(2019.6.17 Crux  Rome Bureau Chief Inés San Martín )

Married priests officially on the agenda during Amazon synod

Pope Francis arrives in a coliseum in Puerto Maldonado, the city considered a gateway to the Amazon in the Madre de Dios province, Peru, to meet with several thousand indigenous people on the first full day of the pontiff’s visit to Peru, Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. (Credit: L’Osservatore Romano Vatican Media/Pool Photo via AP.)




 この討議要綱は、3か国語で発表され、そのいずれもが、叙階される年配者に関して英語の”man”ではなく”people”としているが、viri probati(相応しい男性)、つまり「徳が証明された既婚男性」-その多くは現在でも終身助祭として奉仕している-の叙階を念頭に置いている。

 アマゾン地域における司祭の不足はこれまで長い間、viri probatiの叙階の可能性を含めて議論の中心になってきた。だが、教皇フランシスコはこれまでこの問題が浮上すると、それは教理でなく規範の問題だが、司祭の独身制の扱いは軽々に判断すべきでない、という考えを明確にし、現地の信徒たちが何か月も司祭に会えないようなアマゾン地域や太平洋の島々におけるviri probatiを支持する意見に、とくに注意深い態度をとってきた。






A region at risk

Seeing that Francis, author of the first encyclical dedicated to the environment, Laudato Si’, has referred to the Amazon as one of the “lungs of the world,” it comes as no surprise that in various sections the document refers to the “care of our common home.”

As the instrumentum notes, the Amazon river and the rain forests in the region regulate the humidity, the water cycles and carbon emissions at a global level. However, it says, “according to international experts, the Amazon region is the second most vulnerable area in the planet, after the arctic.”

Life is threatened by “environmental destruction and exploitation” and “the systematic violation of the basic human rights of the Amazonian population.”

The document lists a series of rights of indigenous peoples that are threatened, such as the right to territory, self-determination and the demarcation of territories.

“According to the communities participating in this synodal listening, the threat to life comes from economic and political interests of the dominant sectors of current society, especially extractive companies, often in connivance, or with the permissiveness of local and national governments and traditional authorities (of the indigenous themselves),” the instrumentum says.

Those consulted through the Vatican questionnaire gave many examples of what threatens life in the Amazonian region: The criminalization and murder of leaders and defenders of the territory; appropriation and privatization of natural resources such as water; predatory hunting and fishing; mega-projects such as hydroelectric plants, forest concessions, logging to produce monocultures, roads and railways, mining and oil projects; pollution caused by the extractive industry that produces problems and diseases; drug trafficking; the consequent social problems associated with these threats such as alcoholism, violence against women, sex work and trafficking in persons.

The instrumentum also claims that climate change and the increase of human intervention in the Amazon region are driving it to a “point of no return” with high rates of deforestation, the forced displacement of the population and pollution. If the global warming threat continues, it will lead the “Amazonian biome towards desertification.”

“The Amazon region today is a wounded and deformed beauty, a place of suffering and violence,” the document says. “The multiple destruction of human life and the environment, the illnesses and the contamination of rivers and lands, the deforestation and burning of trees, the massive loss of biodiversity and the extinction of [animal and plant] species questions us all.”

“The shout of pain of the Amazon region is an echo of the scream of the enslaved people in Egypt that God doesn’t abandon,” it says.

A Church with an Amazonian face

“The Amazonian face of the Church finds its expression in the plurality of its peoples, cultures and ecosystems,” the document says at the beginning of the third chapter. “This diversity needs an option for an outgoing and missionary Church, embodied in all its activities, expressions and languages.”

To listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit in the appeal of the Amazon people and following the magisterium of Francis, calls for a process of pastoral and missionary conversion, the insrumentum says, before listing a series of suggestions.

Among the suggestions, there’s a call to avoid a “cultural homogenization”; the rejection of an “alliance with the dominant culture and the political and economic power” to instead promote the cultures and rights of the indigenous peoples, the poor and the land; to overcome clericalism and instead live “at the service of the Gospel”; and overcome “rigid positions” that don’t take into account the concrete reality of the people.

At the liturgical level, the document also suggests the bishops evaluate the possibility of incorporating elements of the local cultures, including the local music and language, and even dress, into the celebration of the sacraments, particularly baptism and marriage.

“The sacraments must be a source of life and a remedy accessible to all, especially the poor,” the document says. “It’s asked that the rigidity of a discipline that excludes and distances is overcome by a pastoral sensitivity that accompanies and integrates.”

The instrumentum laboris

The document is the result of a previous document, also in preparation of the synod, and of the compilation of the answers to a questionnaire the Vatican sent to the bishops’ conferences in the region.

Even though Brazil is home to the largest section of the Amazon basin, it also touches Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.

The 60-page document is divided into three subsections: “The voice of the Amazonia,” that gives a glimpse on the reality of the territory and its people, “Integral ecology: the clamor of the earth and of the poor,” that describes the environmental and pastoral challenges, and “Prophetic Church in the Amazon: challenges and hopes.”

“The listening of the peoples and of the earth by a Church called to be increasingly synodal, begins by making contact with the contrasting reality of an Amazon full of life and wisdom,” the instrumentum says. “It continues with the clamor caused by deforestation and the extractive destruction that demands an integral ecological conversion. And it concludes with the encounter with the cultures that inspire new paths, challenges and hopes for a Church that wants to be Samaritan and prophetic through pastoral conversion.”

Odds and ends

Many issues are touched upon through the 60 pages of the document, the original language of which is Portuguese, but which was released by the Vatican also in Italian and Spanish. Among them is the call for the creation of an “economic fund” to support evangelization, promote human rights and an integral ecology.

Though acknowledging that it wasn’t without flaws, the document also calls the evangelization of Latin America a “gift of Providence,” that calls everyone to salvation in Christ.

“Despite military, political and cultural colonization, and beyond the greed and the ambition of the colonizers, there were many missionaries who gave their lives to transmit the Gospel,” the document says. “The missionary sense not only inspired the formation of Christian communities, but also legislation such as the Laws of the Indies that protected the dignity of the indigenous people against the abuses of their towns and territories.”

These abuses produced wounds in the community and overshadowed the message the missionaries wanted to give, among other reasons because the announcement of Christ was made “in connivance” with the powers that exploited the resources and oppressed populations.

Referring to the Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation, the document calls for their protection, noting that they are increasingly at risk due to the increase of mining and deforestation projects. In addition, the instrumentumclaims that 90 percent of the indigenous violently killed in the region are women.

Speaking about the “urbanization” of the Amazon region, that has led an estimated 70 to 80 percent of the population to abandon rural areas to live in cities within the region, the Vatican document says that instead of integration, it has led to the “urbanization of poverty” and further exclusion.

According to those who answered the questionnaire, urbanization has introduced many problems to the region, from sexual exploitation and human trafficking, to drug dealing and consumption. In addition, it’s led to the destruction of family life and cultural conflicts that lead to a “lack of sense of life.”

The document also touches on education, the key role families play in the sharing of indigenous traditions, and calls for the reform of Catholic seminaries in the region, so that the candidates to the priesthood can be inserted in the communities they will minister.

It also urges the incorporation of indigenous theology and the region’s “eco-theology” into pastoral plans and calls on the Church to have an active role in guaranteeing access to formal education and healthcare for the local population.

Follow Inés San Martín on Twitter: @inesanma

・・Cruxは、カトリック専門のニュース、分析、評論を網羅する米国のインターネット・メディアです。 2014年9月に米国の主要日刊紙の一つである「ボストン・グローブ」 (欧米を中心にした聖職者による幼児性的虐待事件摘発のきっかけとなった世界的なスクープで有名。映画化され、日本でも昨年、全国上映された)の報道活動の一環として創刊されました。現在は、米国に本拠を置くカトリック団体とパートナーシップを組み、多くのカトリック関係団体、機関、個人の支援を受けて、バチカンを含め,どこからも干渉を受けない、独立系カトリック・メディアとして世界的に高い評価を受けています。「カトリック・あい」は、カトリック専門の非営利メディアとして、Cruxが発信するニュース、分析、評論の日本語への翻訳、転載について了解を得て、掲載しています。


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(2019.6.17 バチカン放送)









 At the heart of the Synod’s Instrumentum Laboris is the cry of the Amazon that asks the Church to be its ally in reaching out to everyone, especially to the poor, as they seek true fulfillment and human dignity in their lives.

 The Working Document was presented to the press on Monday, June 17, by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops. It is the result of a listening process that began with Pope Francis’ visit to Puerto Maldonado in Peru, in January 2018, and continued with consultations throughout the Amazon Region and a Second Meeting of the Pre-Synodal Council last May.

 Listen to God, that with him we may hear the cry of the people;until breathing in the desire to which God calls us

Amazonia, at the heart of South America, encompasses a region of 7.8 million square kilometers. It  includes territory that belongs to nine different nations: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana.  Its 5.3 million square kilometer rainforest is the largest in the world and is an irreplaceable source of fresh water, oxygen and biodiversity for the planet.

Life is threatened

Life in the Amazon is threatened by environmental destruction and exploitation, by the systematic violation of the fundamental human rights of the Amazon population: in particular, by the violation of the rights of the indigenous peoples, such as the right to land, to self-determination, to the delimitation of land, to consultation and prior consent.

According to the communities that took part in the synodal listening process, their life is threatened by the economic and political interests of the dominant sectors of today’s society, in particular of the mining companies. Also, climate change and increased human intervention (deforestation, fires and the change of land use) have put the Amazon on a path of no return, with high rates of deforestation, forced displacement of peoples and pollution that puts its ecosystems at risk and exerts pressure on local cultures.

The cry of the earth and of the poor

In the second part, the document analysis issues and offers suggestions relating to integral ecology.  As reports by the local Churches received by the General Secretariat of the Synod express, Amazonia today is a “wounded and deformed beauty, a place of pain and violence”.

 Violence, chaos and corruption are rampant. The territory has become a place of strife and of extermination of peoples, cultures and generations

There are those who are forced to leave their land; often they fall into criminal networks, drug trafficking and trafficking in human beings (especially the women), child labour and prostitution.  It is a tragic and complex reality, beyond the boundaries of the law and of rights.

Territory of hope and “good living”

The original Amazonian peoples have much to teach us. For thousands of years they have taken care of their land, water and forest, and have managed to preserve them to this day so that humanity can benefit of the free gifts of God’s creation.  New paths of evangelization must be built in dialogue with ancestral wisdom in which the seeds of the Word are manifested.

 The Synod of the Amazon is a sign of hope for the people of the Amazon and for humanity

Peoples in the peripheries

The Working Document also analyses the situation of Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation. According to data from specialized ecclesiastical institutions there are between 110 and 130 different voluntarily isolated indigenous peoples, living on the margins of society or in sporadic contact with it. They are vulnerable to threats from drug traffickers, mega infrastructure projects and illegal activities linked to the extractive industry.

Amazonian peoples going forth

The Amazon is one of the regions with the highest internal and international mobility in Latin America.  According to statistics, the urban population of the Amazon has increased exponentially; currently between 70 and 80% of the population lives in cities, which permanently receive a large number of people migrating to them and are unable to provide the essential services that migrants need. Although the Church has accompanied this migratory flow, it has left pastoral gaps that need to be filled.

A Prophetic Church in the Amazon: Challenges and Hopes

Finally, the last part of the Working Document invites the Synod Fathers of the Amazon to discuss the second point of the theme proposed by the Pope: new paths for the Church in the region.

Local communities need a Church that participates, that is present in the social, political, economic, cultural and ecological life of its inhabitants; a Church that is welcoming towards cultural, social and ecological diversity in order to be able to serve individuals or groups without discrimination; a creative Church that can accompany its people in the implementation of new responses to urgent needs; a harmonious Church that promotes the values of peace, mercy and communion.

The Sacraments and popular piety

Communities frequently find it difficult to celebrate the Eucharist because of the lack of priests. “The Church draws her life from the Eucharist” and the Eucharist builds up the Church. For this reason, instead of leaving communities without the Eucharist, the criteria for the selection and preparation of ministers authorized to celebrate it should be changed. The communities ask for greater appreciation, accompaniment and for the promotion of popular piety with which many people express their faith through images, symbols, traditions, rites and other sacraments. It is the manifestation of wisdom and spirituality that constitutes an authentic theological place with a great evangelizing potential.

It would be appropriate to reconsider the idea that the exercise of jurisdiction (power of government) must be linked to all areas (sacramental, judicial, administrative) and permanently, to the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

New ministries

In addition to the plurality of cultures within the Amazon, distances generate a serious pastoral problem that cannot be solved by mechanical and technological means alone. It is necessary to promote indigenous vocations of men and women in response to the needs of sacramental pastoral care; their decisive contribution lies in the impulse to authentic evangelization from an indigenous point of view, according to their customs and habits. They are indigenous people who preach to indigenous people with a profound knowledge of their culture and language, capable of communicating the message of the Gospel with the strength and effectiveness of those who have their own cultural background.

It is necessary to move from a “Church that visits” to a “Church that remains”, accompanies and is present through local ministers.

Affirming that celibacy is a gift for the Church, the Document states that, for the most remote areas of the region, the possibility of priestly ordination be studied for married men with families. The clause, that aims to ensure the Sacraments that accompany and support Christian life, specifies that these men must preferably be indigenous elders who are respected and accepted by their community.

Role of women

The kind of official ministry that can be conferred on women is still to be identified, taking into account the central role women play today in the Church in the Amazon.

It is demanded that the role of women be recognized, starting from their charisms and talents. They ask to re-appropriate themselves of the space given to women by Jesus, “where we can all find ourselves.” There is also a proposal to guarantee them their leadership, as well as wider and more relevant spaces in the field of formation: theology, catechesis, liturgy and schools of faith and politics.

Consecrated life

It is proposed, therefore, to promote an alternative and prophetic model for consecrated life, which is inter-congregational and inter-institutional. Above all, it must have a sense of readiness “to be where no one wants to be and with whom no one wants to be with”. It is recommended that formation for religious life should include processes focused on interculturality, inculturation and dialogue.


