Vatican Presents Instrumentum Laboris of Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Pan-Amazon Region

Original article published by Zenit

‘Amazonia, new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology’ – October 6-27, 2019

The Vatican on June 17, 2019, presented the Instrumentum laboris of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region, to be held from October 6-27, 2019 and entitled Amazonia, new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology.

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, H.E. Msgr. Fabio Fabene, under-secretary of the same Synod, and the Rev. Fr. Humberto Miguel Yáñez, S.J., titular professor of moral theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome presented the document a press conference held in the Holy See Press Office.

The cardinal explained the preparatory phase of the Assembly, which began in January last year with the meeting of the REPAM (Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network) with the general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, followed by the constitution of the pre-Synodal Council of the Secretariat.

“With the publication of the preparatory Document”, he observed, “there began the broad consultation with the people of God in the Amazon on the theme of the Synod. The questionnaire attached to the Document offered the opportunity for a rich debate within the seven Episcopal Conferences involved in the Amazon region, which sent their answers to the General Secretariat. … The material resulting from this extensive consultation was the object of careful study and classification by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops which, with the help of qualified experts, proceeded to draw up a draft working Document”.

He went on to explain the key features of the text of the Instrumentum Laboris, which is divided into three sections, following the following three general themes:

The voice of Amazonia, intended as listening to the territory to achieve pastoral conversion following Evangelii Gaudium. This part treats themes of great importance in understanding the reality of the Pan-Amazon region.

“The first theme is that of life, given that the Amazon is a source of life, of life in abundance, which is expressed in the desire of the Amazonian peoples to ‘live well’, even though that life is often threatened and it is necessary to defend it against exploitation in its various forms. The second theme refers to the territory, source of life and of God’s revelation, where everything is connected, in which there co-exist situations of extraordinary beauty with many forces that threaten to destroy the territory, though there is no lack of an encouraging openness to hope. The third theme is time, understood as kairos, time of grace, of inculturation and interculturality, time of challenges and urgency, but also a time of hope. The fourth theme is that of dialogue with the Amazonian peoples, conceived in a missionary sense”.

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