Friday, October 25, 2019

Since 2010, the Sisters of Mercy Have Been Partnering with the "Pachamama Alliance"

The Catholic women's religious order, Sisters of Mercy

Note: I briefly published this on October 22, but then pulled it for revision. Obviously, it has been somewhat eclipsed by recent events. But here is the final version for the record: 

The now famous Pachamama (or Mother-Earth goddess) carvings, first featured in a recent ritual in the Vatican gardens and then displayed in a side chapel of Santa Maria in Traspontina for a few days before they were accompanied into the river Tiber by two anonymous Catholic activists, were not just, as it were, random pagan idols brought to Rome by a few feathered indigenous on a field trip. Rather, Pachamama and what she represents has been embraced by many on the North American and European Catholic left for years.

The Pachamama Alliance, founded in 1995 by American philanthropists and activists Bill and Lynn Twist and economics and business consultant John Perkins, is now a $5 million dollar a year non-profit, based in San Francisco.

Lynn Twist, Perkins and others associated with the Alliance have done numerous TED Talks.

It's stated Mission/Purpose is to "empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world."

While much of the organization's focus is on development and environmental economics and "social justice," it also appears to have a quasi-religious element. First on its list of Guiding Values and Principles is this:

The universe is friendly and the evolutionary Force that put the stars in motion is still moving through all of us and is a dynamic, self-organizing process whose grace and guidance we can trust.

Since 2010, the Pachamama Alliance has been involved in a partnership with the North American Catholic Sisters of Mercy through a program called "Awakening the Dreamer: Changing the Dream." A 2011 article in National Catholic Reporter describes the program.
Earlier this spring, teachers from three Sisters of Mercy Catholic high schools in the San Francisco Bay Area were not numbing their feelings. Instead, they were quietly weeping and raging over video clips they had seen of environmental devastation. These teachers were participating in a six hour inter-active educational symposium, “Awakening the Dreamer: Changing the Dream,” organized by the Burlingame, Calif. Sisters of Mercy. More than 100 teachers took part in three separate faculty retreat days. 
“Dreamer” is the creation of the Pachamama Alliance, a non-governmental organization in San Francisco. Its message holds that we who live in modern industrial society must be awakened from our destructive dream of runaway prosperty and consumerist fixation. Our trance-like belief system has produced a daily nightmare for every other creature and ecosystem on the Planet. 
Mercy Sr. Patricia Ryan views “Dreamer” as one of the best programs she has ever presented. “It puts everything together that we’ve been studying and supporting separately for years,” weaving together environmental sustainability and activism with social justice and spirituality. Tying together these three elements is what has riveted the attention of the entire Mercy community throughout the U.S. explained Sr. Ryan. 
Her community became involved in April of 2010 when the Mercy Institute’s Extended Justice Team participated in a “Dreamer” symposium. Its success prompted members to carry the program back to sisters within their own geographical areas and to begin training symposium facilitators. Sessions have since taken place in Rhode Island, Maine, Maryland, and California.

The six-hour session packs in rich helpings of information, feedback and rituals. Participants experience guided meditations honoring their local indigenous ancestors. They view video clips of Fr. Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, Joanna Macy, Wangarai Maathai, Julia Butterfly Hill and Maude Barlow. They listen to indigenous leaders. One of them warns, that “if you are coming to help us, you are wasting your time. If you are coming because you know your liberation is bound up with ours, then let us work together.”
What exactly is the nature of these guided meditations and rituals? It's not stated. One has difficulty imagining the San Francisco yuppies of the Alliance or the tee-shirted nuns of the Sisters dressing up in Native South American feathers. But who knows?

On the Sisters of Mercy website the philosophy or theology of the "Dreamer" program is explained in more detail:
We have lived in a mythic trance of a worldview that has become dysfunctional and destructive. As participants begin to free themselves from the constraints of the unconscious, unexamined assumptions they have internalized, new possibilities for the future open... [There is also a] profound interconnection presented by science and spirituality in the universe story, which is beginning to shape the consciousness on Earth. 
...Many teachers including Brian Swimme and Teilhard de Chardin think that we are the self reflective consciousness of Earth; that what is emerging through our awakened hearts and minds and mouths is the force of life itself, acting on behalf of all beings.
Brian Swimme is a popular science author and professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies.

It's fair to say that while the Pachamama Alliance and the "Dreamer" program are theoretically focused on the "non-Western" people and cultures of the Amazon, complete with admonishments to not merely help but co-operate and listen, the actual philosophy expounded, with its references to Teilhard, etc. is decidedly modern American and European.

Some might call it New Age.

Swimme claims not to be anti-religion but pro-multiplicity of religions. Science and environmental ecology are pointing to a new sort of synthesis:
... if you take Buddhism and Christianity and so forth there's a kind of battle — a subtle sort of struggle taking place because they're not standing in a common ground but... take the Earth or ecology then suddenly they can begin to explore what they have to offer. So I do think absolutely that... there will be a flourishing of religions, not a withering away. And they will flourish to the degree that they will move into the context of planet and universe.
While for the Catholic Church these ideas in their most explicit form used to be confined to small pockets of radical women religious or leftist professors, with the ascendency of Francis this sort of mystical ecological theology, along with its alleged implications for economic and social policy seems to be in the ascendent, at least in the Vatican.

The Pachamama Alliance recognized this with a 2018 blog post on Pope Francis praising him for "Changing the Catholic Church, and the World." More than four years before the Amazonian Synod, they recognized that much of the direction of the Francis pontificate had been set by Laudato Si.
Pope Francis’ statements point toward radical change of the very institutions that form the basis of our modern culture. The Pope is asking for economic and financial change; political change; and profound social change. 
...Bill and Lynne Twist, and John Perkins, co-founders of the Pachamama Alliance, recently agreed that the Pope’s message is uniquely inspiring because it echoes the same call for a revolution that we are hearing at this time from the United Nations, the Dalai Lama, and social justice and activist groups from around the world. 
The Pope’s call for a revolution is unmistakeable.
What are we to make of all this?

Some of the staff of the Pachamama Alliance

From the Sisters of Mercy webpage: "Become a Sister"
An Alliance supporter on one of the group's "Journeys"

Do any of the players involved - leftist nuns, TED-Talk NGO staffers or even very many of the "indigenous" themselves (who recently got a free trip to Rome if they would agree to dance for the gringos) - actually worship or wish to worship Pachamama in any meaningful sense?

Who knows?

Perhaps they believe in the New Age claims of Bill Swimme, Tielhard or Laudato Si.

Do they even understand them? Does anyone?

Is it Marxism with an ugly goddess face?

Or merely ecotourism with a legitimizing dose of protest signs?


  1. Are they the same Sisters of Mercy that inhabit this part of the World. The one's that can be seen dressed in Pant Suits attending the local Casino??>

  2. Strange how Skojec continually attacks Bergoglio AND at the same time anyone who would act against him in a Catholic virile manner....Kudos to you, Oakes!

  3. Please make this widely known and raise your voices in protest. We're going full blown Satanic.

    Occult Event Scheduled for San Miguel Mission - Santa Fe - Venue for Tridentine Mass