San Paolo (Agenzia Fides) - The first Ordinary Assembly of 2022 of the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon (CEAMA) was held in hybrid form (in presence and virtual) in Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 26 and 27. According to the note sent to Fides, the participants worked on three objectives during the two days of the Assembly: to reflect on the progress made and the challenges that CEAMA must face in the application of the Synod on the Amazon; to develop a statute reform plan that will help to strengthen and consolidate CEAMA starting "from the spirit of synodality and at the service of the ecclesiastical jurisdictions of the Amazon; to elect the new executive of CEAMA.
The Assembly elected Cardinal Pedro Barreto, Archbishop of Huancayo (Peru) and President of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM) as President, replacing Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, who had resigned for health reasons. Monsignor Leonardo Steiner, Archbishop of Manaus (Brazil), will be the first vice-president, while the layman Mauricio López (Ecuador), Coordinator of the Center for Networks and Pastoral Action of CELAM, will be the second vice-president. Monsignor Eugenio Coter, Bishop of Pando (Bolivia), was confirmed as the representative of the Bishops of Amazonia to the presidency of CEAMA. At the end of the election, Cardinal Barreto thanked Cardinal Claudio Hummes who has been involved in the consolidation of REPAM and CEAMA in recent years: "The power of the Holy Spirit encourages us to continue on this path, having a strategy of incarnation in the Amazon territory in the complementarity between CEAMA and REPAM in this task.
May the indigenous peoples and traditional communities of the Amazon feel reflected as part of the Church and in the defense of life in the Amazon". The Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon (CEAMA) was born in response to the request of the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon (October 6-27, 2019) to "create an episcopal body that promotes synodality between the Church of the Pan-Amazon region, which helps to delimit the Amazonian face of the Church and which continues in the commitment to find new paths for the evangelizing mission" (DF, 115). Approved by Pope Francis, the birth of CEAMA was sanctioned following an online meeting of CELAM and REPAM between June 26 and 29, 2020. The first CEAMA Plenary Assembly was organized to coincide with the first anniversary of the closing of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region, October 26-27, 2020, to deepen the identity and mission of CEAMA (see Fides, 26/10/2020). Pope Francis canonically erected CEAMA as an "public ecclesiastical juridical person" in October 2021 (see Fides, 18/10/2021). (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 28/3/2022)