On Wednesday, October 30, 2019, after the conclusion of the Special Synod of Bishops for the Amazonian Region, held in Rome from October 6-27, 2019, Cardinals Pedro Barreto, Michael Czerny, and Claudio Hummes prayed before the tomb of Saint Francis of Assisi and visited the Papal Basilica.
The visit was a “bath of Franciscanism,” said Cardinal Hummes, President of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM), reported the Papal Basilica’s Press Office. “The Saint represents a precious source of inspiration, not only for the Church but for the whole world.”
“To come here today, to Assisi, has been very moving. Saint Francis’ message points out to us the way to follow to combat the ecologic and climate crisis, said the Brazilian Cardinal, who is a Franciscan; for him, Saint Francis represents “a father.”
Cardinal Hummes is the Archbishop Emeritus of Sao Paulo and President of the Episcopal Commission for Amazonia of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil.
Ethnocide and Ecocide
The Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy warned that “we are witnessing a cultural crisis, it’s a sort of ethnocide and ecocide,” he continued.
“Ethnocide,” in the sense that we are eliminating the identity, the culture, the language and the spirituality of the peoples of Amazonia,” noted the Cardinal. “And ecocide has to do with life on the ground.” “These are the big questions, which the Synod has addressed and sought to propose new paths to follow,” he concluded.
Book on the Amazon
Cardinal Hummes published a book called “The Synod of Amazonia,” which was written before the beginning of the pre-synodal consultation, a process of almost two years of duration, carried out by 87,000 people that live in the Region.
“This book was written for the diffusion of the Synod, of the subject, of the synodal process, of all this listening, of all this vision . . . <of> all this great process,” explained the Cardinal. “With the desire to present all this to ordinary people, in a simple, <and> direct way and without complications, so that all could have an introduction to this Synod,” he explained.