Ecology, human rights and the Church are at the centre of the Synod for the AmazonPosted on 10th October 2019

Ecology, human rights and the Church are at the centre of the Synod for the Amazon

Vatican City – 10 October 2019             During his pastoral visit to Brazil in 2013, Pope Francis declared, “The Church's presence in the Amazon Basin is not that of someone with bags packed and ready to leave after having exploited everything possible. The Church has been present in the Amazon Basin from the beginning, in her missionaries, religious congregations, priests, laity and bishops, and she is still present and critical to the area's future.”

With that in mind, the 187 bishops meeting for the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region are meeting in Rome from 6-27 October included, not only bishops from the ten countries of the Amazon basin, but also women, both religious and lay, and at least seven indigenous people. The complexity of the issues under consideration requires the attendance of a range of specialist experts whilst representatives of other Churches have also been invited as guests. In total, 280 people are expected to take part in the Synod.

Three key issues for discussion are the ordination of married men, the role for women in the Church, and environmental concerns. Trafficking, drugs, human rights, the protection of minors and vulnerable adults, violence and the Church’s way of being in the Amazon are also topics for consideration.

At the end of the Synod, a final document will be drawn up by a commission consisting of the president and a 12-member writing team, of whom four are cardinals. The president, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, is the archbishop emeritus of Sao Paulo, Brazil and president of REPAM, a network promoting the rights and dignity of people living in the Amazon. The Synod has elected four members from four different countries in the Pan-Amazonian region. The papal appointees include an Austrian, Argentine, Italian and Paraguayan.        Pope Francis is expected to write an Apostolic Exhortation on the basis of this final report.

Tags:pope francis, synod, amazon, ecology

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