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VATICAN (ChurchMilitant.com) - Amazon Synod delegates are calling for the urgent creation of a permanent and representative episcopal organization to promote synodality in the Amazon. The group is meant to concretize and implement the directives issued by Pope Francis after the synod.
The new body will work for the defense of the rights of indigenous peoples, the integral formation of pastoral agents and the creation of Amazonian seminaries — a plan proposed by 180 synod fathers Tuesday morning at the 11th general congregation.
The episcopal organization is to contribute to the "physiognomy of the church in the Amazon," with a view to a more effective common pastoral outreach, and will be coordinated by REPAM (Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network) and integrated with CELAM (Latin American Episcopal Council).
It will also tackle common problems like land exploitation, delinquency, drug trafficking, human trafficking and prostitution.
Both REPAM and CELAM are in the forefront of pushing liberation theology and are vehicles for progressive ideologies, not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a source from Brazil told Church Militant.
The themes of eco-justice, climate change, liberation of indigenous peoples, inculturation, migrants, anti-colonialism, intergenerational justice, education and women's ministry dominated the morning and afternoon sessions Tuesday.
In a coded attack on capitalism, the synod referred to "the advancement of predatory and colonialist economic models, which often kill."
Synod fathers rejected "inter-Christian colonialism" in favor of ecumenism, indicating that they would work together with Protestants who have been successful in converting large numbers of Catholics to Evangelical and Pentecostal sects in the Amazon.
Instead, synod fathers would pursue missionary commitment from an ecumenical perspective "because a missionary church is also an ecumenical church."
Rejecting "proselytism," the synod instead insisted on "an 'intransigent defense' of indigenous peoples," stating that "their culture, their theology and their religion" is "a treasure to be safeguarded in the interest of all humanity."
Using the jargon of liberation theology, synod fathers urged Catholic universities to "make a preferential option for the education of indigenous peoples, or generate solidarity strategies to financially support indigenous universities," so that "the right to cultural identity is protected and the ancestral wisdom of the original Amazonian peoples is safeguarded, in the name of dialogue and the exchange of cultures, sensibilities, languages and visions."
"The world of the Amazon wants a Church that is allied to it," the synod fathers present with the Pope emphatically stated, describing the Amazon "as a raped woman whose cry it is to rally, because only in this way is evangelization reawakened."
The call for women ministers was reiterated in the context of the lack of priests and the inability of people to receive the sacraments regularly.
Fathers noted that the female ministry was based on the example of antiquity and reflected on the possibility of restoring similar ministries, in particular for the readership and the acolyte.
The synod also proposed changing the criteria for selecting and preparing the ministers authorized to administer the Eucharist "so that it is not destined to only a few," as well as dispensing priests from celibacy so as to be able to ordain married men.
Men would minister under the supervision of a responsible priest and exercise ministry in dispersed ecclesial communities.
Protecting the Amazon from the destruction of human beings is a responsibility of all humanity, synod fathers said in the afternoon session, calling for a "deep ecological conversion" and a global response in the face of the alleged risks deriving from climate change.
In fact, the seriousness of the problem necessitated the inclusion of a new canon within the Code of Canon Law relating to the duties of Christians towards the environment.
The synod said it would "leave room for the overabundance of the Spirit without closing up in functionalist solutions."