Wednesday, October 23, 2019
Stolen Statues, Stolen Past
I wrote earlier this week about the Amazon Synod, the gathering of clerics and Indigenous representatives to discuss substantive issues for the Roman Catholic church in that region. Members of the patriarchal and hierarchical resistance to change in the RC church spoke out against images of naked, pregnant women which were amongst the art brought by Indigenous persons to Rome. Apparently Mary, the mother of Jesus, is to revered, but any acknowledgment that women get pregnant and are often naked when they give birth is to be considered pagan.
These symbols were on display in a side chapel of a church in Rome when they were stolen, by a couple of men, and dumped into the nearby Tiber River. The thieves made a video of their theft, so it was meant to challenge the efforts of Pope Francis and the Vatican to be respectful of Indigenous peoples.
I hope authorities catch the thieves and reveal the source of this pathetic act of vandalism. Again, I'm impressed at the efforts by the Roman Catholic church to enter into what can be a healing conversation with those whose forbearers were often brutalizes and murdered in God's name. We can pray for those who will be dismayed by what has unfolded.