The document also highlights an important phenomenon to be taken into account, namely the rapid growth of recent evangelical churches of Pentecostal origin, especially in the peripheries: “They show us another way of being church, where the people feel protagonists and where the faithful can express themselves freely without censorship, dogmatism or ritual discipline”.

Church and power: the path of the cross and martyrdom

Being Church in Amazonia means to prophetically put power into question, because in this region people do not have the opportunity to assert their rights against large economic enterprises and political institutions. Today, to question power in the defense of land and human rights, means to put one’s life at risk, opening a “path of the cross and martyrdom”. The number of martyrs in the Amazon is alarming (e.g. in Brazil alone, between 2003 and 2017, 1.119 indigenous people were killed for defending their land). The Church cannot remain indifferent to this; on the contrary, it must support the protection of human rights defenders and remember its martyrs, including women leaders, such as Sister Dorothy Stang.

During the time it took to draw up the Instrumentum Laboris, the voice of the Amazon was listened to in the light of faith; an attempt was made to respond to the cry of the people and of the Amazon for new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology in order to foster the capacity for prophecy in Amazonia. These Amazonian voices call upon the Synod of Bishops to give a new response to different situations and to seek new paths that make a kairós possible for the Church and the world.




“Instrumentum laboris” dell  Assemblea Speciale for the Panamazzonica Region of the Sinodo dei Vescovi (6-27 ottobre 2019), 06.17.2019





Chapter I: Life  Amazon, source of life  Life in abundance  The “good life”  Life threatened  Defend life, face exploitation  Clamor for life

Chapter II: Territory  Territory, life and revelation of God  A territory where everything is connected  The beauty and the threat of the Territory  Territory of hope and “good living”

Chapter III: Time (Kairos)  Time of grace  Time of inculturation and interculturality  Time of serious and urgent challenges  Time of hope

Chapter IV: Dialogue New paths of dialogue  Dialogue and mission  Dialogue with the Amazonian peoples  Dialogue and learning  Dialogue and resistance  Conclusion


Chapter I: Extractivist destruction  The Amazon clamor  Integral  ecology Integral ecology in the Amazon  No to the destruction of the Amazon  Suggestions

Chapter II: Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation (PIAV): threats and protection  Peoples in the peripheries  Vulnerable people  Suggestions

Chapter III: Migration  Amazonian peoples in departure  Causes of migration  Consequences of migration  Suggestions

Chapter IV: Urbanization  Urbanization of the Amazon  Urban culture Urban  challenges  Suggestions

Chapter V: Family and community  Amazonian families  Social changes and family vulnerability  Suggestions

Chapter VI: Corruption  Corruption in the Amazon  Structural moral scourge  Suggestions

Chapter VII: The issue of Integral  Health Health in the Amazon  Appreciation and deepening of traditional medicines  Suggestions

Chapter VIII: Integral Education  A Synodal Church: disciple and teacher  Education as a meeting  Education in a comprehensive ecology  Suggestions

Chapter IX: Ecological conversion  Christ calls us to conversion (cf. Mc 1,15)  Integral  conversion Ecclesial conversion in the Amazon  Suggestions


Chapter I: Church with an Amazonian and missionary  face A face rich in expressions  A local face with a universal dimension  A challenging face in the face of injustice   An inculturated and missionary face

Chapter II: Challenges of inculturation and interculturality  On the way to a church with an Amazonian and indigenous face   Suggestions   Evangelization in cultures  Suggestions

Chapter III: The celebration of the faith: an inculturated liturgy  Suggestions

Chapter IV: The organization of the communities  The worldview of the indigenous  Geographic and pastoral distances  Suggestions

Chapter V: Evangelization in cities  Urban mission Urban  challenges  Suggestions

Chapter VI: Ecumenical and interreligious dialogue  Suggestions

Chapter VII: Mission of the media  Media, ideologies and cultures   Media of the Church  Suggestions

Chapter VIII: The prophetic role of the Church and the integral human promotion  Exit   Church Church in listening   Church and power  Suggestions





” The Synod of Bishops must increasingly become a privileged instrument for listening to the People of God:” Let us first ask the Holy Spirit, for the Synod Fathers, the gift of listening: listening to God, even listening to Him. clamor of the people; listen to the people, to breathe in him the will to which God calls us » (EC , 6)

1. Pope Francis announced on October 15, 2017 the convocation of a Special Synod for the Amazon, initiating a synodal listening process that began in the same Amazon Region with his visit to Puerto Maldonado (01/19/2018). This Instrumentum Laboris is the fruit of this long process that includes the preparation of the Preparatory Document for the Synod in June 2018; and an extensive survey of the Amazonian communities[1] .

2. The Church has again today the opportunity to be a listener in this area where so much is at stake. Listening implies recognizing the irruption of the Amazon as a new subject. This new subject, who has not been sufficiently considered in the national or world context or in the life of the Church, is now a privileged interlocutor.

3. But listening is not easy. On the one hand, the synthesis of the answers to the questionnaire on the part of the Episcopal Conferences and of the communities will always be incomplete and insufficient. On the other hand, the tendency to homologate the content and proposals requires a process of ecological and pastoral conversion to be seriously questioned by the geographical and existential peripheries (see EG 20). This process has to continue during and after the Synod, as a central element of the future life of the Church. The Amazon cries out for a concrete and reconciling response.

4. The Instrumentum Laboris consists of three parts: the first one, the see-listening, is entitled The Voice of the Amazon and has the purpose of presenting the reality of the territory and its peoples. In the second part, Integral Ecology: the clamor of the earth and of the poor the ecological and pastoral problems are collected, and in the third part, the Prophetic Church in the Amazon: challenges and hopes, the ecclesiological and pastoral problems.

5. In this way, the listening of the peoples and of the earth by a Church called to be increasingly synodal, begins by taking contact with the contrasting reality of an Amazon full of life and wisdom. It continues with the clamor provoked by the deforestation and the extractive destruction that demands an integral ecological conversion. And it concludes with the encounter with the cultures that inspire the new paths, challenges and hopes of a Church that wants to be a Samaritan and prophetic through a pastoral conversion. Following the proposal of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM), the document is structured on the basis of the three conversions to which Pope Francis invites us: the pastoral conversion to which he calls us through the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium(see-listen); the ecological conversion through the Encyclical Laudato if it guides the course (judge-act); and the conversion to the ecclesiastical synodality through the Apostolic Constitution Episcopalis Communio that structures walking together (judging-acting). All this in a dynamic process of listening and discerning the new ways by which the Church in the Amazon will announce the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the coming years.


” It is good that now you are the ones who define themselves
and show us their identity. We need to listen to them

6. Evangelization in Latin America was a gift of Providence that calls everyone to salvation in Christ. Despite the military, political and cultural colonization, and beyond the greed and ambition of the colonizers, there were many missionaries who gave their lives to transmit the Gospel. The missionary sense not only inspired the formation of Christian communities, but also legislation such as the Laws of the Indies that protected the dignity of indigenous people against the abuses of their peoples and territories. Such abuses produced wounds in the communities and overshadowed the message of the Good News; often the announcement of Christ was made in connivance with the powers that exploited the resources and oppressed the populations.

7. Today the Church has the historic opportunity to clearly differentiate itself from the new colonizing powers by listening to the Amazonian peoples in order to exercise their prophetic role with transparency. The socio-environmental crisis opens new opportunities to present Christ in all his liberating and humanizing potential. This first chapter is structured around four intimately related key concepts: life, territory, time, dialogue, where the Church is incarnated with an Amazonian and missionary face.

Chapter I

“I have come to give life to men and to have them in fullness” (Jn 10,10)

Amazon, source of life

8. This Synod develops around life : the life of the Amazonian territory and its peoples, the life of the Church, the life of the planet. As reflected in the consultations with the Amazonian communities, life in the Amazon is identified, among other things, with water . The Amazon River is like an artery of the continent and the world, it flows like veins of the flora and fauna of the territory, like the source of its peoples, its cultures and its spiritual expressions. As in Eden (Gn 2,6), water is a source of life, but also a connection between its different manifestations of life, in which everything is connected (cf. LS, 16, 91, 117, 138, 240). “The river does not separate us, it unites us, it helps us to coexist between different cultures and languages”.[two]

9. The Amazon River basin and the surrounding tropical forests nourish soils and regulate, through the recycling of moisture, the cycles of water, energy and carbon at the planetary level. Only the Amazon River casts 15% of the total fresh water of the planet every year in the Atlantic Ocean.[3] Therefore, the Amazon is essential for the distribution of rainfall in other remote regions of South America and contributes to the great movements of air around the planet. It also nurtures the nature, life and cultures of thousands of indigenous, peasant, afro-descendant, riverine and urban communities. But it should be noted that, according to international experts, the Amazon is the second most vulnerable area of ​​the planet, after the Arctic, in relation to climate change of anthropogenic origin.

10. The territory of the Amazon comprises part of Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana in an area of ​​7.8 million square kilometers, in the heart of South America. The Amazonian forests cover approximately 5.3 million km 2, which represents 40% of the global tropical forest area. This is only 3.6% of the land area of ​​the earth, which occupies some 149 million square kilometers, that is, close to 30% of the surface of our planet. The Amazonian territory contains one of the geologically richest and most complex biospheres on the planet. The natural overabundance of water, heat and humidity means that the ecosystems of the Amazon harbor around 10 to 15% of the terrestrial biodiversity, store between 150 and 200 billion tons of carbon each year.

Life in abundance

11. Jesus offers a life in fullness (cf Jn 10,10), a life full of God, a life of salvation ( zōē ), which begins in creation and manifests itself in the most elementary part of life ( bios). In the Amazon, it is reflected in its abundant bio-diversity and cultures. That is, a full and integral life, a life that sings, a song to life, like the song of the rivers. It is a life that dances and that represents the divinity and our relationship with it. “Our pastoral service”, as stated by the Bishops in Aparecida, is a service “to the full life of the indigenous peoples [that] demands to announce Jesus Christ and the Good News of the Kingdom of God, to denounce the situations of sin, the structures of death, violence and internal and external injustices, foster intercultural, interreligious and ecumenical dialogue “(DA 95). In the light of Jesus Christ the Living One (cf. Rev 1,18), the fullness of revelation (cf. DV 2), we discern such announcement and denunciation.

The good life”

12. The search of the indigenous Amazonian peoples for life in abundance, is materialized in what they call the “good living”.[4]It is about living in “harmony with oneself, with nature, with human beings and with the supreme being, since there is an inter-communication between the whole cosmos, where there are no excluding or excluded, and that between we can all forge a project of full life “.[5]

13. Such an understanding of life is characterized by the connectivity and harmony of relationships between water, territory and nature, community life and culture, God and the various spiritual forces. For them, “good living” is to understand the centrality of the relational-transcendent nature of human beings and creation, and it is a “good thing to do”. The material and spiritual dimensions can not be disconnected. This integral mode is expressed in its own way of organizing itself, which starts from the family and community, and embraces a responsible use of all the goods of creation. Some of them speak of walking towards the “land without evils” or in search of “the holy hill”, images that reflect the movement and the communal notion of existence.

Life threatened

14. But life in the Amazon is threatened by destruction and environmental exploitation, by the systematic violation of the basic human rights of the Amazonian population. In particular, the violation of the rights of indigenous peoples, such as the right to territory, to self-determination, to the demarcation of territories, and to prior consultation and consent. According to the communities participating in this synodal listening, the threat to life comes from economic and political interests of the dominant sectors of society today, especially extractive companies, often in collusion, or with the permissiveness of local, national governments and traditional authorities (of the indigenous themselves). As Pope Francis says,

15. As a result of the many consultations held in many of the Amazonian regions, the communities consider that life in the Amazon is especially threatened by: (a) the criminalization and murder of leaders and defenders of the territory; (b) appropriation and privatization of natural assets, such as water itself; (c) legal logging concessions and entry of illegal loggers; (d) predatory hunting and fishing, mainly in rivers; (e) mega-projects: hydroelectric, forest concessions, logging to produce monocultures, roads and railways, mining and oil projects; (f) pollution caused by the entire extractive industry that causes problems and diseases, especially children and young people; (g) drug trafficking; (h) the consequent social problems associated with these threats such as alcoholism,

16. At present, climate change and the increase in human intervention (deforestation, fires and changes in land use) are driving the Amazon towards a point of no return, with high rates of deforestation, forced displacement of the population , and pollution, putting their ecosystems at risk and exerting pressure on local cultures. Thresholds of 4 o C of warming or deforestation of 40% are “turning points” of the Amazon biome towards desertification, which means a transition to a new biological state that is generally irreversible. And it is worrying that nowadays we are already between 15 and 20% of deforestation.

