REUTERS – Ultra-conservative Catholic militants admitted they stole statues they consider to be Amazon pagan idols from a church near the Vatican on Monday and dumped them from a bridge into the Tiber River.
A video posted on internet and given prominence on conservative Catholic media websites such as EWTN television and LifeSite News showed the four-minute episode, which police said they were treating as a theft.
The statues were on display along with other Amazon artefacts at the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, several blocks from the Vatican.
The three identical statues of a kneeling pregnant indigenous woman were replicas of one used during a tree-planting ceremony in the Vatican gardens in the presence of Pope Francis this month that conservatives found outrageous.
Conservatives accused the Vatican of letting what they consider a likeness of a pagan goddess of Mother Earth known as Pachamama onto sacred Christian ground. READ MORE
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