The Pan-Amazon region is comprised of more than 7.5 million square kilometers and is shared by nine countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana, involving seven Episcopal Conferences. In the region, there are about 107 Catholic ecclesiastical entities, around 37 million people live, and of these, 2,270,000 million are indigenous.
The theme of the Synod devoted to the Amazon is: "Amazon, new ways for the Church and for the whole ecology". The goal, according to the Pontiff, is to "identify new paths for the evangelization of that portion of God's people, especially indigenous peoples, who are often forgotten with no prospects for a peaceful future, and also because of the crisis in this vast forest of great importance, often called the lungs of our planet." Although the topic is related to a specific territory, the reflections outweigh the regional scope and are planned to be a bridge to other similar geographical realities, such as the Congo basin, the Central American Biological Corridor, the tropical forests of Asia in the Pacific and the Guarani aquifer system.
The Synod will be held in Rome in October, 2019. A text was prepared to help in the process of reflection. This is divided into three parts and follows the methodology "view, discern, act", a method used for over 70 years in Brazil. The first part, view, is to look at the identity of and the cries from the Amazon. The second is discerning, emphasizing the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus in the Amazon from the biblical, theological, social, ecological, sacramental and missionary dimensions. The third part is action, reflecting a church with an Amazonian face, an indigenous face, including the experience of the cultural diversity of the peoples.
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Sister Ieda Maria Tomazini