Defend life, face exploitation

17. The communities consulted have also emphasized the link between the threat to biological life and the spiritual life, that is, an integral threat. The impacts caused by the multiple destruction of the Pan-Amazonian basin generate an imbalance of the local and global territory, in the seasons and in the climate. This affects, among other things, the dynamics of fertility and reproduction of the fauna and flora, and in turn to all the Amazonian communities. For example, destruction and natural pollution affect the production, access and quality of food. And in this sense, to care responsibly for life and “good living”, it is urgent to face such threats, aggressions and indifference. The care of life is opposed to the culture of discarding, lying, exploitation and oppression. At the same time, it supposes opposing an insatiable vision of unlimited growth, of the idolatry of money, to a world that is disconnected (from its roots, from its environment), to a culture of death. In short, the defense of life implies the defense of the territory, its resources or natural assets, but also of the life and culture of the peoples, the strengthening of its organization, the full enforceability of its rights, and the possibility of be listened. In the words of the Indians themselves: “we indigenous people of Guaviare (Colombia) are-we are part of nature because we are water, air, earth and life of the environment created by God. Therefore, we ask that the abuses and extermination of the of its environment), to a culture of death. In short, the defense of life implies the defense of the territory, its resources or natural assets, but also of the life and culture of the peoples, the strengthening of its organization, the full enforceability of its rights, and the possibility of be listened. In the words of the Indians themselves: “we indigenous people of Guaviare (Colombia) are-we are part of nature because we are water, air, earth and life of the environment created by God. Therefore, we ask that the abuses and extermination of the of its environment), to a culture of death. In short, the defense of life implies the defense of the territory, its resources or natural assets, but also of the life and culture of the peoples, the strengthening of its organization, the full enforceability of its rights, and the possibility of be listened. In the words of the Indians themselves: “we indigenous people of Guaviare (Colombia) are-we are part of nature because we are water, air, earth and life of the environment created by God. Therefore, we ask that the abuses and extermination of the and the possibility of being heard. In the words of the Indians themselves: “we indigenous people of Guaviare (Colombia) are-we are part of nature because we are water, air, earth and life of the environment created by God. Therefore, we ask that the abuses and extermination of the and the possibility of being heard. In the words of the Indians themselves: “we indigenous people of Guaviare (Colombia) are-we are part of nature because we are water, air, earth and life of the environment created by God. Therefore, we ask that the abuses and extermination of the Mother Earth  . The earth has blood and is bleeding, the multinationals have cut the veins of our  Mother Earth  . We want our indigenous clamor to be heard throughout the world. “[6]

Clamor for living

18. Threats and aggressions to life generate clamor, both from the people and from the land. Starting from these clamor as a theological place (from where to think the faith), you can start paths of conversion, communion and dialogue, paths of the Spirit, abundance and “good living”. The image of life and “good living” as “path to the holy hill” implies a communion with the co-pilgrims and with nature as a whole, that is, a path of integration with the abundance of life, with history and the future. These new paths are necessary because the great geographic distances and the mega-cultural diversity of the Amazon are realities not yet resolved in the pastoral field. The new paths are based “on intercultural relations where diversity does not mean threat,

Chapter II

“Take off your sandals from your feet, because the place you step on is sacred” (Ex 3,5)

Territory, life and revelation of God

19. In the Amazon, life is inserted, linked and integrated into the territory, which as a vital and nourishing physical space, is the possibility, sustenance and limit of life. In addition, we can say that the Amazon – or another indigenous or community territorial space – is not only a ubi (a geographical space), but also a quid , that is, a place of meaning for the faith or the experience of God in the history. The territory is a theological place from where faith is lived, it is also a peculiar source of God’s revelation. These spaces are epiphanic places where the reserve of life and wisdom for the planet is manifested, a life and wisdom that speak of God. In Amazonia, the “caresses of God” that is embodied in history are manifested (LS 84).

A territory where everything is connected

20. A contemplative, attentive and respectful look at the brothers and sisters, and also at nature – the brother tree, the sister flower, the sisters birds, the brothers fish, and even the little sisters like ants, larvae, fungi or insects (see LS 233) – allows the Amazonian communities to discover how everything is connected, value each creature, see the mystery of God’s beauty revealed in all of them (LS 84, 88) , and coexist amicably.

21. In the Amazonian territory there are no parts that can subsist by themselves and only externally related, but rather dimensions that constitutively exist in relation, forming a vital whole. Hence, the Amazonian territory offers a vital teaching to comprehensively understand our relationships with others, with nature, and with God, as Pope Francis puts it (LS 66).

The beauty and the threat of the territory

22. As we contemplate the beauty of the Amazonian territory, we discover the masterpiece of the creation of the God of Life. Its endless horizons of boundless beauty are a song, a hymn to the Creator. “Lord, my God, how great you are! Dress of majesty and splendor, wrapped in a mantle of light “(Ps 104 (3), 1-2). His expression of multiple life is a mosaic of God who gives us a “free inheritance that we receive to protect […] the precious space of human coexistence” and shared responsibility “for the good of all” (DAp.471). Pope Francis in Puerto Maldonado invites us to defend this threatened region, to preserve it and restore it for the good of all, it gives us hope in our capacities to build the common good and the Common House.

23. Amazonia today is a wounded and deformed beauty, a place of pain and violence, as the reports of the local Churches eloquently point out: “The jungle is not a resource to exploit, it is a being or several beings with whom to relate” .[7] “We are hurt by the destruction of nature, the destruction of the jungle, of life, our children and future generations.”[8] The multiple destruction of human and environmental life, diseases and pollution of rivers and lands, the felling and burning of trees, the massive loss of biodiversity, the disappearance of species (more than one million of the eight million animals and vegetables at risk)[9] , constitute a harsh reality that challenges us all. There is violence, chaos and corruption. The territory has become a space of disagreements and extermination of peoples, cultures and generations. There are those who are forced to leave their land; They often fall into the networks of the mafias, drug trafficking and human trafficking (mostly women), work and child prostitution.[10] It is a tragic and complex reality, which is situated outside the law and the law. The scream of pain in the Amazon is an echo of the cry of the people enslaved in Egypt to which God does not abandon: “I have seen the oppression of my people in Egypt, I have heard the clamor of their oppressors and I know their anguish! I will go down to deliver him from the power of the Egyptians “(Ex. 3, 7-8).

Territory of hope and “good living”

24. The Amazon is the place of the proposal of “good living”, of promise and hope for new ways of life. Life in the Amazon is integrated and united to the territory, there is no separation or division between the parties. This unit includes all of existence: work, rest, human relationships, rites and celebrations. Everything is shared, the private spaces – typical of modernity – are minimal. Life is a community path where tasks and responsibilities are divided and shared according to the common good. There is no place for the idea of ​​an individual detached from the community or its territory.

25. The life of the Amazonian communities not yet affected by the influence of Western civilization, is reflected in the belief and rites on the actions of the spirits, of the divinity – called in many ways – with and in the territory, with and in relation to nature. This worldview is captured in Francisco’s  mantra  : “everything is connected” (LS 16, 91, 117, 138, 240).

26. The integration of creation, of life considered as a whole that embraces all of existence, is the basis of traditional culture that is transmitted from generation to generation through listening to ancestral wisdom, a living reserve of spirituality and indigenous culture. This wisdom inspires care and respect for creation, with a clear awareness of its limits, prohibiting its abuse. To abuse nature is to abuse the ancestors, the brothers and sisters, the creation, and the Creator, mortgaging the future.

27. Both the Amazonian and the Christian worldviews are in crisis due to the imposition of mercantilism, secularization, the culture of discarding and the idolatry of money (see EG 54-55). This crisis affects mainly young people and urban contexts that lose the solid roots of tradition.

Chapter III
Time (Kairos)

“At the favorable time I heard you; I helped you on the day of salvation “ (Is 49,8; 2Cor 6, 2)

Grace time

28. The Amazon is experiencing a moment of grace, a Kairos . The Synod of the Amazon is a sign of the times when the Holy Spirit opens new paths that we discern through a reciprocal dialogue among all the people of God. The dialogue has already started some time ago, from the poorest, from the bottom up, assuming that “every construction process is slow and difficult. It includes the challenge of breaking the space itself and opening up for a joint work, living the culture of the encounter, […]building a sister church “.[eleven]

29. The original Amazonian peoples have much to teach us. We recognize that for thousands of years they have taken care of their land, water and forest, and have managed to preserve them so that humanity can benefit from the joy of the free gifts of God’s creation. The new paths of evangelization must be constructed in dialogue with these ancestral wisdoms in which the seeds of the Word are manifested.

Time of inculturation and interculturality

30. The Church of the Amazon has marked with significant experiences its presence in an original, creative and inculturated way. Its evangelizing program does not correspond to a mere strategy before the calls of the reality, it is the expression of a way that responds to the Kairós that impels to the town of God to welcome its Kingdom in these bio-socio-diversities. The Church became flesh by setting up her tent – her “tapiri” – in the Amazon.[12] This confirms a journey that began with the Second Vatican Council for the whole Church, found recognition in the Latin American Magisterium from Medellín (1968) and was finalized for the Amazon in Santarém (1972).[13] Since then the Church continues to seek to inculturate the Good News before the challenges of the territory and its peoples in an intercultural dialogue. The original diversity offered by the Amazon region – biological, religious and cultural – evokes a new Pentecost.

Time for serious and urgent challenges

31. The accelerated phenomenon of urbanization, the expansion of the agricultural frontier by agribusiness and even the abuse of natural assets carried out by the Amazonian peoples themselves add to the aforementioned great grievances. The exploitation of nature and of the Amazonian peoples (indigenous people, mestizos, rubber tappers, river dwellers and even those who live in the cities), causes a crisis of hope.

32. The migration processes of recent years have also accentuated the religious and cultural changes in the region. Faced with the rapid processes of transformation, the Church has ceased to be the only point of reference for decision making. In addition, the new life in the city does not always make dreams and aspirations possible, but often disorients and opens spaces for transient messianisms, disconnected, alienating and empty of meaning.

Time of hope

33. In contrast to this reality, the Amazon Synod thus becomes a sign of hope for the Amazonian people and for all of humanity. It is a great opportunity for the Church to discover the incarnate and active presence of God: in the most diverse manifestations of creation; in the spirituality of the original peoples; in expressions of popular religiosity; in the different popular organizations that resist the big projects; and in the proposal of a productive, sustainable and solidary economy that respects nature. In recent years, the mission of the Church has been carried out in partnership with the aspirations and struggles for life and respect for the nature of the Amazonian peoples and their own organizations.

34. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the Church, identified with this story of the cross and resurrection, wants to learn, dialogue and respond with hope and joy to the signs of the times with the peoples of the Amazon. We hope that such learning, dialogue and co-responsibility, can also extend to all corners of the planet that aspire to the integral fullness of life in all senses. We believe that this Kairos of the Amazon, as God’s time, summons and provokes, is a time of grace and liberation, of memory and conversion, of challenges and of hope.

Chapter IV

“They have eyes and they do not see, they have ears and they do not hear” (Mk 8, 18)

New paths of dialogue

35. Pope Francis raises the need for a new look that opens paths of dialogue that help us get out of the path of self-destruction of the current socio-environmental crisis.[14] Referring to the Amazon, the Pope considers that it is “essential to carry out … an intercultural dialogue in which [indigenous peoples] are the main interlocutors, especially when it comes to advancing in large projects that affect their spaces. Recognition and dialogue will be the best way to transform the historical relations marked by exclusion and discrimination “(Fr. This local dialogue with which the Church wants to be involved is at the service of life and the “future of the planet” (LS 14).

Dialogue and mission

36. Since the Amazon is a pluri-ethnic, pluricultural and pluri-religious world (cf. DAp 86), communication, and therefore evangelization, requires meetings and coexistence that favor dialogue. The opposite of dialogue is the lack of listening and the imposition that prevent us from finding each other, communicating, and, therefore, coexisting. Jesus was a man of dialogue and encounter. This is what we see “with the Samaritan woman, in the well where she sought to quench her thirst (Jn 4: 7-26)” (EG 72); “As soon as she left her dialogue with Jesus,” the Samaritan woman returned to her village, “she became a missionary, and many Samaritans believed in Jesus” by the word of the woman “(Jn 4,39)” (EG 120). He was able to dialogue and love beyond the particularity of his Samaritan religious heritage. Evangelization is carried out in the ordinary life of Samaria, in the Amazon, around the world. Dialogue is a joyful communication “among those who love each other” (EG 142).

37. Since his incarnation, the encounter with Jesus Christ has always taken place on the horizon of a cordial, historical and eschatological dialogue. This is done in the different scenarios of the plural and intertwined world of the Amazon. It covers political relations with states, social relations with communities, cultural relations with different ways of living, and ecological relations with nature and with oneself. Dialogue seeks exchange, consensus and communication, agreements and alliances, “but without losing the underlying issue”, that is, the “concern for a just society, capable of memory and without exclusion” (EG 239) Therefore, dialogue always has a preferential option for the poor, marginalized and excluded, the causes of justice and otherness are causes of the Kingdom of God.pars pro toto , a paradigm, a hope for the world. Dialogue is the method that must always be applied to achieve the good life of all. The great questions of humanity that arise in the Amazon will not find solutions through violence or imposition, but through dialogue and communication.

Dialogue with the Amazonian peoples

38. The peoples of the Amazon, especially the poor and the culturally different, are the main interlocutors and protagonists of the dialogue. They confront us with the memory of the past and with the wounds caused during long periods of colonization. For this reason Pope Francis asked “humbly sorry, not only for the offenses of the Church itself but for the crimes against the original peoples during the so-called conquest of America.”[15] In this past the Church has sometimes been an accomplice with the colonizers, it suffocated the prophetic voice of the Gospel. Many of the obstacles to a dialogical evangelization and open to cultural alterity, are historical and hide behind certain petrified doctrines. Dialogue is a learning process, facilitated by “openness to transcendence” (EG 205) and hindered by ideologies.

Dialogue and learning

39. Many Amazonian peoples are constitutively dialogical and communicative. There is a broad and necessary field of dialogue between the spiritualities, creeds and Amazonian religions that demands a cordial approach to the different cultures. Respecting this space does not mean relativizing one’s convictions, but recognizing other ways that seek to unravel the inexhaustible mystery of God. The openness that is not sincere to the other, as well as a corporatist attitude, which reserves salvation exclusively to one’s own creed, are destructive of that same creed. This is what Jesus explained to the Doctor of the Law in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10, 30-37). The love lived in any religion pleases God. “Through an exchange of gifts, the Spirit can lead us more and more to the truth and to the good” (EG 246).

40. A dialogue in favor of life is at the service of the “future of the planet” (LS 14), of the transformation of narrow mentalities, of the conversion of hardened hearts, and of sharing truths with all humanity. We could say that dialogue is Pentecostal, as is the birth of the Church, which walks in search of its identity towards unity in the Holy Spirit. We discover our identity from the encounter with the other, from the differences and coincidences that show us the impenetrability of reality and the mystery of the presence of God.

