AMERICA/BRAZIL - IV Meeting in Santarém: "Continue sowing the Gospel and the signs of the Kingdom in our Beloved Amazon"

Friday, 10 June 2022


Santarém (Agenzia Fides) - In a concluding message, the participants of the IV Meeting of the Catholic Church in the Legal Amazon, held at the Saint Pius X Seminary in Santarém from June 6 to 9 - recalling what happened 50 years ago in the same place (see Fides 8/6/2022), reaffirmed "ecclesial synodality, our desire to walk together, to strengthen our pastoral communion and, with hope, to continue sowing the Gospel and the signs of the Kingdom in our beloved Amazon".
After expressing their gratitude to the "workers of the first hour", the participants feel encouraged "by a new mandate of the Successor of Peter", and have relaunched the great gift of the Synod for the Amazon, expressing the joy of living in the midst of numerous peoples: "with them we experience the liberating force of the Gospel that acts in the little ones and that challenges us and invites us to a simpler life, of knowing how to share and of greater gratuitousness". In recent years, our communities have become more "Samaritan, merciful, supportive, and poor, especially in this time of the Covid 19 pandemic, and in knowing how to witness solidarity". The participants in the meeting reaffirm their will to "continue our mission, in the face of the aggressions that today devastate the Amazonian territory, threatened by a predatory and consumerist economic system, which shows the open wounds of socio-environmental violence, destroying the rights of peoples original and traditional, of nature and of the Amazonian territory". For this reason, they point out: it is urgent to stop this model of private sovereignty which cancels social sovereignty and promote the reconstruction and guarantee of Life and the protection of the Amazon. We call our brothers and sisters to a pact for life, against death projects and in defense of Democracy".Based on the Word of God and the Magisterium of the particular Churches, recognized by the Synod for the Amazon, the participants have committed themselves to "a simpler life, of greater participation and gratuity, of integral conversion and impact on the defense of the lives of men and women, allies of the peoples of the Amazon". In addition, they have assumed some commitments that must be lived in the particular Churches to be "witnesses of hope and of a Church that goes forth". The two main guidelines of the 1972 Santarem document ("Incarnation in reality and Liberating Evangelization") "are of unquestionable relevance", they wanted to highlight in the message, indicating five priority lines for the new paths of evangelization in this historical moment: Strengthening of the basic ecclesial communities; Formation of missionary disciples in the Amazon; Defense of the life of the peoples of the Amazon; Care of the common house: migration, mining and infrastructural megaprojects; Youth evangelization. Given the magnitude of these challenges and the poverty of human resources, the message concludes asking for the prayers of the ecclesial communities, expressing gratitude to Pope Francis "for his closeness and tenderness towards the Amazon, our peoples and particular Churches", and "to the Church of Santarém, which has welcomed us these days with affection, availability, fraternity and synodality". On this journey, they ask that Mary, Our Lady of Nazareth, Mother of the Amazon and Star of Evangelization, be their traveling companion. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 10/6/2022)