“The Amazon Synod is making visible those who were invisible in society”

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The next big event for bishops, from across the world, in Rome is the Synod for the Amazon. It is a meeting which will discuss about this region of the planet as well as letting its voice be heard.

Vice-President, REPAM

'The indigenous people in the Amazon say, 'for the first time, ecclesiastical institutions and Pope Francis, who came to visit us in the Amazon, are taking us into account. We are important for the Church.''

'The Synod is helping them to recognize and raise their dignity. The Synod is making visible those who were invisible to society.”

President, REPAM

'They ask the Church to be their ally. They want the Church to recognize their right to decide and not the Church to decide for them. However, they want the Church to support them in their decisions. It means, that they, the indigenous people of the Amazon, are the protagonists of their history and others do not speak for them. They have a voice and do not want the Church to be their voice. Instead it is about the Church giving them strength and supporting them in what they propose.'

At the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, those responsible for organizing this synod have explained how the preparatory work is going. More than 260 meetings have already taken place in nine countries. These meetings featured indigenous Amazonian leaders, NGOs working in the Amazon as well as missionaries and bishops.

Executive Secretary, REPAM

'We had a specially themed pan-amazonian forums with an international vision on urgent matters such as Human Rights, women in the Amazon, communication, education, indigenous peoples and those in voluntary isolation. We also had round-table discussions with families and parishes in the most remote parishes.'

A final document which is now being prepared, will contain reflections on all these topics and is to be delivered in June to the bishops in the Amazon region.

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