Monday, October 7, 2019

Saint October 8 : St. Pelagia a Virgin who Died in 311 at the age of 15 trying to Escape from Soldiers

St. Pelagia
VIRGIN

She was a tender virgin at Antioch, only fifteen years of age when she was apprehended by the persecutors in 311. Being alone in the house, and understanding that their errand was to carry her before the judge, where her chastity might be in danger, she desired leave of the soldiers to go up stairs and dress herself. But fearing to be an innocent occasion to others' sin, threw herself from the top of the house, and died on the spot by her fall: in which action, says St. Chrysostom, she had Jesus in her breast inspiring and exhorting her. She probably hoped to escape by that means; and might lawfully expose her life to some danger for the preservation of her chastity; but nothing will ever make it lawful for any one directly to procure his own death.
Whoever deliberately lays violent hands upon himself is guilty of a heinous injury against God, the Lord of his life, against the commonwealth, which he robs of a member, and of that comfort and assistance which he owes to it; also against his friends, children, and lastly against himself, both by destroying his corporeal life, and by the spiritual and eternal death of his soul; this crime being usually connected with final impenitence, and eternal enmity with God, and everlasting damnation. Nor can a name be found sufficiently to express the baseness of soul, and utmost excess of pusillanimity, impatience, and cowardice, which suicide implies. Strange that any nation should, by false prejudices, be able so far to extinguish the most evident principles of reason and the voice of nature, as to deem that an action of courage which springs from a total want of that heroic virtue of the soul. The same is to be said of the detestable practice of duels. True fortitude incites and enables a man to bear all manner of affronts, and to undergo all humiliations, dangers, hardships, and torments, for the sake of virtue and duty. What is more contrary to this heroic disposition, what can be imagined more dastardly, than not to be able to put up a petty affront and rather to offend against all laws divine and human, than to brook an injury or bear a misfortune with patience and constancy, than to observe the holy precept of Christ, who declares this to be his favorite commandment, the distinguishing mark of his followers, and the very soul of the divine law! Mention is made of a church at Antioch, and another at Constantinople, which bore the name of this saint in the fifth century.
SOURCE:The Catholic Encyclopedia

Pope Francis opens Amazon Synod saying "The Holy Spirit is the main actor of the synod...let's not throw it out of the room." Full Text



OPENING OF THE WORK OF THE SPECIAL ASSEMBLY OF THE
SYNOD OF BISHOPS FOR THE PANAMAZONIC REGION ON THE TOPIC
“NEW ROADS FOR THE CHURCH AND FOR AN INTEGRAL ECOLOGY”

GREETING OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCISCO

Synod Classroom
Monday, October 7, 2019

Brothers and sisters, good morning!

Welcome and thank you for your preparatory work: everyone has worked hard, from that moment in Puerto Maldonado until today. Thank you.

The Synod ... I'm going to speak in Spanish, better.

The Synod for the Amazon can say that it has four dimensions: the pastoral dimension, the cultural dimension, the social dimension and the ecological dimension. The first, the pastoral dimension is the essential one, which encompasses everything. We approach with a Christian heart and see the reality of the Amazon with the eyes of a disciple to understand and interpret it with the eyes of a disciple, because there are no neutral hermeneutics, aseptic hermeneutics, they are always conditioned by a previous option, our previous option is that of disciples. And also with the eyes of missionaries, because the love that the Holy Spirit put in us drives us to the announcement of Jesus Christ; An announcement - we all know - that it is not to be confused with proselytism, but we approach to consider the Amazonian reality, with this pastoral heart, with the eyes of disciples and missionaries because the announcement of the Lord rushes us. And we also approach the Amazonian peoples on tiptoe, respecting their history, their cultures, their style of good living, in the etymological sense of the word, not in the social sense that we give them so many times, because the towns have an entity own, all peoples have their own wisdom, self-awareness, peoples have a feeling, a way of seeing reality, a history, a hermeneutic and tend to be protagonists of their own history with these things, with these qualities. And we approach alien to ideological colonizations that destroy or reduce the idiosyncrasies of the peoples. Today is so common this ideological colonization. And we approach without the entrepreneurial eagerness to make preconditioned programs, to "discipline" the Amazonian peoples, to discipline their history, their culture; not that, that desire to domesticate native peoples. When the Church forgot about this, how it has to approach a people, it was not inculturized; I even underestimate certain peoples. And how many failures we regret today. Think of De Nobile in India, Ricci in China and many others. The "homogenizing" and "homogenizing" centralism did not reveal the authenticity of the culture of the peoples.
Ideologies are a dangerous weapon, we always tend to grab an ideology to interpret a people. Ideologies are reductive, and lead us to exaggeration in our claim to understand intellectually, but without accepting, understanding without admiring, understanding without assuming, and then reality is received in categories, the most common are the categories of "isms." So when we have to get closer to the reality of some native people, we talk about indigenisms, and when we want to give them a clue to their better life, we don't ask them, we talk about developmentalism. These "isms" reformulate life from the enlightened and enlightened laboratory. They are slogans that are taking root and program the approach to the original peoples. In our country, a motto: "civilization and barbarism" served to divide, to annihilate and reached the summit, towards the end of the 80s, to annihilate most of the original peoples, because they were "barbarism" and "civilization" came on the other side It is the contempt of the people and - I go to the experience of my land - that, "civilization and barbarism", which served to annihilate peoples, is still in my homeland, with offensive words, and then we speak of second degree civilization, those who come from barbarism; and today they are the “little balls, the Paraguayans, the umbrellas, the little black heads”, always that move away from the reality of a town qualifying it and putting distances. That is the experience of my country. And then the contempt. Yesterday I was very sad to hear in here a mocking comment about that godly lord who carried the offerings with feathers on his head, tell me: What is the difference between wearing feathers on the head and the "tricorn" used by some officers of our dicasteries? Then we run the risk of proposing simply pragmatic measures, when, on the contrary, we are asked to contemplate the peoples, a capacity for admiration, to make them think paradigmically. If anyone comes with pragmatic intentions, pray the “sinful self”, turn and open your heart to a paradigmatic perspective that is born from the reality of the peoples.

