data shows that the proportion of Catholics has dropped a tremendous 14 percentage points (from 77 percent to 63 percent). This comes as no surprise when observing recent global trends, specifically, an era of South American neoliberalism followed by a Pink Tide led by 21st-century socialists.
Pew’s analysis said:
“In all of Latin America, people in the Central American nations of Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador are among the most religiously committed and socially conservative. By contrast, people in the ‘Southern Cone’ countries of Argentina, Chile and especially Uruguay are among the most secular, with relatively low levels of religious commitment. The biggest country surveyed — Brazil — falls somewhere between these two groups in terms of religious commitment and social attitudes.”
In Pope Francis’s country of origin, Argentina, the recent legalization of abortion and the passage of an affirmative action law that reserves one percent of public sector jobs to transgender individuals illustrate why it is reasonable to assume that the nation’s mores appear to be at a crossroads and the future seems bleak for proponents of the Catholic project.
For Catholic evangelists, the decreasing numbers are definitely worrisome. But the reaction to the decline is disquieting too.
Do shrinking numbers mean that trying to appeal to other groups should be accompanied by the violation of the religion’s tenets? Fervent Catholics do not think so.
But as the future of the Church’s hegemony in the continent is uncertain, factionalization inside it has increased. Instead of competing with agnostic progressivism and other denominations in the fight, the Argentinian diocese’s controversy demonstrates that some groups within the Catholic Church believe it is time to become accustomed to elements of Wokeness.
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