Pope: a 'Church with an Amazonian face' for an alternative development of the world

Presentation of the preparatory document of the Synod of Bishops for the Special Assembly for the Panamazon Region. The reflections of the Special Synod exceed the strictly Amazonian ecclesial sphere, reaching out to the universal Church and also to the future of the whole planet.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Amazon is "a mirror of all humanity" and in this sense, analyzing the problems concerning the largest green lung on the planet demand "structural and personal changes of all human beings, and of the Church".

This is what is stated in the "Special Preparatory Document of the Synod of Bishops for the Assembly for the Panamazon Region" scheduled for October 2019, presented today at the Vatican.

"The Special Synod’s reflections transcend the strictly ecclesial-Amazonian sphere, because they focus on the universal Church, as well as on the future of the entire planet. We begin with a specific geographical area in order to build a bridge to the other important biomes of our world: the Congo basin, the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, the tropical forests of the Asia Pacific region, and the Guarani Aquifer, among others. ".

The uncontrolled exploitation that ends up destroying, the result of an economic model for which, underlines the document, "profit is more important than human dignity" and in which "a culture of waste" predominates.

Faced with this reality, the Church "is called to deepen her identity in accordance with the realities of each territory and to grow in her spirituality by listening to the wisdom of her peoples. Therefore, the Special Assembly for the Pan-Amazonian Region is invited to find new ways of developing the Amazonian face of the Church and to respond to situations of injustice in the region, such as the neocolonialism of the extractive industries, infrastructure projects that damage its biodiversity, and the imposition of cultural and economic models which are alien to the lives of its peoples".

It is a "Church with an Amazonian face" that must " must “seek a model of alternative, integral, and solidarity-based development, grounded on an ethical code that includes responsibility for an authentic, natural, and human ecology, which is the foundation for the gospel of justice, solidarity, and the universal destiny of earthly goods. It means going beyond a utilitarian and individualistic logic that refuses to submit economic and technological powers to ethical criteria".

Therefore the people of God is called "not to remain indifferent to the injustices of the region in order to identify, in listening to the Spirit, the desired new paths". These new paths for the pastoral care of the Amazon - we finally read in the document - call for "re-launching the work of the Church" through "courageous" proposals, made with "audacity" and "fearlessness", as Pope Francis asks.