We have not come here to invent programs of social development or custody of cultures, of the museum type, or of pastoral actions with the same non-contemplative style with which the actions of the opposite sign are being carried out: deforestation, standardization, exploitation. They also do programs that do not respect poetry - I allow myself the word - the reality of the peoples that is sovereign. We also have to take care of worldliness in the way of demanding points of view, changes in the organization. Worldliness always infiltrates us and keeps us from the poetry of the people. We come to contemplate, to understand, to serve the peoples; and we do it along a synodal path, we do it in synod, not in round tables, not in conferences or in subsequent discussions; We do it in synod, because a synod is not a parliament, it is not a parlor, it is not to show who has more power over the media and who has more power between the networks to impose any idea or any plan. This would form a congregationalist Church, if we intend to search through the polls who has a majority. Or a sensationalist Church so far away, so distant from our Holy Mother the Catholic Church, or as St. Ignatius liked to say: "our Holy Mother the hierarchical Church." Synod is to walk together under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the main actor of the synod. Please, let's not throw it out of the room. Consultations were made, discussed in the Episcopal Conferences, in the Presinodal Council, the Instrumentum laboris was elaborated which, as you know, is a martyr text, destined to be destroyed, because it is the starting point for what the Spirit will do in we and, now, walk us under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Now we must let the Holy Spirit express itself in this Assembly, express among us, express with us, through us and express "despite" us, despite our resistance, it is normal that there are, because The Christian's life is like that.

And then, what will be our work here to ensure that this presence of the Holy Spirit is fruitful? First of all, pray. Sisters and brothers: I ask you to pray a lot. Reflect, dialogue, listen with humility, knowing that I do not know everything. And speak with courage, with parrhesia, even if I have to go ashamed, say what I feel, discern and, all this inside, guarding the fraternity that must exist here inside. And to favor this attitude of reflection, prayer, discernment, of listening with humility and speaking with courage. After four interventions we will have a space of four minutes of silence. Someone said: "It is dangerous, Father, because they are going to sleep." The Synod's experience of young people, that we did the same, was rather the opposite, that they tended to fall asleep during the interventions, at least some of them, and they would wake up in silence. Finally, to be in the synod is to be encouraged to enter a process. It is not occupying a space in the room. Enter a process. And ecclesial processes have a need. They need to be guarded, cared for, like the baby, accompanied at the beginning. Care with delicacy. They need warmth of community, they need warmth from Mother Church. An ecclesial process grows like this. Therefore, the attitude of respect, of taking care of the fraternal atmosphere, the air of intimacy is important. And it's about not venting everything, as it comes, outside. But it is not about those who must inform of a secret more typical of the lodges than of the ecclesial community, but of delicacy and prudence in the communication that we will do outside. And this need to communicate out to so many people who want to know, to our brothers, journalists, who have the vocation to serve to be known, and to help this, press services, briefings, etc. are provided.

But, a process like that of a synod can be ruined a bit if I leave what I think, I say mine, and then there is that characteristic that was seen in some synods: the synod inside and the synod from outside. The synod inside that follows a path of Mother Church, of care of the processes and the synod of the outside that, by information given with lightness, given with imprudence, moves informants ex officio to mistakes. Thank you for what you are doing, thank you for praying for each other, and encouragement. And please, let's not lose our sense of humor.
Source: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/es/speeches/2019/october/documents/papa-francesco_20191007_apertura-sinodo.html - Image Source: Vatican.va

#BreakingNews 2 Christian Aid workers Killed by Boko Haram in Nigeria - Please Pray



Christianpost reports that theIslamic extremist group Boko Haram has released a video in which its militants executed two Christian aid workers in Nigeria and vow to kill every believer they capture in the future.

According to Morning Star News, the terrorist group released the video last week on its official news agency site Amaq. In the video, Lawrence Duna Dacighir and Godfrey Ali Shikagham, both members of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) in Plateau state, are shown kneeling while three masked, armed men stand behind them.

