Giunta is no fan of Pope Francis by any stretch. But he is honest and he recognizes a Right Wing Lie Machine Panic du Jour from the congenitally dishonest Lifesite News when he sees it. He writes:
Undeterred by historical and anthropological fact, logical reasoning, sound theology, or basic human decency and the demands of Christian charity, the once-noble news outlet LifeSiteNews (for which I wrote a few articles some years ago) has doubled down in recent weeks on its #FakeNews “Pachmama idols in the Vatican” narrative.
Since publishing my essay on the manufactured controversy, “No, ‘Mother Earth’ Is Not Pagan,” I have been bombarded by numerous responses, just about evenly split between those who appreciated it and those who continue to insist that the now-infamous images prominently displayed during a prayer service in the Vatican City Gardens, and later in the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, were pagan idols and were adored as such. I responded to a few of the latter, asking them to document their assertions, but naturally none couldn’t, and I was met with various replies, nearly all to the effect of, “It’s idolatry until proven otherwise.”
As I noted in my essay, those peddling the fake “Pachamama” story are right-wing Trostkyites; as such, they do not care about what is objectively true; or rather, “truth” for them is not the correspondence of thought to reality — as the Christian and classical metaphysical tradition insists. Rather, “truth” is whatever advances the desired narrative. Pope Francis is a bad man, a terrible pope, and a heretic (all assertions with which I agree); therefore, anything that paints him in the worst possible light must necessarily be “true,” since it advances that narrative. These neo-traditionalist critics agree with U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that it’s okay to be “factually incorrect” so long as you are “morally right.”
This is not an unfair characterization. There is no other reasonable explanation for why people of at least average intelligence would continue promoting the “Pachamama idol” narrative in the face of:
(1) No evidence that “Pachamama” is an Amazonian deity. I do not claim to be an expert on the Amazon and its indigenous, non-Christian religions, but I do know how to conduct a search via Google, Google Scholar, JSTOR, and other resources, and I have probably read every #FakeNews story on the matter published by LifeSiteNews, EWTN, OnePeterFive, and all the other neo-traditionalist outlets, and I cannot find any scholarly or other documentation that “Pachamama,” an Andean deity, is commonly worshiped by non-Christians in the Amazon. The neo-trads have had over a month to produce such documentation, and it would bolster their case. Their inability to document this, against their own narrative self-interest, along with what appears to be a dearth of scholarly notice of “Pachamama worship” in the Amazon, suggests that the “Pachamama” obsession is one born of basic cultural ignorance: Someone read somewhere that some South American pagans worship “Pachamama,” the Amazon is located in South America, both the Amazon and the Andes begin with the letter “A,” some modern South American nation states cover parts of the Andes and parts of the Amazon, so the identification of the famous images with “Pachamama” was made without any critical reflection. Willfully ignorant journalists at low-brow “news” outlets like LifeSite ran with that narrative without bothering to do any fact-checking. Edit: As I note below in the comments, while it is not impossible that some pagan Amazonians who live near the Andes have adopted the worship of “Pachamama,” this still has not been demonstrated by the papal detractors; and even if such Amazonians did exist, the statuettes in question were purchased at a market in Manaus, Brazil, nowhere near the Andes.
(2) No evidence that “Pachamama” is worshiped via idols. Though it may be hard for some Western pundits to believe, not all “paganism” is the same, and not all “paganism” the world over takes on all the same external forms that paganism in the ancient Near East and Greco-Roman antiquity — the paganism we’re all familiar with from the Bible — did. Why has no one bothered to ask whether Amazonian pagans even worship idols, let alone whether they worship idolic representations of “Pachamama”? Could it be because those, including “Catholic” “journalists,” making these accusations, just don’t care?
(3) No evidence that “Pachamama” is worshiped via idols that look like these images:
(4) No evidence that pagan Amazonians worship idols. See (2).
(5) No evidence that pagan Amazonians worship idols that look like the above images (3).
(6) No evidence that these images represent “Pachamama.”
He has more to say, along with a rather funny parody of the Lie Machine’s logic applied Southern Baptists “worshipping the earth” that makes the core point pretty effectively.
Of course, at this point, the Righteously Ignorant have their mind made up and their logic comes down to, “If the pope is not a pagan idolator and that statue is not an idol, then why did the pope worship that idol? Answer me that!” The Cleverdumbs are secure in their ideological bubble and very few will actually listen, even to Giunta.
Because it’s not about facts or truth. It’s about destroying Francis and using innocent Amazonian Catholics as cannon fodder to do it. If they are being shot and burned off their land while the smear campaign distracts from their plight and their plea for shepherds, too bad. You have to break a few eggs to make an omelette as the apologists for Stalin used to say.