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Synod on the Amazon 2019: Relatio Texts: Portuguese Circle C

Working Translation by Zenit

Here is the Zenit translation of the synod “small circle” report from the Portuguese Circle C. 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. Vilsom BASSO, S.C.J.

Moderator: His Most Revd. Excellency Mons. Jose B. SA SILVA

Dearest Pope Francis Dear Sisters and Brothers

Our Portuguese Language Minor Circle C presented 25 contributions for the writing of the Final Document.

IN THE MISSIONARY PASTORAL DIMENSION we highlight the necessity of personal and pastoral conversion, of recovering the centrality of the Word and of the Eucharist, of reflecting further on the subject of ministeriality and the various possibilities in relation to the diaconate, viri probati, women, married fathers, leadership of the laity, featuring women. We highlighted that it is important to give greater accent to the biblical, missionary, pastoral and human dimension in the formation of new priests. All this, for a Church “going forth.”

For a Church with an Amazonian face, it is necessary to promote native vocations, consecration of virgins and widows at the diocesan level, constant search for the autonomy of human and financial resources. Moreover, it becomes urgent to work for ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue, to look with more attention to Pentecostalism, to initiation to the Christina life. It is urgent to deepen and to look at the challenges of the urban world, with attention to families, to youth, to grassroots ecclesial communities and to the preferential option for the poor, listening to the cry of the earth and of the poor.

A special listening to youth, for whom it is necessary to have a preferential option, investing time, persons and financial resources. The Church must be a welcoming house, where the young feel at home, taking care of the young in tribes, in cities’ peripheries, so that young people are protagonists and have opportunities and hope for a better present and future, away from drugs, from prisons and from suicide.

IN THE SOCIAL DIMENSION we are aware that Amazonia is threatened and wounded and that the Church must be at the service of life, defending life in all its forms, as this Synod unfolded around life.

Violence appears with various names: by the trafficking of children and women, or organs and drugs by threats and criminalization of leaders. Health that is sick,  lack of education, sanitation, basic and essential public policies. The rights of the indigenous peoples and Mother Earth are denied.

That is why we defend life, the territories, the demarcation and protection of indigenous peoples, whether free or isolated.

The prophetic voice of the Church, inspired in the Social Doctrine of the Church, must echo, in strengthening of the Commissions of Justice and Peace, the Commissions for the Protection of Life, of social pastorals and support Social Movements. In Amazonia, to choose the option for the poor is to choose the option for the people of the forest. Let’s not let the prophecy die.

IN THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSION, decisive to continue the mission, we highlight:

The importance of the mysticism of walking, popular devotion, to learn with the peoples of the forest, the contact with nature, the Amazonian garden where God walks, makes Himself present, and the search for a simple lifestyle and happy sobriety. The pilgrimages of the earth and of the forest, the martyrs of the walk, the feasts of the Patrons and the Marian devotion feed our mysticism.

There is a need for prayerful reading of the Bible, with simple aids and in the Amazonian language, which unites faith and life, which gives knowledge of the Word and strengthens spirituality.

The search for ecological conversion, for a new simple lifestyle, stripped, sober, that takes care attentively, without waste, which avoids the rejection of things and persons, which is generous and inspired in Francis of Assisi, in Brother Sun, Sister Moon, Sister Water and in the monastic life of “the less the better,” expressed in Laudato Si’, 222, has echo in spirituality.

THE CULTURAL DIMENSION in Amazonia brings inculturation <and> inter-cultural dialogue. The Church with an Amazonian face is configured with a plural identity. It is necessary to overcome the ethnic preconceptions, decolonize mentalities. To see the wealth and the challenges of the urban culture, which is everywhere.

We support the efforts so that the Catholic communication networks put Amazonia at the center of their attention, with regular programs to divulge good news and denounce all types of aggression to Mother Earth, proclaiming the truth.

At the same time, we credit the force of the social networks, Square where all meet, to share experiences of agro-ecology and the care of Amazonia.

THE ECOLOGICAL DIMENSION is a path of conversion. We learn scientifically that Amazonia is not the world’s lung; the oceans are the world’s lung. But it is very important to Amazonia.

Amazonia is a vital organ of the planet for environmental equilibrium; it accumulates 20% of natural carbon gas, great bio-diversity, and the Amazonian rivers have 16% of the planet’s sweet water.

We affirm that it is necessary to take care of our Common Home, to strengthen the thematic of the biomes and of bio-diversity, of the right to land, of the thematic of water and of sustainable development.

We consider it decisive to form the new generations in socio-environmental awareness, and the Church to be promoter of those attitudes in catechesis, in pastorals, in schools <and> in communities.

To be an ecological Church, with practical actions, such as eliminating the use of plastic cups and other disposables, promoting the selective collection of trash, being visible and credible witnesses of ecological conversion.

Here we say “no” to deforestation, “no” to large aggressive projects that destroy the forest, “no” to monocultures and to agro-toxics.

We say “yes” to sustainable development, “yes” to ecological conversion, “yes” to an integral ecology.

At the end of the fruitful meetings in the Minor Circes, we highlight as principal interlocutors in the Amazonian territories, the search for new pathways for evangelization and the care of our Common Home: the indigenous peoples, the quilombolas, the riverine people, the fishermen, the Social Movements, the women and the young people.

We also point out the importance of involving in this process the Episcopal Conferences, the Diocese and Prelatures, other Churches, Governments and persons of goodwill .

Dear Pope Francis,

The Rivers of Amazonia overflow, “have their overflows,” and take life to the forest and to the forest peoples

We pray so that this Synod, this overflowing Synodal River may “have its overflows” in new pathways for evangelization and for an integral ecology.

May the Spirit guide us, help us, give us courage, parrhesia, and peace.

Thank you very much.

[Original text: Portuguese]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

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