Dialogue and resistance

41. Often the willingness to dialogue finds resistance. Economic interests and a technocratic paradigm repel any attempt at change. Its supporters are willing to impose themselves by force, transgressing fundamental rights of the populations in the territory, and rules for the sustainability and preservation of the Amazon. In those cases, the possibilities of dialogue and encounter are very reduced until they disappear in some situations. How to react in front of it? On the one hand, it will be necessary to become indignant, not in a violent way, but in a firm and prophetic way. It is the indignation of Jesus against the Pharisees (cf. Mk 3,5, Mt 23) or against Peter himself (Mt 16,23), what Thomas Aquinas called “holy indignation”, provoked by injustice,[16] or associated with unfulfilled promises or betrayals of all kinds. A next step is to seek agreements as suggested by Jesus himself (cf Lk 14,31-32). It is about engaging in a possible dialogue and never remaining indifferent to the injustices of the region or the world.[17]

42. A prophetic Church is one that hears the shouts and songs of pain and joy. The song reveals the situations of the people, at the same time that it inspires, and intuits possibilities of solution and transformation. There are peoples who sing their history and also their present, so that those who hear this song can glimpse, shape their future. In short, a prophetic Church in the Amazon is one that talks, that knows how to seek agreements, and that, from an option for the poor and their testimony of life, seeks concrete proposals in favor of an integral ecology. A Church with capacity for discernment and audacity in the face of the outrages of the peoples and the destruction of their territories, which responds without delay to the clamor of the earth and the poor.


43. Life in the Amazon, interwoven by water, territory, and the identities and spiritualities of its peoples, invites dialogue and learning about its biological and cultural diversity. The Church participates and generates learning processes that open paths for ongoing formation on the meaning of life integrated into its territory and enriched by wisdom and ancestral experiences. Such processes invite us to respond with honesty and prophetic style to the clamor for the life of the peoples and the Amazonian land. This implies a renewed sense of the mission of the Church in the Amazon that, starting from the encounter with Christ, goes out to meet the other initiating processes of conversion. In this context new spaces are opened to recreate ministries appropriate to this historical moment.


 I propose that we stop now to think
about the different aspects of an integral ecology …
environmental, economic and social”
 (LS, 137-8)

44. The second part addresses the serious problems caused by the attacks on life in the Amazonian territory. The aggression against this vital zone of the  Mother Earth  and its inhabitants threatens their subsistence, their culture and their spirituality. It also affects the life of all humanity, particularly the poor, the excluded, the marginalized, the persecuted. The current situation urgently calls for a comprehensive ecological conversion.

Chapter I
Extractivist destruction

” Today sin manifests itself with all its force of destruction in […] the various forms of violence and mistreatment, the abandonment of the most fragile, the attacks on nature ” (LS 66)

The Amazon clamor

45. “Probably the original Amazonian peoples have never been as threatened in their territories as they are now” (Fr. The extractive and agricultural projects that exploit the land inconsiderately are destroying this territory (see LS 4, 146), which runs the risk of “sabanizar”.[18] The Amazon is being contested from several fronts. One responds to the great economic interests, eager for oil, gas, wood, gold, agroindustrial monocultures, etc. Another is an ecological conservationism that cares about the biome but ignores the Amazonian peoples. Both produce injuries on the land and in their villages: “We are being affected by loggers, ranchers and other third parties. Threatened by economic actors that implement an alien model in our territories. The logging companies enter the territory to exploit the forest, we take care of the forest for our children, we have the meat, fishing, vegetable remedies, fruit trees […] The construction of hydroelectric plants and the waterways project impacts on the river and on the territories[…] We are a region of stolen territories. “[19]

46. ​​According to the consultations made, the Amazonian clamors reflect three major causes of pain: (a) the lack of recognition, demarcation and titling of the indigenous territories that are an integral part of their lives; (b) the invasion of the big projects called “development”, but which actually destroy territories and peoples (eg, hydroelectric, mining – legal and illegal – associated with illegal garimpeiros [informal miners who extract gold], waterways -which threaten the main tributaries of the Amazon River-, hydrocarbon activities, livestock activities, deforestation, monoculture, agribusiness and grilagem[appropriation of land using false documentation] of land). Many of these destructive projects in the name of progress are supported by local, national and foreign governments; and (c) the pollution of its rivers, its air, its soils, its forests and the deterioration of its quality of life, cultures and spiritualities. Therefore “today we can not fail to recognize that a true ecological approach always becomes a social approach , which must integrate justice in discussions about the environment, to hear both the clamor of the earth and the clamor of the poor ” ( LS 49). This is what Pope Francis calls integral ecology.

Integral ecology

47. Integral ecology is based on the recognition of relationality as a fundamental human category. This means that we develop as human beings based on our relationships with ourselves, with others, with society in general, with nature / environment, and with God. This integrality was systematically emphasized during consultations with the Amazonian communities.

48. The Encyclical Laudato Si  (nn.137-142) introduces this relational paradigm of integral ecology as the fundamental articulation of the links that make true human development possible. Human beings are part of the ecosystems that facilitate the life-giving relationships of our planet, so that the care of these ecosystems is essential. And it is fundamental both to promote the dignity of the human person and the common good of society, as well as for environmental care. The notion of integral ecology has been illuminating for the different views that address the complexity of the interaction between the environmental and the human, between the management of the goods of creation and the proposals of development and evangelization.

Integral ecology in the Amazon

49. In order to take care of the Amazon, the aboriginal communities are indispensable interlocutors, since it is precisely they who normally best take care of their territories (LS 149). Hence, at the beginning of the synodal process, Pope Francis, on his first visit to Amazonian lands, addressed the local indigenous leaders telling them: “I wanted to come visit and listen to you, to be together in the heart of the Church, join their challenges and with you reaffirm a sincere option for the defense of life, defense of the land and defense of cultures “(Fr.PM). The Amazonian communities share this perspective of ecological integrality: “All the activity of the church in the Amazon must start from the integrality of the human being (life, territory and culture)”.[twenty]

50. However, in order to promote an integral ecology in the daily life of the Amazon, it is also necessary to understand the notion of justice and inter-generational communication, which includes the transmission of the ancestral experience, cosmologies, spiritualities and theologies of the indigenous peoples. , around the care of the Common House.[21] “In the struggle we must trust in the strength of God, because the creation is of God, because God continues the work. The struggle of our ancestors to fight for these rivers, for our territories to fight for a better world for our children “.[22]

No to the destruction of the Amazon

51. In particular, the Amazon clamor speaks of struggles against those who want to destroy the life conceived integrally. The latter are guided by an economic model linked to production, marketing and consumption, where the maximization of profit over human and environmental needs is prioritized. That is, they are struggles against those who do not respect human rights and nature in the Amazon.

52. Another attack on human rights is the criminalization of protests against the destruction of the territory and its communities, since some laws in the region describe them as “illegal”.[23] Another abuse is the widespread rejection by states of respecting the right to prior consultation and consent of indigenous and local groups before establishing concessions and contracts for territorial exploitation, although such right is explicitly recognized by the International Organization of the Work: “The peoples concerned should have the right to decide their own priorities regarding the development process, insofar as this affects their lives, beliefs, institutions and spiritual well-being and the lands they occupy or use in some way. way, and to control, as far as possible, their own economic, social and cultural development “,[24] and by some constitutions of Amazonian countries.

53. The drama of the inhabitants of the Amazon not only manifests itself in the loss of their lands due to forced displacement, but also in being victims of the seduction of money, bribes and corruption by the agents of the techno- of the “culture of discarding” (see LS 22), especially among young people. Life is linked and integrated into the territory, so the defense of life is a defense of the territory, there is no separation between both aspects. This is the claim that is repeated in the eavesdropping “our land is being taken away from us, where will we go?” Because to take away this right is to run out of possibilities of defending oneself against those who threaten their subsistence.

54. The massive felling of trees, the extermination of the tropical forest by intentional forest fires, the expansion of the agricultural frontier and monocultures are the cause of the current regional imbalances of climate, with evident effects on the global climate, with planetary dimensions such as the great droughts and floods more and more frequent. Pope Francis mentions the basins of the Amazon and the Congo as  the lungs of the world  , underlining the urgency of protecting them (LS 38).

55. In the book of Genesis creation is presented as a manifestation of life, sustenance, possibility and limit. In the first story (Gn 1,1-2,4ª) the human being is invited to relate to creation in the same way as God does. The second story (Gn 2,4b-25) deepens this perspective with the mandate to “cultivate” (in Hebrew it also means “to serve”) and “keep” (attitude of protection and love) the garden (Gen 2,15). “This implies a relationship of responsible reciprocity between the human being and nature” (LS 67) which implies assuming the proper limit of creaturality and therefore an attitude of humility since we are not absolute owners (Gn 3,3).


56. The challenge presented is great: How to recover the Amazonian territory, rescue it from neocolonial degradation and restore its healthy and authentic welfare? We owe Aboriginal communities the care and cultivation of the Amazon for thousands of years. In their ancestral wisdom they have cultivated the conviction that all creation is connected, which deserves our respect and responsibility. The culture of the Amazon, which integrates human beings with nature, constitutes a benchmark to build a new paradigm of integral ecology. The Church should assume in its mission the care of the Common House:

a) Proposing institutional lines of action that promote respect for the environment.

b) Projecting formal and informal training programs on the care of the Common House for its pastoral agents and their faithful, open to the whole community in “an effort to raise awareness among the population” (LS 214) based on chap. V and VI of the Encyclical Laudato yes .

c) Denouncing the violation of human rights and extractive destruction.

Chapter II
Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation (PIAV): threats and protection

“I am thinking of the […] indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation (PIAV).
We know that they are the most vulnerable among the vulnerable “

Peoples in the peripheries

57. In the territory of the Amazon there are, according to data from specialized institutions of the Church (eg CIMI) and others, between 110 and 130 different Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation or “free peoples”. They live on the margins of society or in sporadic contact with it. We do not know their proper names, languages ​​or cultures. That is why we also call them “isolated peoples”, “free”, “autonomous” or “peoples without contact”. These people live in deep connection with nature. Many of them have chosen to isolate themselves because they have suffered previous traumas; others have been violently forced by the economic exploitation of the Amazon. The PIAVs resist the current model of predatory, genocidal and ecocidal economic development, opting for captivity to live in freedom (see Fr.

58. Some “isolated peoples” live on exclusively indigenous lands, others on indigenous lands shared with the “contacted peoples”, others on conservation units, and some on border territories.

Vulnerable people

59. PIAVs are vulnerable to threats from agro-industry sectors and those that clandestinely exploit minerals, timber and other natural resources. They are also victims of drug trafficking, mega-infrastructure projects such as hydroelectric and international roads and illegal activities linked to the extractivist development model.

60. The risk of violence against women from these villages was increased by the presence of settlers, loggers, soldiers, employees of the extractive companies, all of them mostly men. In some regions of the Amazon, 90% of the indigenous people killed in the isolated populations have been women. Such violence and discrimination has a severe impact on the ability of these indigenous peoples to survive, physically, spiritually and culturally.

61. To this is added the lack of recognition of the territorial rights of indigenous people and of the PIAV. The criminalization of the protests of their allies and the cut of the budgets for the protection of their earths greatly facilitate the invasion of their territories with the consequent threat to their vulnerable lives.


62. In view of this dramatic situation, and in the face of such cries of the earth and the poor (see LS 49), it would be opportune:

a) Require the respective governments to guarantee the necessary resources for the effective protection of isolated indigenous peoples. Governments must implement all necessary measures to protect their physical integrity and that of their territories, based on the precautionary principle, or other protection mechanisms in accordance with international law, such as the specific Recommendations defined by the IACHR (Inter-American Commission). of Human Rights / OAS) and contained in the last chapter of the Report “Indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation and initial contact in the Americas” (2013). It is also necessary to guarantee their freedom to get out of isolation when they wish.

b) Claim protection of the areas / natural reserves where they are located, especially in terms of their demarcation / titling to prevent the invasion of the places where they live.

c) Promote the updating of the census and mapping of the territories where these people live.

d) Form specific teams in dioceses and parishes and plan a joint pastoral in border regions because there are people who move.

e) Inform about their rights to indigenous peoples and citizens about their situation.

Chapter III

” My father was an Aramaic wanderer …” (Dt 26,5)

Amazonian towns in departure

63. In the Amazon, the migratory phenomenon in search of a better life has been a historical constant. There is pendular migration (they come and go),[25] forced displacement within the same country and abroad, voluntary migration from rural areas to cities and international migration. This transhumance[26] Amazon has not been well understood or sufficiently worked from the pastoral point of view. Pope Francis, in Puerto Maldonado, referred to this reality: “Several people have migrated to the Amazon looking for roof, land and work. They came looking for a better future for themselves and their families. They abandoned their humble lives, poor but worthy. Many of them, on the promise that certain jobs would put an end to precarious situations, relied on the promising brightness of gold mining. But let’s not forget that gold can become a false god that demands human sacrifices.[27] ” .

Causes of migration

64. The Amazon is one of the regions with the highest internal and international mobility in Latin America. There are socio-political, climatic, ethnic persecution, and economic causes. The latter are mostly induced by political projects, megaprojects and extractive companies, which attract workers but at the same time expel the inhabitants of the affected territories. Aggression against the environment in the name of “development”,[28] has dramatically worsened the quality of life of the Amazonian peoples, both urban and rural populations, due to pollution and loss of fertility of the territory.

65. Due to these causes, the region has become  in fact  a migratory corridor. Such migrations occur between Amazonian countries (such as the growing wave of migration from Venezuela) or to other regions (eg toward Chile and Argentina).[29]

Consequences of migration

66. The migratory movement, neglected both politically and pastorally, has contributed to social destabilization in the Amazonian communities. The cities of the region, which permanently receive a large number of people who migrate to them, are unable to provide the basic services that migrants need. This has led many people to wander and sleep in urban centers without work, without food, without shelter. Among them, many belong to the indigenous peoples forced to leave their lands. “The cities seem to be a land without an owner. They are the destiny to which the people go, after having been evicted from their territories. The city must be understood from this model of exploitation that empties the territories to appropriate them, displaces populations and expels them into the city. “[30]

67. This phenomenon destabilizes, among other things, the families, when one of the parents goes out in search of work in distant places, leaving the children and young people to grow up without the paternal and / or maternal figure. Young people also move in search of employment or underemployment to help maintain what is left of the family, abandoning their primary education, submitting to all kinds of abuse and exploitation. In many regions of the Amazon, these young people are victims of drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings or prostitution (male and female).[31]

68. The omission of governments to implement quality public policies in the interior, mainly in education and health, allows this mobility process to increase every day. Although the Church has accompanied this migratory flow, it has left pastoral gaps in the interior of the Amazon that need to be addressed.


