Here is the Zenit translation of the synod “small circle” report from the Spanish-Speaking group E. On October 17, 2019, during the course of 13th General Congregation on the Amazon, the Reports of the 12 Minor Circles were presented. These ‘Minor Circles’ met in the recent General Congregations. Translations of all circles will be provided as soon as possible:
Rapporteur: His Most Revd. Excellency Mons. Jose J. TRAVIESO MARTIN, C.M.F.
Moderator: His Most Revd. Eminence Card. Oscar A. RODRIGUEZ MARADIAGA, S.D.B.
Heard intensely in the synodal process, on addressing the ecological and pastoral problems in Amazonia, was “the cry of the earth and of the poor” (IL 4). This listening “of a Church called to be increasingly more synodal” (IL 5) has put the Church “in contact with the contrasting reality of an Amazonia full of life and wisdom” (IL 5) and, at the same time, profoundly wounded by deforestation and extractive destruction” (IL 5). On seeing and listening attentively to this reality, the Church perceived her call to be increasingly a “Samaritan and prophetic” Church” (IL 5), through a “pastoral conversion” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium” (IL 5), an “ecological conversion” (Encyclical Laudato Si’) and a “conversion to ecclesial synodality” (Apostolic Constitution Episcopalis Communio” (IL 5). She takes up and lives this call in the “Amazonian territory, where there are no parts that can exist on their own and related only externally but, rather, there are dimensions that exist constitutively in relationship, forming a vital whole. Hence <the reason> that the Amazonian territory offers vital teaching to understand integrally our relationship with others, with nature and with God (cf. LS 66)” (IL 21).
Given what was said:
- It is necessary to contemplate the immense whole of forms of life in the planet inter-related among themselves, so that we can practice an integral ecology and a model of solidarity, self-sufficient economy, rooted in the Amazonia good living, with ways of production and consumption that keep the jungle standing, conserving it and enriching it. It is worthwhile to propose its model of bio-productive and organic agroecology, beneficial for indigenous communities and many small producers, with less ecological impact and greater social benefit.
- Spirituality is the life and heart of the Amazonian peoples. They consider their territory sacred because they experience “good living” there, which is harmony with oneself, with creation, with other peoples, and with the Creator God. Present in their cosmo-vision are the four vital elements: fire, air, earth, and water, in order to have life in abundance. They feel themselves creatures that experience the Creator God, as well as experiencing the cry of the earth and of the crucified peoples, and the strength, light, and hope of the Risen Jesus. Therefore, we must know, value and respect the spirituality of every people, and learn from this spirituality to boost the Church with an Amazonian face.
- The Church — allied to the indigenous, peasant and urban peoples in defense of life, of their territories and of their rights to water, air, to education from their culture, to food security to health and to informed and free consultation prior to the extractive exploitation of their territories (OIT, 169) — knows that often these rights are not respected. Therefore, we think it useful to propose the creation of a Pan-Amazonian Socio-Pastoral Observatory in coordination with CELAM, the Justice and Peace Commissions of the dioceses, CLAR and REPAM.
- With particular attention to indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation (PIAV), it is necessary to respect their right to live as free peoples in their territories, and that intrusions be controlled of loggers, hunters, and extractive companies to guarantee their health.
- In Amazonia, migration in search of a better life has been a historical constant. It is growing today for socio-political and economic reasons and because of environmental degradation. In regard to young people, it is necessary to articulate a network endeavour between the Episcopal Conferences, to help them in the search for housing, work, schooling, health and integration of the Christian communities and parishes, offering protection also, in face of the danger of criminal organizations, and organizing for them an urban youth pastoral of integrating hospitality (IL 69).
- Given the non-excluding preferential option for indigenous peoples, they being one of the most vulnerable groups (Cf. Puebla), the Church commits herself to promote decisively a quality Bilingual Inter-Cultural Education for these peoples. At the same time, she encourages a network alliance of Universities specializing in the sciences of Amazonia and a higher inter-cultural education for the indigenous peoples.
- Synodality is a constitutive dimension of the Church. One cannot be Church without a genuine synodal element, that is, without recognizing the sensus fidei of the People of God. These and other service tasks, which the Church is called to carry out to fulfill her mission, call for changes on the part of us all. We have spoken of the need for an essential conversion to the synodal experience. To walk together, to propose together and to assume together the responsibilities, to overcome clericalism and arbitrary impositions.
- Proposed, in regard to women’s mission in the Church is the establishment of an official ministry of women in the Church (cf. IL 129 a3), encouraging and fostering participation in ecclesial leadership, which does not require the Sacrament of Holy Orders; guaranteeing to them also increasingly ampler and relevant roles in the formative area: theology, catechesis, liturgy and school of faith and politics; greater participation in the formation of seminarians (IL 129 c2). To take up again the theological reflection on the diaconate of women from the perspective of Vatican II (cf. LD 29, AG 16, IL 129 c2). To rethink the ministerial structure of the whole Church, thanks to the peculiar style of women, of walking with and for the people. To value economically women’s ecclesial work, thus guaranteeing their rights and overcoming every sort of stereotype (IL 146 e).
- Inculturation of the liturgy: to create commissions in charge of preparing an Amazonian rite, biblical translations in native languages, as well as fostering and accompanying the expressions of popular piety.
- To promote an evangelical and prophetic, inter-congregational, inter-institutional Consecrated Life with a sense of disposition to be where no one wants to be and with whom no one wants to be.
- For the fruits of the Pan-Amazonian Synod to become a reality, we consider it necessary to constitute a Post-Synodal Ecclesial Organism, which is permanent and representative of Amazonia and attached to CELAM. This organism, with a simple but effective structure, will be the channel for the new pathways of evangelization and integral ecology in Amazonia and, at the same time, the nexus that articulates other initiatives connected to this end. REPAM (Pan-Amazonian Network) will be its executive organ.