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Austrian man claims he threw ‘Pachamama’ statues into the Tiber

“I came to a conclusion together with a friend of mine… we should go to Rome. We should get the statues out of the church. They do not belong in a Catholic church,” Alexander Tschugguel said in the YouTube video Nov. 4.

A wooden statue of a pregnant woman is pictured in the Church of St. Mary in Traspontina as part of exhibits on the Amazon region during the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon in Rome Oct. 18, 2019. Several copies of the statue were stolen from the church and thrown into the Tiber River Oct. 21. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Vatican City, Nov 4, 2019 / 03:14 am (CNA).- In a video uploaded on YouTube Nov. 4, a young man from Austria claims that he was one of the two men who took five controversial statues from a church near the Vatican and threw them into the Tiber River.

“I came to a conclusion together with a friend of mine… we should go to Rome. We should get the statues out of the church. They do not belong in a Catholic church,” Alexander Tschugguel said in the YouTube video Nov. 4.

In the five-minute video, entitled “Why we threw the Pachamama idols into the Tiber river,” Tschugguel describes how he came to see the carved images in Santa Maria in Traspontina as a violation of the First Commandment.

The statues, which were identical carved images of a naked pregnant Amazonian woman, had been displayed in the Carmelite church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, close to the Vatican, and used in several events, rituals, and expression of spirituality taking place during the Oct. 6-27 Amazonian synod.

In the video Tschugguel said that he spoke with volunteers within Santa Maria in Traspontina on several occasions. They explained to him that that statues were “signs of fertility, of Mother Earth, and integral ecology.”

The video is uploaded from the same account as an Oct. 21 video, which showed two men with obscured faces entering the Santa Maria in Traspontina to take the images and then throwing the carved wooden figures from the side of the Sant’Angelo bridge into the Tiber River.

With more than 176,000 views on YouTube, this video increased the controversy surrounding the images at the Amazon synod.

Pope Francis issued an apology Oct. 25 asking forgiveness from those who were offended by the “Pachamama” statues being thrown into the Tiber River, and said that they had been displayed in the church “without idolatrous intentions.”

In the latest video, Tschugguel appeals for people to subscribe to his YouTube channel, and includes a link to the “Boniface Institute,” a simple website with links to make donations via Paypal and Patreon. There is no explanation of who or what these donations would fund.


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19 Comments

  1. “Pope Francis issued an apology Oct. 25 asking forgiveness from those who were offended by the “Pachamama” statues being thrown into the Tiber River”.

    How about those who were offended by the very fact that they were in a Catholic Church in the first place? Those people are obviously of no consequence.

    • You are so right on. Francis is constantly ignoring the offensiveness and confusion he is allowing/inviting.
      Watch bishop Robert Barron 7 min YouTube on “The Limits of Tolerance”.

  2. The guys steals the statues (which is still wrong) and he is begging for money?

    Giving this clown free free is a Julie Sweatnik momement waiting to happpen. There are a lot of principled criticism and critics out there do you need this? This smells bad.

      • Yet you allow the gods of war to enter the Catholic Church of America and rationalise with your Just War Theory for your nation to send troops to Iraq from 20 Mar 2003 until 18 Dec 2011? ………and look today at the fruit of this war on the people of Iraq and the wider Middle East laid bare for all to see!

      • Shouldn’t we as Christians first assume the best intentions of others?
        Indeed!
        Did the young man who threw the statue ask the creators of the exhibit what the Amazonians intention was in placing what has been described as the Pachamama idols? Have you here applauding his actions explored the Amazonian’s intent?
        I’m reminded of the evangelising methods of St Paul:
        Acts 17:22-31 (WEB): 22 Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus, and said, “You men of Athens, I perceive that you are very religious in all things. For as I passed along, and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.
        Sounds like he wasn’t looking to condemn or put down but as a starting point drew attention to common ground. Without pinning a badge to my chest, I have been evangelising in this way with friends and anyone who is following the eclectic new age spirituality that is common in Australia. The parallels are there and there are many. If you only know the language of Catholicism how do you communicate with people who do not know your language? Or does knowing the language of the other mean that, i am as frequently told here, a Catholic Lite Cafeteria Catholic?
        I am reminded of another teaching of St Paul:
        Romans 1:20, NIV: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
        Additionally, It may be worth investigating where the name “Easter” originated and the timing of our commemoration of Easter before you legitimise the young mans action of throwing the statue out. I suggest if it if justified to throw that statue out then it is justified to not use the word Easter, nor the timing of Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox.
        Our Catholicism should facilitate our relationship and fellowship with God and each other not be an obstacle to our fellowship with the Almighty, Most High That Has No Beginning And No End.