69. What do migrants expect from the Church? How to help them in a more efficient way? How to promote integration between migrants and the local community?

a) A greater understanding of the mechanisms that have led to a disproportionate growth of urban centers and an emptying of the interior is needed, because both dynamics are part of the same system (everything is connected). All this will require the preparation of the head and heart of the pastoral agents to face this critical situation.

b) It is necessary to work as a team, cultivating a missionary mysticism, coordinated by people with diverse and complementary competences in view of effective action. The migratory problem needs to be addressed in a coordinated manner, especially by the border churches.

c) Articulate a reception service in each urban community that is alert to those who arrive unexpectedly with urgent needs and also be able to offer protection against the danger of criminal organizations.

d) Promote agri-family projects in rural communities.

e) Press as an ecclesial community before the public powers so that they respond to the needs and rights of migrants.

f) Promote integration between migrants and local communities while respecting their own cultural identity, as Pope Francis states: “Integration, which is neither assimilation nor incorporation, is a bidirectional process, which is based essentially on the mutual recognition of wealth cultural of the other: it is not flattening one culture on the other, nor reciprocal isolation, with the risk of nefarious and dangerous “ghettos”. [32]

Chapter IV

” The city produces a kind of permanent ambivalence, because, at the same time that it offers its citizens infinite possibilities, there are also numerous difficulties for the full development of the lives of many ” (EG 74)

Urbanization of the Amazon

70. Despite today speaking of the Amazon as the lung of the planet (see LS 38) and the breadbasket of the world, the devastation of the region and poverty have caused a great displacement of the population in pursuit of a better life. The result of this “exodus in search of the promised land” is the growth of the phenomenon of urbanization in the region[33] that makes the city an ambivalent reality. The Bible shows this ambiguity when Cain presents as the founder of cities after sin (Gen. 4:17), but also when he presents humanity towards the fulfillment of the promise of the heavenly Jerusalem, the dwelling place of God with men (Ap. 21.3).

71. According to statistics, the urban population of the Amazon has increased exponentially; currently between 70 and 80% of the population resides in cities.[34] Many of them lack the infrastructure and public resources necessary to meet the needs of urban life. As the number of cities increases, the number of inhabitants of rural populations decreases.

Urban culture

72. However, the question of urbanization does not only cover the spatial displacement and growth of cities, but also the transmission of a lifestyle configured by the metropolis. Such a model extends to the rural world, modifying habits, customs, and traditional ways of living. Culture, religion, family, the education of children and youth, employment and other aspects of life change rapidly to respond to new calls from the city.

Urban challenges

73. The project of introducing the Amazon into the globalized market produced more exclusion, as well as an urbanization of poverty. According to the responses to the Preparatory Document Questionnaire, the main problems that have arisen with urbanization are the following:

a) Increase in violence in all senses.

b) Sexual abuse and exploitation, prostitution, trafficking in human beings, especially women.

c) Traffic and drug consumption.

d) Arms trafficking.

e) Human mobility and identity crisis.

f) Family breakdown.[35]

g) Cultural conflicts and lack of meaning in life.

h) Inefficiency of health / sanitation services.[36]

i) Lack of quality in education and school dropout.[37]

j) Lack of response from the public authorities regarding infrastructure and the promotion of employment.

k) Lack of respect for the right of self-determination and the autonomy of populations.

l) Administrative corruption.[38]


74. It is suggested:

to. Promote an urban environment where public spaces are revitalized, with squares and cultural centers well distributed.

b. Promote universal access to education and culture.

c. Promote environmental awareness, recycling of garbage, avoiding burning.

d. Promote a system of sanitation of the environment and universal access to health.

and. Discerning how to help better appreciate rural life, with alternatives to survival such as family farming.

F. Generate spaces of interaction between the wisdom of the indigenous, riparian and quilombola peoples inserted in the city, and the wisdom of the urban population to achieve a dialogue and integration around the care of life.

Chapter V
Family and community

” Jesus himself is born in a modest family that must soon flee to a foreign land ” (AL 21)

The Amazonian families

75. In the families, the cosmo survival is palpable. It deals with diverse millenary knowledge and practices in different fields such as agriculture, medicine, hunting and fishing, in harmony with God, nature and community. Also in the family, cultural values ​​are transmitted, such as love of the land, reciprocity, solidarity, the experience of the present, the sense of family, simplicity, community work, self-organization, medicine and ancestral education. In addition, oral culture (stories, beliefs and songs), with their colors, clothing, food, languages ​​and rituals are part of this heritage that is transmitted as a family. In short, it is in the family where one learns to live in harmony: between peoples, between generations, with nature, in dialogue with the spirits.[39]

Social changes and family vulnerability

76. The family in the Amazon has been a victim of colonialism in the past and a neo-colonialism in the present. The imposition of a western cultural model inculcated a certain contempt towards the people and the customs of the Amazonian territory, even qualifying them as “savages” or “primitives”. Currently the imposition of a Western economic extractivist model again affects families to invade and destroy their lands, their cultures, their lives, forcing them to migrate to cities and their peripheries.

77. The current accelerated changes affect the Amazonian family. Thus we find new familiar formats: single-parent families under the responsibility of women, increase of separated families, of consensual unions and assembled families, decrease of institutional marriages. In addition, there is still evidence of the submission of women in the family, increases in intrafamily violence, there are children with absent parents, the number of teenage pregnancies and abortions increases.

78. The family in the city is a place of synthesis between traditional and modern culture. However, many times families suffer from poverty, precarious housing, lack of work, increased consumption of drugs and alcohol, discrimination, youth suicide. In addition, in family life there is a lack of dialogue between generations, traditions and language are lost. Families also face new health problems, which require adequate education about motherhood. The lack of attention to women in pregnancy, pre-partum and post-partum is also noted.[40]


79. The multiculturalism of the Panamazonía is very rich and for that reason the greatest contribution is to continue fighting to preserve its beauty through the strengthening of the community-family structure of the peoples. For this, the Church must value and respect cultural identities. In particular, it should:

a) Respect the proper mode of community organization. Given that many public policies affect family and collective identity, it is necessary to initiate and accompany processes that start from the family / clan / community to promote the common good, helping to overcome the alienating structures: “We must organize ourselves from our house”.[41]

b) Listen to the song that is learned in the family as a way of expressing prophecy in the Amazonian world.

c) Promote the role of women recognizing their fundamental role in the formation and continuity of cultures, in spirituality, in communities and families. It is required to assume the role of female leadership within the Church.

d) Articulate a family ministry that follows the indications of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia:

i. A family ministry that accompanies and integrates and does not exclude the injured family.

ii. A sacramental pastoral that strengthens and consoles everyone without excluding anyone.

iii. A permanent formation of pastoral agents that takes into account the recent synods and the familiar reality of the Amazon.

iv. A family pastoral where the family is subject and protagonist.

Chapter VI

“This becomes even more irritating if the excluded see that social cancer growing, which is the corruption deeply rooted in many countries – in their governments, businessmen and institutions – whatever the political ideology of the rulers” (EG 60).

Corruption in the Amazon

80. Corruption in the Amazon seriously affects the lives of its peoples and territories. There are at least two types of corruption: that which exists outside the law and that which is protected by legislation that betrays the common good.

81. In recent decades, investment in the exploitation of the riches of the Amazon by large companies has accelerated. Many of them pursue profit at all costs without caring about the socio-environmental damage they cause. The governments that authorize such practices, in need of foreign exchange to promote their public policies, do not always fulfill their duty to guard the environment and the rights of their populations. Thus, corruption reaches the political, judicial, legislative, social, ecclesial and religious authorities that receive benefits to allow the actions of these companies (see DAp 77). There are cases in which large companies and governments have organized corruption systems. We see people who held public positions and are currently being tried, are in jail or have fled. As the Aparecida Document says: “It is also alarming the level of corruption in the economies, which involves both the public sector and the private sector, to which is added a notable lack of transparency and accountability to citizens. On many occasions, corruption is linked to the scourge of drug trafficking or narco-business and, on the other hand, it has been destroying the social and economic fabric in entire regions “(DAp.70).

Structural moral scourge

82. A culture is thus created that poisons the state and its institutions, permeating all social strata, including indigenous communities. It is a true moral scourge; As a result, trust in institutions and their representatives is lost, which totally discredits politics and social organizations. The Amazonian peoples are not alien to corruption, and they become its main victims.


83. Considering the situation of lack of economic means of the particular Churches in Amazonia, special attention should be paid to the origin of donations or other kinds of benefits, as well as to the investments made by ecclesiastical institutions or Christians. The Episcopal Conferences could offer a service of advice and accompaniment, consultation and promotion of common strategies in the face of widespread corruption and also the need to generate and invest resources to support pastoral work. An attentive analysis is needed in the face of drug trafficking.

to. Implement an adequate preparation of the clergy to face the complexity, subtlety and gravity of the urgent problems linked to corruption and the exercise of power.

b. Promote a culture of honesty, respect for the other and for the common good.

c. To accompany, promote and train lay people for a significant public presence in politics, economics, in academic life and in all forms of leadership (see DA 406).

d. Accompany the peoples in their struggles for the care of their territories and respect for their rights.

and. Discerning how money is generated and how it is invested in the Church, overcoming naive positions through a system of community administration and auditing, respecting the current ecclesiastical norms.

F. Accompany the initiatives of the Church with other entities to demand that companies assume responsibility for the socio-ecological impacts of their actions, according to the legal parameters of the states themselves.

Chapter VII
The Question of Integral Health

” These waters flow towards the east, down to the Arabah, and empty into the Dead Sea, whose waters will be healthy … Their fruits will serve as food and their medicine foliage” (Ez 47, 8.12)

Health in the Amazon

84. The Amazon region today contains the diversity of the most important flora and fauna in the world, and its native population possesses an integral sense of life not contaminated by an economistic materialism. The Amazon is a healthy territory in its long and fruitful history, although there was no shortage of diseases. However, with the mobility of the towns, with the invasion of polluting industries without control, by the conditions of climate change, and before a total indifference of the public health authorities, new diseases have appeared and pathologies that had been overcome have resurfaced. The model of a development that is limited only to economically exploiting the forest, mining and hydrocarbon wealth of the Panamazonía, affects the health of the Amazonian biomes, their communities, and that of the entire planet! integral health  . The Amazonian people have the right to health and to  live healthily  , which is a harmony «with what Mother Earth offers us».[42]

Valorization and deepening of traditional medicines

85. Faced with the  culture of discarding  (LS 22), the disciples of Christ are called to promote a culture of care and health. Therefore, commitment to health care requires urgent changes in personal lifestyles and structures.

86. The richness of the flora and fauna of the forest contain true  living pharmacopoeias  and unexplored genetic principles. Amazonian deforestation will impede having such wealth, impoverishing the next generations. Currently, the extinction rate of species in the Amazon, due to human activities, is a thousand times greater than the natural process. The only way to preserve this wealth is to take care of the territory and the Amazon rainforest and the empowerment of indigenous people and citizens.

87. Indigenous rituals and ceremonies are essential for integral health since they integrate the different cycles of human life and nature. They create harmony and balance between human beings and the cosmos. They protect life against the evils that can be caused by both human beings and other living beings. They help to cure diseases that harm the environment, human life and other living beings.


88. The health care of the inhabitants implies a detailed knowledge of medicinal plants and other traditional elements that are part of healing processes. To this end, indigenous peoples have people who, throughout their lives, specialize in observing nature, listening and collecting the knowledge of the elderly, especially of women. But because of environmental pollution, both the nature and the bodies of people in the Amazon are deteriorating. The contact with new toxic elements such as mercury, causes the appearance of new diseases hitherto unknown by the elderly healers. All this puts at risk that ancestral wisdom.[43] It is proposed to help the peoples of the Amazon to maintain, recover, systematize and disseminate this knowledge for the promotion of integral health.

89. Faced with these new diseases, villagers are forced to buy medicines made by pharmaceutical companies with the same plants from the Amazon. Once marketed, these drugs are beyond the reach of their economic possibilities due, among other causes, to the patenting of drugs and overpricing. Therefore it is proposed to value traditional medicine, the wisdom of the elderly and indigenous rituals, and at the same time facilitate access to medicines that cure new diseases.

90. But it is not only medicinal herbs and medicines that help to heal. Clean water and air, and healthy food, the fruit of their own crops and harvesting, hunting and fishing, are a necessary condition for the integral health of indigenous peoples.[44]Therefore, it is proposed to demand from the governments a strict regulation of the industries and the denunciation of those that pollute the environment. On the other hand, it is suggested to generate spaces of exchange and educational accompaniment to recover the habits of “good living”, thus generating a culture of care and prevention.

91. Finally, it is proposed to evaluate the sanitary structures of the Church, such as hospitals and health centers, in the light of an integral health accessible to all the inhabitants, who assume traditional medicine as part of their health programs.

Chapter VIII
Integral Education

” Young people have been losing our cultural identity and our language in particular. We forget that we have our roots, that we belong to an original people and we are carried away by technology. It is not bad to walk with both feet, to know the modern and also to take care of the traditional. Always in the place where you have the two things present, keep in mind your roots, where you come from and do not forget “(Slendy Grefa, Doc. Consulta, Ecuador)

A Synodal Church: disciple and teacher

92. Through mutual listening to peoples and nature, the Church becomes an outgoing Church, both geographical and structural; in a sister Church and disciple through synodality. This is what Pope Francis said in the Apostolic Constitution Episcopalis Communio : “The Bishop is simultaneously a teacher and a disciple […]. He is a disciple, when he, knowing that the Spirit is granted to each baptized person, listens to the voice of Christ who speaks through all the People of God “(EC 5). He himself became a disciple in Puerto Maldonado by expressing his willingness to listen to the voice of the Amazon.

Education as an encounter

93. Education implies a meeting and an exchange in which values ​​are assimilated. Each culture is rich and poor at the same time. Because it is historical, culture always has a pedagogical dimension of learning and improvement. “When some categories of reason and sciences are accepted in the announcement of the message, those same categories become instruments of evangelization; it is water turned into wine. It is that which, taken on, is not only redeemed, but becomes an instrument of the Spirit to enlighten and renew the world »(EG 132). The encounter is the “capacity of the heart that makes proximity possible” (EG 171) and the multiple learnings.

