From the Amazon River to the Tiber: Notes from a Special Synod

Victor Codina, SJ

 Victor Codina, SJ / Church Life / 2 January 2020

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Civilta Cattolica has already shared the experience of the Synod for the Amazon and its first fruit, the Final Document.[1] Here we would like to add a few personal notes on some aspects of this important ecclesial event.

The first protagonists

At the center of the Synod for the Panamazon Region were the indigenous people, the men and women of the Amazon. They were present both through numerous consultations – involving over 87,000 people in the preparation of the Instrumentum laboris – and through those men and women who participated personally in the synod.

The presence of the indigenous people was felt with great clarity and gave substance to the reflection and debate among the synod fathers. The synod, therefore, did not limit itself to knowing the reality through pastoral experiences or sociological studies, but listened directly to the voice of the indigenous people present in the hall. This process was set in motion when Pope Francis went to meet indigenous peoples at Puerto Maldonado (Peru) in January 2018, telling them that he had come to listen to them and to defend their lives, their culture and their territory.[2]

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