        • “Additionally, It may be worth investigating where the name “Easter” originated”

          Interesting; the last person for whom I had to write an explanation of this was an anti-Catholic bigot.

          From Encyclopedia Brittanica: “There is now widespread consensus that the word derives from the Christian designation of Easter week as in albis, a Latin phrase that was understood as the plural of alba (“dawn”) and became eostarum in Old High German, the precursor of the modern German and English term.” https://www.britannica.com/topic/Easter-holiday

        • Idols—to use them as stepping stones for evangelization, or not. A plausible inquiry—whether to appeal to idols alongside the Gospel, or instead to proclaim the Gospel directly (as St. Paul in fact did)? In either case the issue was not the intent of the Amazonians, but the actions of clerics. Three points:

          First: “The idols of the nations […] are the handiwork of men. They have mouths but speak not; they have eyes but see not; [etc.]” (Psalm 135).

          Second: Early Christians accepted martyrdom rather than toss even a pinch of ashes toward a statue of the deified emperor.

          Third, in our particular case, maybe the Austrian guy sought a middle ground? Instead of either a pinch of ash or psychoanalyzing Amazonian intent, why not question Pachamama directly? Drawing yet again from our tool box of past customs, we find the Medieval “ordeal of water.” Toss the babe into the Tiber! If she sinks she is innocent; if she floats, she is guilty. She floated. Therefore, alongside the Tabernacle in St. Peter’s there’s no longer a pagan niche to religious “pluralism.”

        • This is an older article but I believe I was referring to the suggestion that he was seeking to profit financially through donations.

  3. I shall keep Alexander Tschugguel in my daily prayers for a long long time. He’s got more backbone than most of our present clergy INCLUDING THE POPE!
    Mr Alexander Tschugguel, May God Bless You and all who help you to bring folks all the information possible regarding this sacrilege in our Church!

  4. “I totally asked some people, and they told me they were idols, so my friends and I said we must do something! Thanks for watching, please smash that like button, ring that bell, here are links to my patreon and paypal, thank you and God bless, keeping it real for all the peeps out there on the internet! Links to my store in the description!”

  5. He is a hero to me but should have destroyed these pagan idols before throwing them in the river. They were recovered and brought back but I don’t know if they were placed by into the church. They are a sacrilege and breaking of the 1st Commandment. What this young man did was to take a stand for our Lord and our Blessed Mother. Pope Francis apologizing to the pagans of the Amazon is despicable and completely heretical.

  6. PACHAMAMA SACRILEGE –
    GOD BLESS Alexander Tschugguel for throwing those pachamama IDOLS (which don’t belong in any CATHOLIC church) into the Tiber – sick & tired of seeing idolators, heretics, freemasons, george soros, & their evil agenda being promoted by the ONE & ONLY TRUE CHURCH. Our church should not be focusing on the hoax of climate change etc… – Christ’s mandate was to ‘Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature – baptising them…’ THERE SEEMS TO BE NO EFFORT TO CONVERT THESE PAGANS & HERETICS TO THE one & ONLY true FAITH. IT’S OBVIOUS WE’RE SUFFERING THE GREAT APOSTACY.
    2 Timothy 4:3-4
    For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. As for pachamama or any other idols: “Their graven things thou shalt burn with fire … Destroy all the places in which the nations, that you shall possess, worshiped their gods upon high mountains, and hills, and under every shady tree: Overthrow their altars, and break down their statues, burn their groves with fire, and break their idols in pieces: destroy their names out of those places. (Deuteronomy 7:25, 12:2-3)” “I AM A JEALOUS GOD!” God bless you Alexander!

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