94. This education, which develops through the encounter, is different from an education that seeks to impose on the other (and especially the poor and vulnerable) their own cosmovisions that precisely cause their poverty and vulnerability. Education in the Amazon does not mean imposing cultural parameters, philosophies, theologies, liturgies and strange customs on the Amazon peoples. Today, “some simply gloat and blame the poor and poor countries for their own ills, with undue generalizations, and seek to find the solution in an” education “that calms them down and turns them into domesticated and harmless beings” (EG 60) . “Therefore, an education that teaches to think critically and offers a path of maturation in values ​​becomes necessary” (EG 64),

Education in a comprehensive ecology

95. The worldview of the Amazonian indigenous peoples includes the call to free themselves from a fragmentary vision of reality, which is not capable of perceiving the multiple connections, inter-relations and interdependencies. Education in an integral ecology assumes all the constitutive relations of people and peoples. To understand this vision of education, it is worth applying the same principle as in health: the goal is to observe the whole body and the causes of the disease and not only the symptoms. A sustainable ecology for future generations “can not be reduced to a series of urgent and partial responses to the problems that appear around the degradation of the environment, the depletion of natural reserves and pollution. It should be a different look, a thought, a policy, an educational program »(LS 111). An education based only on technical solutions to complex environmental problems hides “the real and deeper problems of the world system” (LS 111).

96. It is therefore an education for solidarity born of “the awareness of a common origin” and of a “future shared by all” (LS 202). Indigenous peoples have a teaching-learning method based on oral tradition and experiential practice that has a contextualized pedagogical process within each stage. The challenge is to integrate this method in the dialogue with other educational proposals. This requires “rethinking the pedagogical itineraries of an ecological ethic, so that they effectively help to grow in solidarity, responsibility and care based on compassion” (LS 210). The Amazon invites us to discover the educational task as an integral service for all humanity in view of an “ecological citizenship” (LS 211).

97. This education unites commitment for the care of the earth to commitment for the poor, and arouses attitudes of sobriety and respect lived through “a responsible austerity, for the grateful contemplation of the world, for the care of the fragility of the poor and the environment “(LS 214). Such education “needs to be translated into new habits” (LS 209) taking into account cultural values. Education, in an ecological perspective and in an Amazonian key, promotes  good living  ,  good living  and good work  , which must be persistent and audible in order to have a significant impact on the Common House.


98. It is suggested:

a) The formation of adult lay pastoral agents that will help them grow in responsibility and creativity.

b) The formation of ordained ministers:

1. The plans of formation must respond to a philosophical-theological culture adapted to the Amazonian cultures capable of being understood and therefore of arousing the Christian life. Therefore, it is suggested to integrate indigenous theology and ecotheology that prepares them for listening and open dialogue where evangelization takes place.

2. It is proposed to reform the structures of the seminars to favor the integration of the candidates for the priesthood in the communities.

c) Training centers:

1. Schools: educational plans are needed that focus on education according to one’s own cultures, that respect native languages, a comprehensive education that responds to one’s own reality, to deal with school dropouts and illiteracy, especially female ones.

2. The university: it is necessary to promote not only the inter-disciplinary nature but also to address the issues according to the trans-disciplinary nature, that is to say, with an approach that restores to human knowledge unitariness in diversity, in line with the study of an integral ecology according to the prologue to the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis gaudium.

3. The teaching of Pan-Amazonian indigenous theology is requested in all educational institutions.

d) Amazonian Indian Theology:

1. It is requested to deepen an existing Amazonian Indian theology, which will allow a better and greater understanding of indigenous spirituality to avoid committing the historical errors that ran over many original cultures.

2. It is requested, for example, to take into account the myths, traditions, symbols, knowledge, rites and original celebrations that include the transcendent, community and ecological dimensions.

Chapter IX
Ecological conversion

” They need then an ecological conversion, which implies letting all the consequences of their encounter with Jesus Christ sprout in their relations with the world that surrounds them” (LS 217).

Christ calls us to conversion (cf. Mk 1,15)

99. A fundamental aspect of the root of the human being’s sin is to disassociate himself from nature and not recognize it as part of him, to exploit it without limits, thus breaking the original alliance with creation and with God (see Gn 3, 5). «The harmony between the Creator, humanity and all that was created was destroyed for having tried to take God’s place, refusing to recognize us as limited creatures» (LS 66). After the breaking of sin and the universal flood, God re-establishes the covenant with the same man and with creation (see Gn 9,9-17), calling the human being to guard it.

100. Reconciliation with the creation to which Pope Francis invites us (LS 218), means first of all overcoming a passive attitude that renounces, like King David, to take charge of his mission (see 2 Sam 11, one). The process of the sin of King David begins with a personal omission (he stays in his palace when the army is on the battlefield), it is materialized in the commission of reprehensible acts in the eyes of God (adultery, lying and murder) that they involve others by creating a network of complicities (2 Sam 11.3-25). The Church can also be tempted to remain closed in on herself, renouncing her mission of proclaiming the Gospel and of making present the Kingdom of God. On the contrary, an outgoing Church is a church that is confronted with the sin of this world of which it is not alien (cf. EG 20-24). This sin, as St. John Paul II said, it is not only personal but also social and structural (Cf. RP 16, SRS 36, SD 243, DAp 92) and as Francis warns, “everything is connected” (LS 138). When “the human being declares himself autonomous from reality and becomes absolute ruler, the very basis of his existence falls apart” (LS 117). Christ redeems the entire creation submitted by the human being to sin (Rom 8,19-22).

Integral conversion

101. For this reason, conversion must also have the same levels of concreteness: personal, social and structural, bearing in mind the various dimensions of relationality. It is a “full conversion of the person” that springs from the heart and opens up to a “community conversion” recognizing its social and environmental links, that is, an “ecological conversion” (LS 216-221). This conversion implies recognizing personal and social complicity in the structures of sin, unmasking the ideologies that justify a lifestyle that assaults creation. Frequently we hear stories that justify the destructive actions of power groups that exploit nature, exert a despotic domination over their inhabitants (LS 56, 200) and ignore the cry of pain from the earth and the poor (see LS 49).

Ecclesial conversion in the Amazon

102. The process of conversion to which the Church is called implies unlearning, learning and relearning. This path requires a critical and self-critical look that allows us to identify what we need to unlearn , what harms the Common House and its people. We need to make an inner way to recognize the attitudes and mentalities that prevent us from connecting with oneself, with others and with nature; As Pope Benedict XVI said, “the outer deserts multiply because the interior deserts have spread.”[45]This process continues to be surprised by the wisdom of the indigenous peoples. Your daily life is a testimony of contemplation, care and relationship with nature. They teach us to recognize ourselves as part of the biome and as stewards of their care for today and for the future. Therefore, we must relearn to weave links that assume all the dimensions of life and to assume a personal and communal asceticism that allows us to “mature in a happy sobriety” (LS 225).

103. In Sacred Scripture, conversion is presented as a movement that goes from sin to friendship with God in Jesus Christ, that is why it is part of the process of faith (cf Mk 1,15). Our belief in the Amazonian reality has made us appreciate the work of God in creation and its peoples, but also the presence of evil at various levels: colonialism (domination), economist-mercantilist mentality, consumerism, utilitarianism, individualism, technocracy , culture of discarding.

· A mentality that was historically expressed in a system of territorial, political, economic and cultural domination that persists to this day in various ways that perpetuate colonialism .

· An economy based exclusively on profit as the only end, which excludes and runs over the weakest and nature, is an idol that sows destruction and death (see EG 53-56).

· A utilitarian mentality conceives nature as a mere resource and human beings as mere producers-consumers, breaking the intrinsic value and the relationality of creatures.

· « Individualism weakens community bonds» (DAp.44) eclipsing responsibility towards others, community and nature.

· Technological development has brought great benefits to humanity, but along with this, its absolutization has become an instrument of possession, domination and manipulation (LS 106) of nature and human beings. All this has generated a predominant global culture that Pope Francis has called ” technocratic paradigm ” (LS 109).

· The result is a loss of the transcendent and humanitarian horizon where the logic of “use and throw” is transmitted (LS 123), generating a ” culture of discarding ” (LS 22) that assaults creation.


104.It is suggested:

to. Unmask the new forms of colonialism present in the Amazon.

b. Identify the new ideologies that justify the Amazon ecocide to analyze them critically.

c. To denounce the structures of sin that act in Amazonian territory.

d. Identify the reasons with which we justify our participation in the structures of sin to analyze them critically.

and. Favoring a church as a non-self-referential service institution co-responsible in the care of the Common House and in the defense of the rights of the peoples.

F. Promote eco-solidarity markets, fair consumption and “happy sobriety” (LS 224-225) that respects the nature and rights of workers. “Buying is always a moral act and not just an economic one” (CV 66, LS 206).

g. Promote habits of behavior, production and consumption, recycling and reuse of waste.

h. Recover myths and update rites and community celebrations that contribute significantly to the process of ecological conversion.

i. To thank the native peoples for the care of the territory through time and to recognize in this the ancestral wisdom that forms the basis for a good understanding of the integral ecology.

j. Create organic pastoral itineraries from an integral ecology for the protection of the Common House, with chapters 5 and 6 of the Encyclical Laudato sì as a guide .

k. Formal recognition by the particular Church as a special ministry to the pastoral agent promoting the care of the Common House.


“I wish that all the people prophesied, and the Lord instilled in all his Spirit! (Nm 11,29)

105. The announcement of Jesus Christ and the realization of a profound encounter with him through conversion and the ecclesial experience of the faith, supposes a welcoming and missionary Church that is incarnated in cultures. She has to remember the steps that have been taken to respond to the challenging themes of the centrality of the kerygma and of the mission in the Amazonian environment. This paradigm of ecclesial action inspires ministries, catechesis, liturgy, and social pastoral in both rural and urban areas.

106.The new paths for the pastoral of the Amazon require “re-launching with fidelity and audacity” the mission of the Church (DAp.11) in the territory and deepening the “process of inculturation” (EG 126) and interculturality (see LS). 63, 143, 146) that requires the Church in the Amazonian “brave” proposals, which implies courage and passion, as Pope Francis asks us. Evangelization in the Amazon is a test bed for the Church and for society.[46]

Chapter I
Church with an Amazonian face and missionary

” Let your face shine on your servant ” (Ps 31 (30), 17)

A face rich in expressions

107. The Amazonian face of the Church finds expression in the plurality of its peoples, cultures and ecosystems. This diversity needs an option for an outgoing and missionary Church, embodied in all its activities, expressions and languages. The Bishops in Santo Domingo proposed the goal of an inculturated evangelization, which “will always be the salvation and integral liberation of a determined people or group of people, which will strengthen their identity and confidence in their specific future, opposing the powers of death” (DSD, Conclusions 243). And Pope Francis clearly formulates this need for an inculturated and intercultural Church: “we need the indigenous peoples to mold the local Amazonian churches culturally” (Fr.PM).

108.Inculturation and interculturality do not oppose, but complement each other. Just as Jesus became incarnate in a certain culture (inculturation), his missionary disciples follow in his footsteps. For this reason, Christians of a culture go out to meet people of other cultures (interculturality). This happened from the beginning of the Church when the Hebrew apostles brought the Good News to different cultures, like the Greek, discovering there “seeds of the Word”.[47] From that encounter and dialogue between cultures, new paths of the Spirit emerged. Today, in the encounter and dialogue with the Amazonian cultures, the Church scrutinizes the new ways.

109.According to the Document of Aparecida, the preferential option for the poor is the hermeneutical criterion for analyzing the proposals for the construction of society (see 501, 537, 474, 475), and criteria of self-understanding of the Church. It is also one of the features that marks the physiognomy of the Latin American and Caribbean Church (see 391, 524, 533), and of all its structures, from the parish to its educational and social centers (see 176, 179, 199, 334, 337, 338, 446, 550). The Amazonian face is that of a Church with a clear option for (and with) the poor[48] and for the care of creation. From the poor, and from the attitude of caring for the goods of God, new paths of the local Church are opened and they continue towards the universal Church.

A local face with a universal dimension

110. A Church with an Amazonian face in its many shades tries to be an “outgoing” Church (see EG 20-23), which leaves behind a monocultural, clericalist and tax colonial tradition that knows how to discern and assume without fear the diverse expressions of the peoples. This face warns us of the risk of “pronouncing a single word [or] propose a solution with universal value “(see OA 4, EG 184) Certainly the complex, plural, conflictive and opaque sociocultural reality prevents the application of” a monolithic doctrine defended by all without nuances “(EG 40). or catholicity of the Church, therefore, is enriched with “the beauty of this multifaceted face” (NMI 40) of the different manifestations of the particular churches and their cultures, forming a polyhedral Church (Cf. EG 236).

A challenging face in the face of injustices

111. To mold a Church with an Amazonian face has an ecclesial, social, ecological and pastoral dimension, often conflicting. In effect, the political and legal organization has not always taken into account the cultural face of the justice of the peoples and their institutions. The Church is not alien to this tension. Sometimes it tends to impose a culture alien to the Amazon that prevents understanding their peoples and appreciate their worldviews.

112. The reality of the local churches needs a participatory Church that is present in the social, political, economic, cultural and ecological life of its inhabitants; of a Church that is welcoming of cultural, social and ecological diversity in order to be able to serve without discrimination of persons or groups; of a creative Church , that can accompany in the construction of new answers to urgent needs with its people; and of a harmonious Church that fosters the values ​​of peace, mercy and communion.

An inculturated and missionary face

113. Cultural diversity demands a more real incarnation to assume different ways of life and cultures. “The principle of the incarnation formulated by Saint Irenaeus continues in the pastoral order:  What is not assumed is not redeemed  “.[49] The impulses and inspirations important for this desired inculturation are found in the Magisterium of the Church and in the Latin American ecclesial journey, in its Episcopal Conferences (Medellín, 1968, Puebla, 1979, Santo Domingo, 1992, Aparecida, 2007) and of their communities, and of their saints and their martyrs. [50] . An important reality of this process has been the emergence of a Latin American theology, especially Indian Theology

114.The construction of a missionary Church with a local face means advancing in the building of an inculturated Church that knows how to work and articulate (like the rivers in the Amazon) with what is culturally available, in all its fields of activity and presence. “To be Church is to be the People of God” (EG 114), embodied “in the peoples of the earth” and in their cultures (see EG 115).

