What will this Synod be like?
The Pope and the pre-synod commission presented us with two main themes. The first is linked to ecology. Pope Francis wants to make it understood that the problems of the Amazon are not confined there, but concern everyone. The second issue that will be addressed is our presence as a Church, the new Pastoral Paths that we must embark upon in those zones. As Church, we have been present in those places for 500 years, but we still have many answers to give.
What are your expectations?
I have great expectations for this Synod. It will be an opportunity to reflect on how to update our missionary work in these areas. It is no longer possible to reason like the first missionaries who arrived in the Americas. Now the missionary pastoral also has another dimension and I think that we, as today's pastors, must adapt.
You have been in the Venezuelan Amazon for four years. What is the situation in Venezuela today?
The Church in Venezuela remains the most credible institution for citizens, but there are big problems. The situation with the government is not easy and, although there is always talk about dialogue and meeting, we still do not see the results. In Venezuela we ask only one thing: to live in a peaceful society, as it was twenty years ago.
What can you say about the issue of migrants?
Almost 4 million Venezuelans have left their country. This obviously has a strong impact on families, work and school. We Salesians, who work in schools, realize that this is a very difficult situation.
How do young people experience this situation?
Some have lost hope and have left. Others have not wanted to leave their country and have remained to wait because they are convinced that Venezuela will be able to get out of this situation. For the Salesians, the youth theme is important and for this reason we have stayed with them. We have seen the number of young volunteers grow, ready to dedicate themselves to others, and this is simply wonderful.
The complete interview with Mons. Jonny Eduardo Reyes is available at: salesianipiemonte.info