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Bishop of Peru: establishing an Amazonian rite would be a long-term task

One of the proposals of the synod was the possibility of a new rite: the Amazon rite. Rafael Escudero, who participated in the assembly, explains this is only a proposal and now they must study it to determine if the conditions are right.

Prelate of Moyobamba (Peru)
“I think this would be a very long-term task. A liturgical rite is not only an adaptation to the liturgy of the Church, but it also includes canonical rights of its own and traditions, as do Oriental Churches.”

Rafael Escudero is the bishop of Moyobamba, a territorial prelature of Peru as big as Switzerland with close to 1,000,000 inhabitants.

He explains that Andean and Amazonian indigenous people live there and their relationship is not simple. The Andeans are emigrants to the area, originally arriving due to starvation. In this zone, they found fertile grounds to cultivate. Now, they make up 75 percent of the population. However, Msgr. Escudero explains their method of cultivating the land has led to the deforestation of the jungle. This destruction of nature was carried out by necessity.

Prelate of Moyobamba (Peru)
“From the Church, we try to help everyone. From the Amazons to the Andes, from emigrants to the majority, they have formed communities, even building new cities.”

He explains the Moyobamba region is a poor area, where health and education are uncertain and there is much familial instability.

This is why his efforts as bishop have been centered on strengthening family and youth ministry.

Prelate of Moyobamba (Peru)
“We opted to work on family and youth. This is because we are convinced that vocations to consecrated life, religious life and priesthood will come from strong pastoral work with families and youth.”

He points out that the synod was not only an opportunity to speak about problems in the Amazon, but that it served to foster the exchange of experiences and communion between bishops, and the feeling of the Church.