Preparing for the Pan-Amazonia Synod

Amazon Synod logoMarch 6, 2019 — We talked about Green Lent and Vegan Lent this week. These issues are far from being pure abstractions, nor even liturgical coquetry: in the Amazon region and even more so in Brazil, it is a matter of life and death, in view of the repeated attacks on the tropical forest - the lungs of the planet - and the (indigenous) peoples who inhabit it, by mining, gas and forestry companies, as well as by the livestock farmers' lobby.

During his official visit to Chile and Peru last year, Pope Francis defended the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, threatened on all sides by "the strong pressure of major economic interests that covet oil, gas, timber, gold and agro-industrial monocultures". Hence the idea of dedicating the next Synod to this region, which is vital for the future of Catholicism but also and above all for the planet. Several prelates from this region - including Cardinal Pedro Barreto Jimeno, SJ, Archbishop of Huancayo (Jesuit) in the Peruvian Amazon - have championed the rights of indigenous peoples and the protection of the environment.

Since then, the Brazilians have brought the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro to power. Nostalgic for the era of the military junta, Bolsonaro was elected by the lobby of large landowners and cattle breeders, who covet the lands of the Amazon. Shortly after his election, he promised to hand over vast areas of the Amazonian forest, including the territories of indigenous peoples, to herders and logging companies.

A frontal collision therefore seems to be emerging between the Catholic Church and the Brazilian State. President Bolsonaro is already waging war in advance of the Synod on the Amazon, accusing the Catholic Church of putting forward a "leftist agenda".





Recent News

Father Jack Hall died peacefully on March 14, 2019 at the Jesuit Infirmary in Pickering, Ontario. He was in his 73rd year and was in religious life for 45 years. His care for the Society and the Church was genuine; his storytelling brought raucous laughter on his part.

March 15, 2019 — Film maker Kevin Moynihan, with the financial help the Jesuits and a number of other religious orders, has produced a documentary on the residential schools and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

March 15, 2019 — Dr. Nadia Delicata has just been appointed Episcopal Delegate for the Evangelisation of the Archdiocese of Malta by Mgr Charles J. Scicluna. This is the highest position ever held by a woman in the archdiocese.

March 14, 2019 — The Province of Canada has just created a Service for Common Discernment to assist Jesuit missions and apostolates, but also other organizations that would like to use it in their community discernment efforts.

March 14, 2019 —The famous Jesuit theologian Christoph Theobald will be teaching in Montreal next week. From March 22 to 24, he will give a lecture at the Dominican Pastoral Institute, a teaching inspired by his book Urgences pastorales (Pastoral Emergencies).

Father Remi Limoges died peacefully on 7 March at Rene Goupil House, Pickering. He was in his 94th year and in his 74th year of religious life. Remi was a great reader and would gladly engage in good conversation. He was a wise counselor.

March 8, 2019 — This Lent, take the time to remember and savour who you really are in God’s eyes by remembering God’s goodness to you.

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