RMG – From the Synod flows a river of life for the Amazon

28 October 2019

(ANS - Rome) - The Synod of Bishops on the Pan-Amazon region ended yesterday, Sunday 27 October. Holy Father Francis motivated this Synod with the title: "Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology". Fr Martín Lasarte, SDB, member of the Sector for Salesian Missions, appointed by Pope Francis to participate in the Synod, at the end of this meeting wrote a text in which he proposed a number of reflections.

As a synod father used to say, after the Andean waterfalls and rapids, one arrives at the placid and peaceful rivers of the Amazon that head towards the sea. The reading of the beautiful Final Document gives this sensation. After a rich and animated exchange of points of view, of sharing experiences that are at times very different, a serene Amazonian river has been reached, where the richness of its contents and equilibrium are present, without detracting from its strength and transforming vitality of nature, of society and of the life of men and women.

The document is a rich, abundant and profound river that collects many currents from different countries and from the experiences of the Amazon Churches.

One of the names that can be given to this river is "conversion". Conversion to Christ and His Gospel, which translates into a pastoral, cultural, ecological and synodal conversion.

I would particularly like to thank the important space dedicated to the Amazon with a young face: the concern for the young indigenous, the river communities, the African descendants, the migrants, the settlers, the peasants, the urbanized ... to whom the document lends particular attention ... In the light of the previous Synod, various questions arise: the need to accompany and educate them; to help their life project through discernment and vocational accompaniment; propose creative spaces to form leaders in a pastoral process focused on Jesus Christ and on His project, a dialogical and integral pastoral ministry. Young people are an enormous potential for their commitment in the Church and in society, and for their sensitivity to the care of the Common House, being able to be, for this reason, "prophets of hope".

One of the characteristics of the Synod is the preferential option for indigenous peoples .... Chapter IV presents the well-considered proposals in favor of integral ecology ... Chapter V presents the synodal conversion, built with great patience, handcrafted, in the search for consensus.


This Final Document is an authentic fruit of synodality. The fundamental aspect of ecclesial ministry appears. A creative ministry, capable of giving new missionary answers. It is open to dialogue and to the study of the permanent female diaconate and is called to establish criteria and provisions by the competent authority to ordain as priests suitable men acknowledged by the community, able to have a legitimately established and stable family, able to take care of the most remote regions of the Amazon.

We thank God for the gift of this Amazon Synod.

Fr Martín Lasarte, SDB



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