Chapter II
Challenges of inculturation and interculturality [51]

” In the different peoples, who experience the gift of God according to their own culture, the Church expresses its genuine catholicity and shows” the beauty of this multifaceted face “” (EG 116)

On the way to a church with an Amazonian and indigenous face

115. The mission of the Church is to announce the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth, the Good Samaritan (cf Lk 10: 25-36), who has compassion on wounded and abandoned humanity. The Church announces the mystery of her death and resurrection to all cultures and all peoples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Mt 28,19). Following the example of Saint Paul who wanted to become Greek with the Greeks trying to adapt “as much as possible to all” (1 Cor 9,19-23), the Church has made a great effort to evangelize all peoples as long history. She has tried to carry out this missionary mandate by embodying and translating the message of the Gospel in different cultures, in the midst of difficulties of all kinds, political, cultural, geographical. But there’s still too much to do.

116.The Church has tried for centuries to share the Gospel with the Amazonian peoples, many of whom are part of the ecclesial community. Missionaries have a history of deep relationship with this region. They left deep traces in the soul of the Catholic people of the Amazon. The Church has come a long way that must be deepened and updated until it can become a Church with an indigenous and Amazonian face.

117. However, as it emerges from territorial encounters, there is still a wound opened by abuses of the past. Precisely, in the year 1912 Pope Pius X recognized the cruelty with which the natives were treated in the Encyclical Lacrimabili Statu Indorum . The Latin American episcopate in Puebla accepted the existence of “an enormous process of domination” full of “contradictions and tears” (DP 6). In Aparecida, the bishops asked to “decolonize the minds” (DAp 96). Pope Francis recalled at the meeting with the peoples of the Amazon in Puerto Maldonado the words of Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo: “not only in these past times have these poor people been made so many grievances and forces with so much excess, but also today many seek do the same ” [52]. Since a colonial and patriarchal mentality still persists, it is necessary to deepen a process of conversion and reconciliation. [53]


118. The communities consulted expect the Church to be committed to the care of the Common House and its inhabitants, ” […]defend the territories, help the indigenous peoples to denounce what causes death and threatens the territories.” [54] A prophetic Church can not stop crying out for the discarded and for those who suffer (see Fr.

119. Listening to the voice of the Spirit in the clamor of the Amazonian peoples and in the magisterium of Pope Francis is a process of pastoral and missionary conversion (see EG 25). For this it is suggested:

a) Avoid cultural homogenization to recognize and promote the value of Amazonian cultures.

b) Reject the alliance with the dominant culture and the political and economic power to promote the cultures and rights of the indigenous people, the poor and the territory.

c) Overcome any clericalism to live fraternity and service as gospel values ​​that encourage the relationship between the authority and the members of the community.

d) Overcome rigid positions that do not sufficiently take into account the concrete life of people and the pastoral reality, in order to meet the real needs of indigenous peoples and cultures.

Evangelization in cultures [55]

120. It is the creative Spirit that fills the universe (see Ps 1,7) that has nurtured the spirituality of these peoples for centuries even before the proclamation of the Gospel and the one that moves them to accept it from their own cultures and traditions. This announcement must take into account the “seeds of the Word” [56] present in them. He also recognizes that in many of them the seed has already grown and borne fruit. It presupposes a respectful listening, that does not impose formulations of the faith expressed from other cultural referents that do not respond to their vital context. But on the contrary, listen to “the voice of Christ speaking through all the people of God” (EC 5).

121. It is necessary to grasp what the Spirit of the Lord through the centuries has taught these peoples: faith in the Father-Mother Creator God, the sense of communion and harmony with the earth, the sense of solidarity with their companions, the project of “good living”, the wisdom of millenarian civilizations that the elderly possess and that influences health, coexistence, education, the cultivation of the land, the living relationship with nature and the  Mother Earth  , the capacity of resistance and resilience in particular of women, rites and religious expressions, relationships with ancestors, the contemplative attitude and the sense of gratuity, celebration and celebration, and the sacred meaning of the territory.

122. The inculturation of the faith is not a top-down process nor an external imposition, but a mutual enrichment of cultures in dialogue (interculturality). [57] The active subjects of inculturation are the indigenous peoples themselves. As Pope Francis has affirmed, “grace presupposes culture” (EG 115).


123. It would be appropriate:

a) Starting from the spirituality lived by the indigenous peoples in contact with nature and their culture, so that they can be enlightened by the newness of the dead and risen Christ and in Him reaching fulfillment.

b) Recognize indigenous spirituality as a source of wealth for the Christian experience.

c) Given that narrativity is a characteristic of indigenous peoples, through which they transmit their millenary wisdom, a catechesis is suggested that assumes the language and meaning of the narrations of indigenous and Afro-descendant cultures in harmony with the narrations Biblical

d) In the same way, homiletic preaching that responds to vital experiences and socio-environmental reality (see EG 135-144) in a narrative style would be appropriate. It is expected to arouse the interest and participation of the faithful and take into account the integral indigenous world view, motivating a pastoral conversion in view of an integral ecology.

e) In the face of a colonizing invasion of mass media, communities have insistently requested alternative communications from their own languages ​​and cultures. Therefore, it is convenient that the indigenous subjects themselves be present in the existing media. [58]

f) It would also be opportune to create new radio stations of the Church that promote the Gospel and of the cultures, traditions and original languages. [59]

Chapter III
The celebration of faith: an inculturated liturgy

“Joyful evangelization becomes beauty in the liturgy in the midst of the daily requirement to extend good” (EG 24)

124. Sacrosanctum Concilium (cf. 37-40, 65, 77, 81) proposes the inculturation of the liturgy in indigenous peoples. Certainly cultural diversity does not threaten the unity of the Church but expresses its genuine catholicity by showing “the beauty of this multifaceted face” (EG 116). That is why “we must dare to find the new signs, the new symbols, a new flesh for the transmission of the Word, the diverse forms of beauty that are valued in different cultural areas …” (EG 167). Without this inculturation the liturgy can be reduced to a “museum piece” or “a possession of a few” (EG 95).

125. The celebration of the faith must take place in an inculturated way so that it is an expression of one’s religious experience and the bond of communion of the community that celebrates it. An inculturated liturgy will also be a resonance box for the struggles and aspirations of the communities and a transforming impulse towards a “land without evils”.


126.It is suggested to keep the following in mind:

a) The need for a process of discernment regarding the rites, symbols and celebratory styles of indigenous cultures in contact with nature that need to be assumed in the liturgical and sacramental ritual is confirmed. We must be attentive to pick up the true meaning of the symbol that transcends the merely aesthetic and folkloric, specifically in Christian initiation and marriage. It is suggested that the celebrations be festive with their own music and dance, in tongues and with indigenous clothes, in communion with nature and with the community. A liturgy that responds to their own culture so that it can be the source and summit of their Christian life (cf SC 10) and linked to their struggles and sufferings and joys.

b) The sacraments should be a source of life and a remedy accessible to all (cf. EG 47), especially to the poor (cf. EG 200). It is asked to overcome the rigidity of a discipline that excludes and distances, by a pastoral sensitivity that accompanies and integrates (see AL 297, 312).

c) The communities have difficulty to celebrate the Eucharist frequently because of the lack of priests. “The Church lives from the Eucharist” and the Eucharist builds the Church. [60] Therefore, it is requested that, instead of leaving the communities without Eucharist, the criteria for selecting and preparing the ministers authorized to celebrate it should be changed.

d) Based on a ‘healthy  decentralization  ‘ of the Church (cf. G16) communities ask the Episcopal Conferences to adapt their cultures Eucharistic ritual.

e) The communities ask for a greater appreciation, accompaniment and promotion of the piety with which the poor and simple people express their faith through images, symbols, traditions, rites and other sacramentals. All this is done through community associations that organize various events such as prayers, pilgrimages, visits to shrines, processions and patron saints. It is a manifestation of a wisdom and spirituality that constitutes a real theological place with a great evangelizing potential (see EG 122-126).

Chapter IV
The organization of the communities

“It is fair to recognize that there are encouraging initiatives that arise from your very bases and from your organizations” (Fr.

The indigenous worldview

127. The Church must be incarnated in the Amazonian cultures that have a high sense of community, equality and solidarity, for which clericalism is not accepted in its various forms of manifestation. The native peoples have a rich tradition of social organization where the authority is rotating and with a deep sense of service. From this experience of organization it would be opportune to reconsider the idea that the exercise of jurisdiction (power of government) must be linked in all areas (sacramental, judicial, administrative) and permanently to the sacrament of order.

Geographic and pastoral distances

128.In addition to the plurality of cultures within the Amazon, distances generate a serious pastoral problem that can not be solved only with mechanical and technological instruments. Geographic distances also manifest cultural and pastoral distances that, therefore, require the passage of a “pastoral visit” to a “pastoral presence,” to reconfigure the local church in all its expressions: ministries, liturgy, sacraments, theology and social services.


129. The following suggestions from the communities recover aspects of the early Church when it responded to their needs by creating the appropriate ministries (see Acts 6, 1-7, 1 Tim 3,1-13):

a) New ministries to respond more effectively to the needs of the Amazonian peoples:

1. Promote autochthonous vocations for men and women in response to the needs of pastoral-sacramental attention; his decisive contribution is in the impulse to an authentic evangelization from the indigenous perspective, according to its uses and customs. These are indigenous people who preach to indigenous people from a deep knowledge of their culture and their language, capable of communicating the message of the Gospel with the strength and effectiveness of those who have their cultural baggage. We must start from a “Church that visits” to a “Church that remains”, accompanies and is present through ministers that arise from their own inhabitants.

2. Affirming that celibacy is a gift for the Church, it is requested that, for the most remote areas of the region, the possibility of priestly ordination be studied for elderly people, preferably indigenous, respected and accepted by their community, even if they have and to a constituted and stable family, with the purpose of securing the Sacraments that accompany and sustain the Christian life.

3. Identify the type of official ministry that can be conferred on women, taking into account the central role they play today in the Amazon Church.

b) Role of the laity:

1. Indigenous communities are participatory with a high sense of co-responsibility. For this reason, it is asked to value the role of lay and lay Christians and to recognize their space so that they can be subjects of the Church in the process.

2. Offer comprehensive training paths to assume their role as animators of communities with credibility and co-responsibility.

3. Create formative itineraries in the light of the Social Doctrine of the Church with an Amazonian approach for laity and laity working in Amazonian territories, especially in areas of citizenship and politics.

4. Open new channels of synodal processes, with the participation of all the faithful, in the face of the organization of the Christian community for the transmission of the faith.

c) Role of women:

1. In the ecclesial field, the presence of women in communities is not always valued. The recognition of women is demanded from their charisms and talents. They ask to recover the space given by Jesus to women, “where all-we all fit.” [61]

2. It is also proposed that women have their leadership guaranteed, as well as increasingly broad and relevant spaces in the area of ​​formation: theology, catechesis, liturgy and schools of faith and politics.

3. It is also requested that women’s voices be heard, that they be consulted and participate in decision-making, and thus be able to contribute with their sensitivity to the ecclesial synodality.

4. That the Church embraces more and more the feminine style of acting and of understanding events.

d) Role of consecrated life:

1. “The Latin American and Caribbean peoples expect much from the consecrated life [… which shows] the motherly face of the Church. His desire to listen, welcome and service, and his testimony of the Kingdom’s alternative values, show that a new Latin American and Caribbean society, founded in Christ, is possible “(DA 224). Therefore, it is proposed to promote an alternative and prophetic consecrated life, inter congregational, inter-institutional, with a sense of willingness to be where no one wants to be and with whom nobody wants to be.

2. Support the insertion and itinerancy of the consecrated and consecrated along with the most impoverished and excluded, and the political influence to transform reality.

3. Propose to religious men and women who come from abroad to have a willingness to share local life with their hearts, heads and hands to unlearn models, recipes, schemes and pre-set structures, to learn languages, cultures, traditions of wisdom, cosmologies and mythologies autochthonous

4. Given pastoral urgencies, and faced with the temptation of immediate activism, it is recommended to give time to learn the language and culture to generate links and develop a comprehensive pastoral.

5. It is recommended that formation to religious life include formative processes focused on interculturality, inculturation and dialogue between spiritualities and Amazonian worldviews.

6. It is suggested that priority be given to the needs of local people over those of religious congregations.

e) Role of young people:

1. Urge a dialogue with young people to listen to their needs.

2. It is necessary to accompany processes of transmission and reception of cultural and linguistic heritage in families [62] to overcome difficulties in intergenerational communication.

3. Young people are between two worlds, between the indigenous mentality and the attraction of the modern mentality, especially when they migrate to the cities. On the one hand, programs are needed to strengthen their cultural identity in the face of the loss of their values, languages ​​and relationship with nature; on the other hand, programs to help them enter into dialogue with modern urban culture.

4. It is urgent to face the problem of the migration of young people to the cities. [63]

5. Greater emphasis is needed on the defense and recovery of those who are victims of drug trafficking and human trafficking networks, as well as addiction to drugs and alcohol.

f) Diocese of borders:

1. The border is a fundamental category of the life of the Amazonian peoples. It is the place par excellence of the worsening of conflicts and violence, where the law is not respected and corruption undermines state control, leaving many companies free to exploit it indiscriminately. For all this it is necessary a job that helps to see the Amazon as a home for all, which deserves the care of all. A joint pastoral action is proposed between the border churches to face common problems such as the exploitation of territory, crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, prostitution, etc.

2. It is convenient to encourage and strengthen work in networks of pastoral care as a path of social and ecological pastoral action that is more effective in continuing the service of REPAM.

3. Given the characteristics of the Amazonian territory, it is suggested to consider the need for an Episcopal Amazonian structure that carries out the application of the Synod.

4. The creation of an economic fund to support evangelization, human promotion and integral ecology, especially for the implementation of the Synod’s proposals.

