Pachamama Thrown into the Tiber: A Beautiful Gesture

February 13, 2020

The young Austrian Catholic who threw a wooden statuette representing the goddess Pachamama into the Tiber in October 2019, acknowledged his gesture in an interview with Vatican Insider, a site reputed to be close to Pope Francis.

On February 3 and 4, 2020, a conference called National Conservatism, organized by the Edmund Burke Foundation, was held in Rome with the aim of uniting the efforts of various European conservative movements.

One of the attendees of this summit was none other than Alexander Tschugguel, a young Austrian who has become famous for having thrown into the Tiber the effigy of Pachamama—a crude evocation of the “earth-goddess”—an idol that had been placed in a church in the Eternal City during the Synod on the Amazon.

Vatican Insider took advantage of the presence in Rome of one who defines himself as a “traditionalist,” to revisit a gesture of which the sovereign pontiff has publicly disapproved.

When Iacopo Scaramuzzi asked Alexander Tschugguel how, after the passage of some time, he views his action, the young man replied that throwing Pachamama into the Tiber was “a beautiful gesture,” which he fully accepts.

“When the synod began,” he continues, “and when the ‘Pachamama ritual’ was celebrated in the Vatican gardens, the synod fathers were asked about the meaning of this ceremony, but the responses varied widely. At first, we were told that the venerated effigies in fact were supposed to represent the Virgin Mary and St. Elisabeth, but a little later, this was no longer the case. Then we were told that they were certainly pagan representations, but that we could consider them ‘in a Catholic sense.’ Finally, they confessed that what happened there was a pagan ceremony: many of the questions asked of the Pope and the Vatican remain unanswered so far.”

Alexander Tschugguel justifies his gesture in the name of the faith: “if there is a crime against the first commandment, it is our right, and even our duty to punish it.”

Asked about the Holy Father’s personality and action, the young Austrian gave a nuanced reply: “There are two ways to speak about Pope Francis: first, as Pope, and there we are held to pray for the salvation of his soul, and also that he guides souls to Heaven; then we can talk about his actions.”

The activist specifies that, whatever the intentions of the Pope, that he “presumes good,” Catholics have the right to discuss a pontifical action, “in a just and respectful manner,” especially when it consists of implementing the “global agenda emanating from the United Nations.”

To the question of Iacopo Scaramuzzi who is astonished at the fact that a Catholic has the audacity to dictate his program to the successor of Peter, Alexandre Tschugguel retorts: “It is my duty to serve the Pope, and the best way to do it, when he takes a direction opposed to what the Church has always taught, is to shout to him: ‘Watch out, look, you are going in the wrong direction.’ It’s like when a person runs down a valley and is about to fall into a ravine, we should yell at them to come back, to go another way.”

Instead of a ravine, it’s the tumultuous floods of the Amazon and the Rhine—swollen by deadly synodal paths—from which the Pope and the Church must be protected in this year 2020.