"The model of development that is being applied in the Amazon by governments, large public companies and private initiatives is damaging and devastating for the environment and for the indigenous peoples. The Church can and must participate in the debate on these issues, starting from the Gospel": this is what Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes - President of the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network of the Latin American Church (Repam) and of the Brazilian Bishops' Conference Commission for the Amazon - explains in an interview to Agenzia Fides how the local Churches are preparing themselves for the special assembly of the Synod of Bishops concerning them, while they face difficult missionary and social challenges every day.
How is the Church in Brazil and throughout Latin America preparing herself for the Special Synod for the Amazon?
Pope Francis’ decision to convene a special synod for the Amazon and his proclamation on October 15th in St. Peter's Square are a reason for much exultation and signs of gratitude on behalf of the Catholics in Brazil, especially those of the Amazon. This lively response on our behalf is the first step in the preparation of the synod. Then, the Brazilian Episcopal Conference (Cnbb) has an Episcopal commission for the Amazon and Celam (Latin American and Caribbean Episcopal Conference) hosts the headquarters of the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network (Repam). Clearly these bodies, together with the dioceses and the other ecclesiastical jurisdictions of the Amazon, are more directly entrusted with contributing to the preparation of the synod. There is already a great movement, in terms of meetings in the region.
Certainly, the Pope's visit to the Peruvian Amazon, in Puerto Maldonado, on 19 January, and his meeting there with hundreds of indigenous and with the Bishops representing the 9 countries of Pan-Amazon will be a strong initial impulse for this preparation. (...)