Chapter V
Evangelization in the cities [64]

“An unprecedented culture beats and is made in the city” (EG 73)

Urban mission

130. St. John Paul II warned us: “Today, the image of the mission ad gentes perhaps it is changing: the privileged places should be the big cities, where new customs and models of life emerge, new forms of culture, which then influence the population “(RM, 37b) The Church needs to be in permanent dialogue with reality This requires that the priests, men and women religious, and laity of the different ministries, movements, communities and groups of the same city or diocese, are increasingly united in the realization of a joint, intelligent missionary action, capable of joining forces.The urban mission will only advance as long as there is a great communion among the workers of the Lord’s vineyard, because, faced with the complexity of the city, individual and isolated pastoral action loses effectiveness.

Urban challenges

131. The city, even with its challenges, can become an explosion of life. Cities are part of the territory, so they must take care of the forest and respect the indigenous. Contrarily, many of the inhabitants of the Amazonian cities consider the indigenous people an obstacle to their progress and live with their backs to the forest.

132. The indigenous in the city is a migrant, a human being without land and a survivor of a historic battle for the demarcation of their land, with its cultural identity in crisis. In urban centers, government agencies often shirk their responsibility to guarantee their rights, denying their identity and condemning them to invisibility. Some parishes, for their part, have not yet assumed their full responsibility in the multicultural world that awaits a specific, missionary and prophetic pastoral.

133. An important phenomenon to take into account is the rapid growth of the recent Evangelical churches of Pentecostal origin, especially in the peripheries. [65]

134. All this leads us to ask ourselves: what parish structure can best respond to the urban world, where anonymity, the influence of the media and the evident social inequality reign supreme? What kind of education can Catholic institutions promote at a formal and informal level?


135. It would be convenient:

to. Promote a specific pastoral for the indigenous people who live in the city in which they are protagonists themselves.

b. Promote the integration of the indigenous people in the different pastoral activities of the parish with follow-up and formation, valuing each day more their contribution.

c. Project a common pastoral work strategy in the cities. [66]

d. Rethink ecclesiastical structures overcoming the outdated cultural forms we have acquired over the centuries. [67]

and. Promote spaces of integral formation. [68]

F. Raise awareness about the vital importance of the insertion of the city in the territory and the appreciation of the forest and its inhabitants. Promote the necessary changes in social and economic structures so that the development of the city is not a threat.

g. Sensitize the community about social struggles, supporting the different social movements to promote ecological citizenship and defend human rights. [69]

h. To promote a missionary and evangelizing church, visiting and listening to the present reality in the new neighborhoods.

i. Update the option for young people [70] , seeking a pastoral where they themselves are protagonists. [71]

j. Be present in the media to evangelize and promote the original cultures. [72]

Chapter VI
ecumenical and interreligious dialogue

“Let us now try to outline great paths of dialogue that will help us to get out of the spiral of self-destruction into which we are immersing ourselves” (LS 163)

136. Ecumenical dialogue takes place between people who share the faith in Jesus Christ as Son of God and Savior, and from the Sacred Scriptures seek to give a common witness. Interreligious dialogue takes place among believers who share their lives, their struggles, their concerns and their experiences of God, making their differences a stimulus to grow and deepen their own faith.

137. Some groups propagate a theology of prosperity and well-being based on a reading of the Bible itself. There are fatalistic tendencies that seek to disturb, and with a negative view of the world they offer a bridge of sure salvation. Some through fear and others through the search for success, have a negative impact on Amazonian groups.

138. However, other groups are present in the middle of the Amazon rainforest together with the poorest, carrying out a work of evangelization and education; They are very attractive for the people despite not positively assessing their cultures. Their presence has allowed them to teach and disseminate the Bible translated into the original languages. In large part these movements have been extended by the lack of the presence of Catholic ministers. Their pastors have formed small communities with a human face, where people feel personally valued. Another positive factor is the local, close and concrete presence of pastors who visit, accompany, comfort, know and pray for the specific needs of families. They are people like the others, easy to find, who live the same problems and become “closer” and less “different” to the rest of the community. They are showing us another way of being a church where the people feel protagonist and where the faithful can express themselves freely without censorship or dogmatisms or ritual disciplines.


139. It would be appropriate:

to. Search for common elements through periodic meetings to work together for the care of the Common House, and to fight in common for the common good in the face of external aggressions.

b. To consider what aspects of being a church teach us and what aspects need to be incorporated into the new ways of the Amazon Church.

c. Encourage the translation of the Bible into the original languages ​​of the Amazon.

d. Promote meetings with evangelical Christian theologians.

Chapter VII
Mission of the media

“The Church will give greater importance to the means of social communication and will use them for Evangelization” (DP 158)

Means, ideologies and cultures

140. One of the great challenges of the Church is to think about what to do in this interconnected world. Massive social media transmit patterns of behavior, lifestyles, values, mentalities that influence a culture that tends to prevail and standardize our interconnected world. It is the problem of the ideological seduction of the consumerist mentality, which affects mostly youth. In many cases, young people are led not to value – and even reject – their own culture and traditions, accepting uncritically the prevailing cultural model. This causes uprooting and loss of identity.

Church media

141.The Church has an infrastructure of media, especially radio stations, which are the main means of communication. The media can be a very important instrument for transmitting the evangelical lifestyle, its values ​​and its criteria. They are also spaces to inform what happens in the Amazon, especially regarding the consequences of a lifestyle that destroys, and that the media in the hands of large corporations hide. There are already some social communication centers gestated by the same indigenous people who experience the joy of being able to express their own words, their own voice not only to their own communities, but also to the outside. The indigenous world shows values ​​that the modern world does not have. That is why it is important that the empowerment of the media reach the same natives. Your contribution can have resonance and help the ecological conversion of the Church and the planet. It is about that the Amazonian reality leaves the Amazon and has planetary repercussion.

Suggestions (see DAp 486)

142.It is suggested:

to. The integral formation of native communicators especially indigenous to strengthen the narratives of the territory.

b. The presence of pastoral agents in mass media.

c. The constitution, promotion and strengthening of new radio and TV stations with contents appropriate to the Amazonian reality.

d. The presence of the Church on the Internet and other communication networks to make the Amazonian reality known to the world.

and. The articulation of the various means of communication in the hands of the Church and those who work in other media, in a specific pastoral plan.

F. Generate and disseminate content about the relevance of the Amazon, its peoples and cultures for the world, to be promoted in the structures and channels of the universal Church.

Chapter VIII
The prophetic role of the Church and integral human promotion

“From the heart of the Gospel we recognize the intimate connection that exists between evangelization and human promotion, which must necessarily be expressed and developed in every evangelizing action” (EG 178)

Church on exit

143. The Church has the mission to evangelize, which at the same time implies commitment to promote the fulfillment of the rights of indigenous peoples. In effect, when these people come together they talk about spirituality, as well as what happens to them and their social problems. The Church can not stop worrying about the integral salvation of the human person, which entails favoring the culture of indigenous peoples, talking about their vital demands, accompanying movements and gathering forces to fight for their rights.

Church in listening

144. In the voice of the poor is the Spirit; that is why the Church must listen to them, they are a theological place. When listening to the pain, silence becomes necessary to be able to listen to the voice of the Spirit of God. The prophetic voice implies a new contemplative gaze capable of mercy and commitment. As part of the Amazonian people, the Church recreates its prophecy, from the indigenous and Christian tradition. But it also means seeing with critical conscience a series of behaviors and realities of indigenous peoples that go against the Gospel. The Amazonian world asks the Church to be its ally.

Church and power

145. Being a Church in the Amazon in a realistic way means prophetically posing the problem of power, because in this region people have no possibility of asserting their rights in front of large economic corporations and political institutions. Today, to question the power in the defense of the territory and human rights is to risk life, opening a path of cross and martyrdom. The number of martyrs in the Amazon is alarming (eg in Brazil alone between 2003 and 2017 there were 1,119 indigenous people killed for defending their territories).[73] The Church can not be indifferent; on the contrary, it must support the protection of human rights defenders and remember its martyrs, including women leaders such as Sr. Dorothy Stang.


146. As a global community of solidarity, the Church reacts responsibly to the global situation of injustice, poverty, inequality, violence and exclusion in the Amazon. The fundamental assumption is the recognition of unfair relationships. Therefore it is necessary:

to. Take the complaint against extractivist models that damage the territory and violate the rights of the communities. Raise the voice in front of projects that affect the environment and promote death.

b. Join the grassroots social movements to prophetically announce an agrarian justice agenda that promotes a profound agrarian reform, supporting organic agriculture and agro-forestry. Assume the cause of agroecology by incorporating it into its training processes in view of a greater awareness of the indigenous populations themselves.[74]

c. Promote the formation, defense and enforceability of the human rights of the peoples of the Amazon, of other populations and of nature. Defend minorities and the most vulnerable.

d. Listen to the cry of the  Mother Earth  assaulted and seriously wounded by the economic model of predatory and ecocidal development, which kills and loots, destroys and clears, expels and discards, thought and imposed from the outside and at the service of powerful external interests.

and. Promote the dignity and equality of women in the public, private and ecclesial sphere, ensuring participation channels, combating physical, domestic and psychological violence, femicide, abortion, sexual exploitation and trafficking, committing to fight to guarantee their rights and to overcome any kind of stereotype.

F. Promote a new ecological conscience, which leads us to change our consumption habits, to promote the use of renewable energies, avoiding harmful materials and implementing other itineraries of action according to the Encyclical Laudato sì.[75]Promote alliances to combat deforestation and promote reforestation.

g. Assume without fear the implementation of the preferential option for the poor in the struggle of indigenous peoples, traditional communities, migrants and young people to shape the physiognomy of the Amazon Church.

h. Create collaborative networks in areas of regional, global and international advocacy, in which the Church participates organically so that the peoples themselves can express their complaints about the violation of their human rights.


147. In this long journey of the Instrumentum Laboris , the voice of the Amazon has been heard in the light of faith (Part I) and an attempt has been made to respond to the clamor of the people and the Amazonian territory for an integral ecology (II Part) and by the new paths for a prophetic in the Amazon (Part III). These Amazonian voices call for a new response to the different situations and to look for new ways that enable a kairos for the Church and the world. We conclude under the protection of Mary, venerated with various invocations throughout the Amazon. We hope that this Synod will be a concrete expression of the synodality of an outgoing Church, so that the full life that Jesus came to bring to the world (Jn 10,10) reaches everyone, especially the poor.



(2019.6.10. VaticanNews Debora Donnini)








 文書は、ジェンダー理論を歴史的に短く回顧して、「1990年代に、男女の差と性を別々にとらえる、という過激な理論を-前者を後者より優先する形で-支持する考え方が出てきた」とし、「そのような考え方を『人間の進化における重要な節目』と見なし、『性による違いを持たない社会が想定され得る』とした」と説明。さらに、「自然と文化の間の対立が顕著になる中で、ジェンダー理論の主張は”同性愛”の概念に収れんするー遊牧民のように、極端に流動的で、融通無碍な性別に帰結していく… それは結果として、先験的に付与された性の定義からの個人の完全な離脱、過度の硬直と見なされる類別の消滅、となる」としている。



















( 2019.6.5 Crux  

 ローマ発-教皇フランシスコの神学面での助言者とされているドイツのワルター・カスペル枢機卿がこのほど、既婚男性の司祭叙階問題に触れ、今年10月にローマで予定されるアマゾン地域の国々の教会代表による司教会議(アマゾン・シノドス)で出席者たちが教皇に要請すれば、教皇はお認めになるだろう、との見通しを明らかにした。ドイツの新聞 Frankfurter Rundschauのインタビューで語り、その内容はドイツ司教団のウエブサイトにも掲載されたものだ。


 枢機卿は「司教たちが既婚者-viri probati(相応しい男性)を叙階することに、互いに合意することで賛成すれば、教皇が受諾されるだろう、というのが私の判断です」とし、「司祭の独身制は、協議ではありません。変更不能な慣行でもない」と明言した。そして、「私は個人的には、イエス・キリストの理念を守る約束を果たす生き方として独身制を守ることを強く支持しますが、既婚男性が特別な状況において司祭職を担うことを排除するものではありません」と述べた。





 そして、教会は、もっと指導的な役割を与えてもらいたい、という女性たちの「正当」な要求に応えるべきであり、可能な限り速やかに具体的な措置をとる必要がある、としつつ、ドイツの教会で5月に行われた女性の役割拡大を求めて一週間にわたって教会を離れるよう呼びかける“Maria 2.0”運動のようなものでは、解決されない、との指摘した。


・・Cruxは、カトリック専門のニュース、分析、評論を網羅する米国のインターネット・メディアです。 2014年9月に米国の主要日刊紙の一つである「ボストン・グローブ」 (欧米を中心にした聖職者による幼児性的虐待事件摘発のきっかけとなった世界的なスクープで有名。映画化され、日本でも昨年、全国上映された)の報道活動の一環として創刊されました。現在は、米国に本拠を置くカトリック団体とパートナーシップを組み、多くのカトリック関係団体、機関、個人の支援を受けて、バチカンを含め,どこからも干渉を受けない、独立系カトリック・メディアとして世界的に高い評価を受けています。「カトリック・あい」は、カトリック専門の非営利メディアとして、Cruxが発信するニュース、分析、評論の日本語への翻訳、転載について了解を得て、掲載しています。

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2019.6.7 カトリック・あい)



 第三次改定では、主の祈りはイタリア語の原文の英訳で「lead us not into temptation(日本語訳で「私たちを誘惑に陥らせず)」とされてい箇所を、「do not let us fall into temptation(「カトリック・あい」日本語訳で「私たちが誘惑に陥らないようにしてください」)に変更する。


 また、第三次改定では、「栄光の賛歌」についても、同様に英訳で「Peace on earth to people of good will(日本語訳で「地には善意の人に平和あれ」)」とされている箇所を、「Peace on Earth to people beloved by God(「カトリック・あい」日本語訳で「地には神に愛された人に平和あれ」)に改める。









(2019.6.2 バチカン放送)










(2019.6.2 バチカン放送)










(2019.6.1 バチカン放送)











(2019.5.31 バチカン放送)









(2019.5.31 バチカン放送)