Card. Hummes presents the Assembly, opening on October 6, saying that "there are not two crises, one ecological and one social, but only one socio-environmental crisis", "the solutions require an integral approach, to fight poverty, restore dignity to the excluded and take care of creation, because everything is inter-connected ".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Evangelization and the need to take care of our common home", which means "defending every aspect of the life of human beings and taking care of biodiversity" will be at the heart of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon region, which will take place in the Vatican from 6 to 27 October on the theme: Amazonia: new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology.
Cardinal Claudio Hummes, O.F.M., president of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM) and General Relator of the Assembly, chaired the press conference for the presentation of the upcoming ecclesial appointment, held today in the Vatican.
The cardinal, who is Archbishop emeritus of São Paulo, also said that topics will include "the environmental emergency, the natives and the forest". "A true ecological approach - he explained - always becomes a social approach, which must integrate justice in the discourse on the environment to listen to both the cry of the earth and that of the poor".
Poor people who, in the Amazon, "are above all the natives, the small farmers and those who live in the suburbs of the cities". And since "there is not two crises, one ecological and one social, but only one socio-environmental crisis", "the solutions require an integral approach, to fight poverty, restore dignity to the excluded and take care of creation, because everything is inter-connected ".
The assembly will be attended by 184 synod fathers. There are all the bishops of the region that extends within 9 states (French Guyana, the Cooperativist Republic of Guyana, Surinam, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru), bishops from other particular Churches and regional ecclesial bodies or continental and the department heads of the Roman Curia who have some competence on the subject. These are some of the data provided by Cardinal. Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, who underlined that the Special Assembly is "a typology of Synod called to deal with matters that relate more to one or more specific geographical areas" (Apostolic Constitution Episcopalis Communio Art. 1, 3rd ). But even if attention is focused on a specific territory, every Synod always regards the universal Church ”.
Six fraternal delegates, representing other Churches and Ecclesial Communities present in the Amazon territory, will participate in the Synod. The presence of 12 special guests is of particular importance, "the highest number so far among the participants in a special Assembly. They have been chosen for their high scientific competence or as members of bodies that in various ways carry out activities of a humanitarian nature or aimed at protecting the environment. The number of participants is 25 experts, appointed on the basis of specific skills in various fields ".
There are 55 auditors. They include specialists and pastoral workers, the majority of whom come from the Pan-Amazonian region, even from the most internal places. 10 nuns represent the International Union of Superiors General (U.I.S.G.). "The total number of religious is higher than the other Synods, reflecting the pastoral and missionary importance they exercise".
“Among the participants in various capacities at the Synod, there is also the presence of 17 representatives of different original peoples and indigenous ethnic groups, including 9 women. They bring the voice and the living testimony of the traditions, culture and faith of their people and contribute to delineate a knowledge of the situation of the Amazonian Region that is as close as possible to the local reality ".
The total number of women participating in the Synod is 35: 2 special guests, 4 experts (of whom 2 are nuns) and 29 auditors (18 are nuns).
"Taking into account that one of the thematic axes of the Synod revolves around the ecological problem, the General Secretariat has promoted some initiatives with the aim of limiting pollution and favoring environmental sustainability, so as to contribute, as far as possible, to safeguard our common home ”. Among these: registrations online only; the glasses that will be used will be in biodegradable material; the bag with the work material that will be delivered to the Participants is in natural fiber and the paper used for the documents that will be distributed has been scrutinized for certifications of origin and production chain.