Amazon Synod discusses defending and protecting indigenous peoples

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Amazon Synod discusses defending and protecting indigenous peoples

By Christopher Wells/ vaticannews.va

At the press briefing following the morning’s General Congregation on Tuesday, October 8, the Prefect for the Dicastery for Communication reviews the various topics raised in the opening days of the Synod; while other speakers emphasized different aspects of the discussions.

Among the topics highlighted by Dr Ruffini were the need of indigenous people for the sacraments, the importance of formation for pastoral ministers, the destruction caused by exploitative interests, and inculturation within the Church.

Diversity allows discernment
Father Giacomo Costa, the Secretary of the Commission for Information, explained the synodal method both in prepared remarks and in response to questions in the press. Each participant is able to address the Synod, speaking from their own perspective and according to their own lights. This leads to discussion, rather than debate; and this diversity allows the Synod to discern. Unlike a parliament, the Synod will not make decisions, but will offer suggestions and proposals for Pope Francis, who will ultimately give guidance on the path forward.

Cardinal Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno, S.J.
In the first guest intervention on Tuesday, Jesuit Cardinal Pedro Barreto, Archbishop of Huancayo, Peru, and Vice President of REPAM, noted the “lights and shadows” that have marked the Church’s involvement in the Amazon region. The Church has for centuries been close to the sufferings of the Amazonian people; but she must also recognize the injustices of the past and apologize for them. He expressed a desire for a single language, beginning with Jesus, a language of love, of walking together, that bears witness to a simple, humble life.

Victoria Lucia Tauli-Corpuz
Victoria Lucia Tauli-Corpuz, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, emphasized the violence native populations experience, and highlighted the challenges they face, including the criminalization of leaders, the exploitation of land, pollution, and even ethnicide. She said indigenous peoples must be protected by the international community, and stressed the importance of the Church using her moral and spiritual authority to support them.

Moema Maria Marques de Miranda
The final speaker, Moema Maria Marques de Miranda, a lay Franciscan, struck an apocalyptic note, saying we are the first generation to experience the possibility of the end of the world. Pope Francis, she said, also feels the urgency. It is only in recent decades that we have recognized the interconnectedness of the world; we can and should learn from indigenous people how to live in harmony with creation. And she noted that it is not surprising that is precisely those voices from the “ends of the earth” – people like Pope Francis and Greta Thunberg, who are showing us where we truly stand in this moment in history.

Tue, 10/08/2019 - 18:50
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