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Rome Reports

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Pope meets with indigenous leaders in Vatican


“The children of the jungle praise You, Lord. The poor and forgotten, with an eagerness to be free.” Almost 40 leaders, mostly women of different indigenous Amazonian communities, greeted the pope with this song.

Pope Francis met with them to listen to their experiences and thoughts on the synod.

He also received many gifts, tokens of gratitude for the convening of the synodal assembly. This was one of the most striking and symbolic gifts.

“The pope is indigenous, the pope is Amazonian,” they said to Pope Francis after putting these feathers on his head.

During their meeting, the pope explained that the Gospel is like a seed that takes the characteristics of the soil that it grows in. This is why he stressed the importance of inculturation for communities to receive the proclamation of Jesus within their own cultures. Pope Francis also warned the indigenous leaders of the dangers of new forms of colonialism.

This encounter ended with a group photo. 

Translated: Rachel Dobrzynski