Moral theological Defense Of [Obviously Good] Throwing Pachamamas Into The Tiber

Joseph Shaw on Twitter with this analysis:

Who’d like to do some moral thinking about Pachamama’s trip to the Tiber? All those who think that there are no exceptions to the prohibition on taking what belongs to another, the Tradition is clear that a starving man may take food surplus to another’s needs.

Is that the only exception? Well, would you grab something not yours to save someone from murder, or assault? A makeshift weapon say.

So we could take something which is of little value, to prevent a serious crime? Obviously, this assumes you can be pretty certain of the low value of the thing you take, and of the crime.

I doubt many people would object to a passer-by thwarting a bank robbery, for example, by pinching loose stones from a private garden to immobilise the getaway vehicle. 4/

Now the honouring of a pagan idol in a church is a grave offence against Divine Law. The question come down, then, to whether this is the correct description of what was going on. 5/

But if that what the perpetrators *thought* was going on, then they were subjectively justified: they had no guilt, though they may have been misguided. Unless it was so obvious that they failed in a duty to check.

I think the repeated descriptions of Pachamama as a deity by, for example, the Encyclopedia Brittanica, are enough to show that it is at least *reasonable* to think that the image is the image of a pagan deity.

And the Church’s strict traditions about what may be placed on an altar, along with the major scandal caused by the temporary placing of a Buddha on an altar in Assisi at an inter-faith gathering under JP2, suggest that the formed conscience of a Catholic who has been paying attention could, reasonably, infer that the placing of the Pachamama on the altars was sacrilegious.

All of this, of course, should have been obvious to the organisers, who had a duty to avoid givi meg scandal, which is to say to avoid even the *appearance* of sacrilege. If they failed to consider this, this would be negligent

As those criticising the people who removed the statues know, one can judge actions, even if one cannot judge hearts.
Sepp Benedikt and one more user like this.
Sepp Benedikt likes this.
The last sentence is spot-on!
Maybe, thinking of Amoris Laetitia, taking the statues and throwing them in the Tiber is "the most generous response which can be given to God".