Lima (Agenzia Fides) - The initiative of Pope Francis announced on Sunday, October 15, before the Angelus prayer is fascinating: "Accepting the desire of some Catholic bishops' Conferences in Latin America, as well as the voice of various Pastors and faithful from other parts of the world, I have decided to convene a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to take place in October 2019, on the state of evangelization in the Pan-Amazon region of South America. The purpose of the assembly will be to identify new paths for the evangelization of people in the Pan-Amazon region of South America, especially the indigenous people, often forgotten and without the prospect of a peaceful future. The assembly will also address the crisis of the Amazonian Forest, a lung of great importance to our planet".
The Pope had already suggested it in the recent meeting with the Bishops of Peru during their ad limina visit in the Vatican: a Synod dedicated to the reflection on peoples and nations living in the Amazon rainforest, peoples of nine countries: Brazil ( 67 percent), Peru (13 percent), Bolivia (11 percent), Colombia (6 percent), Ecuador (2 percent), Venezuela (1 percent), Suriname, Guyana and French Guyana 0:15%).
"This Synod must be an incarnate territorial experience" said to Fides Mauricio López, Executive Secretary of REPAM, Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network. It is true that it is a Synod that represents the effort of the Bishops and of the Church, to respond to a reality that emerges and which is of particular importance to the planet, but it must not only be for the Pan Amazon region, we want it to be a synod of a profoundly territorial nature, that is, we want the voices of those who live there to be present. On one hand, the Bishops obviously, but above all, the incarnate religious life that is donated every day in that territory by priests, missionaries and lay people, males and females".
Cardinal Claudio Hummes, as President of REPAM, stressed that "peoples, especially indigenous peoples, and the Amazonian communities are the protagonists of their history. In this case, they should also be subjects of their voice within the Synod". The Cardinal was very pleased with the decision to convene the Synod because, according to his words, "it is not only of universal importance, but because it will have universal repercussions". "It will be celebrated in Rome, so that the Pope can be with us every day in this Synod, and can thus have a worldwide repercussion on the importance of mission in the Church, of missionaries of many centuries ago, but most of all missionaries of today and all the people of the Amazon region, for the Church in Brazil and for other Pan Amazon countries".
In the Amazon region of South America, there are 2,797,478 aborigines belonging to 390 indigenous peoples and 137 peoples "not yet involved" completely. There are people who speak 240 different languages that belong to 49 most important linguistic sectors from a historical and cultural point of view. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 17/10/2017)