IV Meeting of the Catholic Church in the Legal Amazonia

From June 6th to 9th, the bishops of Legal Amazonia met in Santarém in their fourth historic meeting to analyze the current situation of the implementation of the Synod for Amazonas and the convenient itineraries so that this path becomes a reality within the guidelines of synodality.
News | 2022 Jun 20

In the afternoon-evening of the 6th, after the reception, mass and dinner, the celebration of the martyrs of Amazonia took place in the plaza of the Saint Pius X Seminary and, following the image of Our Lady of Nazareth, patron from Amazonas, we entered the room where 50 years ago the meeting of the bishops took place who published a prophetic document that was the guide of this IV Encounter. For this reason, Santarém was chosen as the venue. With a talk, presentations and instructions, the meeting was opened.

The following days were rich in talks, testimonies... about the reality of this part of the Church as a field of experience according to the words of Pope Francis, who sent a message and encouraged us to be courageous and creative, once again showing his love and concern for the Amazonia.

Important moments were the testimonies of Bishop Don Erwin Krautler, president of the commission for Amazonas and REPAM; the presence of Cardinal Pedro Barreto as president of the Ecclesial Conference for Amazonia (CEAMA); and the presence and coordination of Don Leonardo Ulrich, Archbishop of Manaus, recently appointed Cardinal.

Following the guidelines of the Santarém document of 50 years ago: Incarnation in reality and liberating evangelization, in an attitude of listening, the progress after 50 years, the shadows, the challenges, what remains to be done...

The first recorded advance was synodality: 50 years ago the meeting was of the bishops of Amazonas; Now there were priests, men and women religious, lay men and women, indigenous people, ribeirinhos, people belonging to other social institutions linked or not with the Church, and representatives of the Legal Amazon, not just the Brazilian Amazon.

After the path traveled in these 50 years, in that historical attempt to update the Second Vatican Council in Amazonia, we have the documents of the Synod for Amazonas (Final Document and the apostolic exhortation "Dear Amazonia"), the documents of the meetings of the bishops, of the guidelines of the commission for Amazonas of the CNBB, of the creation of REPAM and its commitment to Amazonas, and, finally, the creation of CEAMA as a result of the Synod… Many things to analyze, listen, reflect …

With all this, a document was shaped and elaborated that collected the spirit of this meeting. The main objective is to enter into the diversity of Amazonas with the mission of announcing and witnessing to Jesus Christ and his missionary work, listening to the indications of the Holy Spirit through the people to take new missionary steps.

 

It is a simple document to help particular churches and encourage them to walk the path. It contains what was discussed in the meeting room: showing the Amazonian face of our Church by inculturating the liturgy, the role of the laity and especially of women, carrying out the ministries and establishing new ones (baptism, marriage, coordinator of the community...), being creative and welcoming (ordaining permanent deacons, the role of married priests...), specific formation of seminarians, pastoral agents, missionaries, defense of human rights in Amazonia (children, youth, workers, health, education ...), overcome clericalism through listening and dialogue, defense against large projects that destroy nature and are contrary to integral ecology, defense of native peoples, vocational promotion, forming missionary teams...

A document addressed to the people of God was also prepared, a letter of grateful response to Pope Francis and another addressed to Cardinal Claudio Hummes, pioneer in the Synod and commission for Amazonas.

Three Augustinian Recollect bishops were present at this IV Meeting: Jesús María Cizaurre, Bishop of Bragança, Santiago Sánchez, Bishop of Lábrea, and Jesús María López Mauleón, Bishop of Xingú-Tucumã. Joaquín Pertíñez was absent because, due to the cancellation of his flight, he could not be present.

 

In a fraternal and synodal atmosphere, the meeting ended and the attendees returned to their places of mission with a joyful and hopeful spirit, and with the certainty that "the Lord who began a good work in us -and invites us to collaborate by working in this part of his field, he himself will bring it to completion.” In this shipment Our Lady accompanies you in the image of the Virgin of Nazareth that we received as a souvenir...

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