PopeWatch: Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Bishop Athanasius Schneider gives his assessment of Querida Amazonia at Lifesite News:


Yet in noting the improvements made in Querida Amazonia, one cannot be silent about the lamentable doctrinal ambiguities and errors it contains, as well as its dangerous ideological tendencies. Highly problematic, for example, is Querida Amazonia’s implicit endorsement of a pantheistic and pagan spirituality, when it speaks of the material earth as a “sacred mystery” (n. 5); of entering into communion with nature: “we enter into communion with the forest” (n. 56); of the Amazon biome as a “theological locus” (n. 57). The affirmation that the Amazon river is “the hidden eternity” (n. 44) and that “only poetry, with its humble voice, will be able to save this world” (n. 46) comes close to pantheism and paganism. A Christian cannot subscribe to such ideas and expressions.

Jews and Christians were never allowed to “take up … in some way” pagan indigenous religious symbols. God forbade His chosen people to take up the indigenous symbol of the golden calf and Baal. When they set fire to the harbor of Jamnia (see 2 Macc 12:7-8), the soldiers of Judas Maccabee considered it possible “to take up” indigenous symbols “in some way” without necessarily considering it as idolatry, since they were only votive offerings in the temples (cf. 2 Macc 12:40). However, God condemned this “taking up of indigenous symbols in some way” and, as everyone plainly saw, for this cause these soldiers were slain. The entire community made acts of expiation for this sin: “All gave themselves to prayer, begging that the sin committed might be completely forgiven. After this Judas took a collection from them individually and sent it to Jerusalem to have a sacrifice for sin offered” (2 Macc 12:42-43).

The Apostles would never allow the taking up “in some way” of the indigenous symbols of Greco-Roman society, such as the statue of Artemis or Diana in Ephesus (see Acts 19:23ff). St. Paul “persuaded and turned away a considerable company of people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods” (Acts 19:26). The native people of Ephesus protested St. Paul’s uncompromising stand against taking up indigenous symbols and said: “There is danger that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be counted as nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship” (Acts 19:27). With St. Paul we should say: “What agreement has the temple of God with idols and with indigenous religious symbols?” (cf. 2 Cor 6:16). St. Vladimir did not take up the indigenous symbols used in his pagan religion, nor did St. Boniface in Germany. They thereby followed God’s command in Holy Scripture and the teaching of the Apostles. To be sure, none of the Apostles or holy missionaries could calmly stand by and readily accept the affirmation of Querida Amazonia: “It is possible to take up an indigenous symbol in some way, without necessarily considering it as idolatry” (n. 79).

Querida Amazonia’s designation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as the “mother of all creatures” (n. 111) is also highly problematic theologically. The Blessed and Immaculate Mother of God is not the mother of all creatures, but only of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of mankind, and she is therefore also the spiritual mother of all men redeemed by her divine Son. One finds the idea and expression “mother of the creation or creatures” in pagan religions, for instance, in the Pachamama-cult and in the New Age movement, as one can see in the following description: “Earth Mother, in ancient and modern nonliterate religions, is an eternally fruitful source of everything. She is simply the mother; there is nothing separate from her. All things come from her, return to her, and are her. The most archaic form of the ‘Earth Mother’ is an Earth Mother who produces everything, inexhaustibly, from herself” (Encyclopaedia Britannica). The Vedic hymns speak of the “Aditi,” the primal goddess of the Hindu pantheon, as the “mother of all creatures.” St. Anselm gives the right conception and terminology, saying: “God is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother of Him, through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to Him as the Savior of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed” (Oratio 52). Mary is the “Queen of heaven, the regina coeli” and the “Queen of creation,” but she is not the “mother of all creatures.” 

Go here to read the rest.  A very thorough examination and convincingly argued.  Go here to read about Bishop Schneider’s background.

More to explorer


  1. “gods made by hands” are finite. The Supreme Sovereign Being is infinite. There is only one infinite God as two would preempt each other. Only an infinite God can endow unalienable innate human rights. A golden calf can give you gold but gold will not bring you into eternity and joy in the Beatific Vision.
    God is three sovereign Persons and must be addressed as WHO. Frauds are the personification of some ideology by finite creatures; man who will die; dead and gone forever. Fake gods will not even take you with them into death for the fake gods have no authentic authority and are a figment of some twisted imagination a lot like Star Trek.

  2. This piece by Bp. Schneider ought to be required reading for all the “conservative” Catholics who have been fawning over “Querida Amazonia” as if it were the next Humanae Vitae. In fact, many of them are explicitly and shamelessly making this direct comparison. Bergoglio has fooled them again.

  3. Bp. Schneider, despite his inherent orthodoxy, has been a member of the controlled opposition to anti-pope Bergoglio. He does not call out the many ambiguities in the document which will be used, Vatican II like, to further erode and overturn Catholic teaching in the future.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: