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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis asks forgiveness for offense of throwing indigenous figures in river


On the penultimate day of the synod, Pope Francis, as bishop of Rome, asked for forgiveness for the offense of throwing indigenous figures in the Tiber River.

The pope clarified these statues, representing a pregnant woman with her son in her womb, “were exposed without idolatrous intentions.”

He was referring to the events of Oct. 21. In the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina, on Via della Conciliazione, some handcrafted wooden figures made by the natives were placed inside two of the side chapels. It showed the primary symbols of their cultures.

Some people argued these figures were pagan symbols that had no place in a Catholic Church. As a result, a group of anonymous people entered the church, stole the statue, and mockingly threw them into the Tiber River.