In October 2019, a Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region will meet in Rome to discuss the theme “The Amazon: New paths for the Church and for integral ecology.”
A synod is an assembly of Catholic bishops convened by the pope to discuss a particular issue. To learn more about the synod, download this backgrounder.
Below are a number of resources on the Synod: what it is and how you can get involved.
In August of 2019, Pope Francis said that the Synod on the Amazon is "the child of Laudato Si'," his 2015 encyclical on caring for our common home. "Those who have not read it will never understand the Synod on the Amazon. Laudato Si' is not a green encyclical, it is a social encyclical, which is based on a 'green' reality, the custody of creation." You can read Laudato Si' here.
REPAM - the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network - is a Latin American Catholic church, transnational network created to respond to the challenges facing the people of the Amazon and their natural environment. It began in 2014 in Brazil as a project of the nine Churches of the Amazon region under the umbrella of the Latin American Bishops Conference. Visit their website for resources on the Amazon and the Synod.
REPAM and CIDSE have created a series of 17 mini video interviews on the Amazon covering issues such as the upcoming Synod, nature, climate, gender equality, indigenous rights, land rights, corporate regulation, and systemic change. You can watch the videos here.
SYNOD ON THE AMAZON: MODEL FOR THE WORLD
The Missionary Society of St. Columban has lived in the Amazon region and accompanied the communities that call it home, including the natural world, for over half a century. Columban missionaries are involved in the Synod process and are co-founders of REPAM - the Pan-Amazonia Ecclesial Network - which connects and strengthens the work of the Church in the Amazon region so that its cry of pain can be heard.
In the months leading up to the Synod, Columbans from across the world will contribute to a series of articles called Synod on the Amazon: Model for the World. This series is about the Synod process, the Amazon region, and the work for peace and justice happening there.
ONE AMAZON, MANY VOICES
The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns has a monthly two-page bulletin - One Amazon, Many Voices - which examines topics to be discussed at the Synod and their connections to the lived experiences of Maryknoll Missioners. Maryknoll invites people to learn, reflect, and pray on each month's theme.
Amazon Synod Final Document
On October 26, the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region released their final document. The document deals with a wide variety of topics, including integral ecology, defense of the indigenous people, the impact of extractive industries, and many other topics.
You can read a summary of the final document in English here.
North American Delegates to Amazon Synod Reflect on 'Integral Ecology'
"The Synod’s call to an integral ecology also invites delegates from the Global North to examine the ways in which the region is responsible, through fast-paced consumption and energy demand, for the depletion of natural resources in areas like the Amazon. This truth compels those in the Global North to take political action by supporting sustainable environmental policies."