AMERICA/ECUADOR - To build the "Amazonian face" of the Catholic Church

Monday, 13 November 2017 environment   local churches   pope francis   laudato sì   indigenous  

Quito (Ecuador) - The call to create a "Church with an Amazonian face" is a great challenge that opens after Pope Francis’ invitation "to explore paths, expressions and processes that help build and structure a model of a fully Catholic and amazonian church", says Mauricio López, lay secretary of the Red Eclesial Panamazónica (REPAM) and Caritas Ecuador, in an interview with “Iglesia viva”, sent to Fides. In order to build this Church, López considers it necessary that "members of the Amazon society can be formed according to their own reality, cultural identity, their practices ...".
On October 15, during the Angelus, Pope Francis announced the convening of a Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region, to be held in Rome in October 2019, to "identify new paths for the evangelization in the region. Particular attention will be paid to the indigenous people, often forgotten and without the prospect of a serene future, and to the crisis of the Amazonian rain forest, considered one of the world’s “lungs”."
López reminds us that "the Second Vatican Council asked us to look for the seeds of the Gospel present in all these cultures prior to the arrival of Christianity. There is the seed of the Word there". For example, in Chiapas, Mexico, the community's customs are respected, and permanent deacons receive formation in pairs, the man in fact receives the ministry and his wife accompanies the exercise of the husband's ministry. The Bible was also translated into Tzeltal and Tzotzil language (see Fides 16/1/2015; 8/10/2015; 14/10/2015), not literally, but with adaptations to the local culture, the text was approved and delivered to the Holy Father.
As Pope Francis himself pointed out, the Amazon has a capital importance for the entire planet.
Our consumption decisions are producing forest devastation – he continues -, indigenous ancestral territories for the desire of mining are being cancelled, monoculture is being imposed to meet the needs of world consumption. If we do not modify the development model, the Amazon will eventually become a semi-desert space and the impact on the planet will be terrible.
"Responding to a social and environmental crisis, the issue of the care of creation or of the Amazon, or of any living space, has to do with future generations", reiterates Mauricio Lopez, and regardless of political ideology and religious belief, everyone has the responsibility of the following generations. Finally, REPAM’s Executive Secretary invites to deepen the Encyclical "Laudato Sì", and try to influence public policies, defend and protect natural spaces, indigenous lands, and to be aware that "what we are not doing now will have an impact on those who come after us". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 13/11/2017)