The two young men, who had gone to Maiduguri to help build shelters for people displaced by Islamic extremist violence, are then shot from behind. Speaking in the Hausa language, one terrorist states the group has vowed to kill every Christian they capture in revenge for Muslims killed in past religious conflicts in Nigeria.

Pastor Pofi, a cousin of the two executed Christians, told Morning Star News that the two men were captured by Boko Haram, now called the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), as they carried out their work in a displaced persons camps.

“Lawrence and Godfrey left Abuja for Maiduguri in search of opportunities to utilize their skills for the betterment of humanity and paid with their lives,” Pofi said. “We will never get their corpses to bury. The community will have to make do with a makeshift memorial to these young lives cut short so horrifically.”

Pastor Pofi argued that if the federal government had created economic opportunities for those tempted to join extremist groups and had returned security to the country, the two Christian men would not be dead.

“We must ask ourselves if this is the kind of country we want where young men who are earning an honest living are brutally killed while those who abduct and kill others are invited to dialogue with government and paid handsomely,” he said.

In a letter to the United Nations secretary-general, Emmanuel Ogebe of the U.S.-Nigeria Law Group, a legal consulting firm with an emphasis on human rights, said the recent spate of murders amount to "ethnic cleansing."

“More executions of humanitarian workers could yet occur,” Ogebe wrote to the U.N.

Nigeria ranks as the 12th-worst nation in the world when it comes to Christian persecution. Boko Haram is one of the most violent terrorist groups in the world, wreaking havoc in Nigeria’s northeast and Lake Chad region. Over the last decade, the group has killed an estimated 35,000 civilians and displaced thousands more.

In July, Boko Haram splinter group ISWAP — a group that has ties to Islamic State terrorists — kidnapped six Christian aid workers from the humanitarian group Action Against Hunger. The group later released a video in which the captured aid workers begged the Nigerian government for help.

Last week, militants released a video of them beheading one of the abducted men and blaming the Nigerian government for deceiving them after months of negotiations. They have also said that if nothing is done, they will execute the other five captives as well.

Action Against Hunger confirmed the news on its official Twitter page: “Action Against Hunger condemns in the strongest terms this assassination and urgently calls for the release of the hostages, reminding them that they were present in the north-east of the country only to help the most vulnerable,” the group said.

“Action Against Hunger is extremely concerned and is fully mobilized to ensure that the remaining hostages can be quickly and safely reunited with their families.”

The news of the execution comes just days after Action Against Hunger was shut down in Nigeria after army bosses accused it of "aiding and abetting" terrorists in the country's war-torn northeast region, the BBC reported.

However, the group has denied the allegations, claiming it “delivers neutral, impartial, and independent humanitarian aid to millions of people in Borno and Yobe States by providing basic services to the most vulnerable people, especially women and children.”

“This decision, given without notice, has put into jeopardy the vital assistance that Action Against Hunger is providing to millions of people across Borno and Yobe States,” the group said on its website.

Earlier this month, two Action Against Hunger staff members were killed in an ambush in a refugee camp in the Gambella region of Ethiopia.
Edited from Christian Post By Leah MarieAnn Klett, Christian Post Reporter
Image Source: Morning Star News Screenshot

Amazon Synod Opening Cláudio Cardinal Hummes quotes Pope John Paul II "Together with inculturation, the evangelisation of the peoples..." Full Text


After the speech of the Holy Father Francis and the Report of the General Secretary, the Cardinal Em. Lorenzo Baldisseri, the 1st General Congregation of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region, on the theme: "Amazonia: new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology "(6-27 October 2019), continued in the Synod Hall in the Vatican with the presentation of the Introductory Report of the General Relator, the Cardinal Em. Claudio Hummes, OFM, Archbishop Emeritus of São Paulo, President of the Episcopal Commission for the Amazon of the National Bishops Conference of Brazil and President of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM).

Below is the full delivered text - Official Translation:
The subject of the Synod we are inaugurating is, “Amazonia: New Pathways for the Church and for an integral ecology.” The theme addressed follows the broad pastoral guidelines characteristic of Pope Francis for creating new pathways. From the very beginning of his papal ministry, Pope Francis has emphasised the Church’s need to move forward. The Church cannot remain inactive within her own closed circle, focused on herself, surrounded by protective walls and even less can she look nostalgically to the past. The Church needs to throw open her doors, knock down the walls surrounding her and build bridges, going out into the world and setting out on the path of history. In these times of momentous changes, the Church must always walk next to everyone and especially those living on the margins of humankind; an “outgoing” Church. Why outgoing? So as to turn on the lights and warm the hearts of those who help people, communities, countries and all humankind to discover the meaning of life and of history. These lights are above all the announcement of the person of Jesus Christ, dead and risen, and of His Kingdom, as is the practice of mercy as well as charity and solidarity above all towards the poor, those who suffer, the forgotten and the marginalised in today’s world such as migrants and indigenous peoples.
It is moving forwards that makes the Church loyal to its true tradition. Traditionalism, which remains linked to the past, is one thing, but true tradition, which is the Church’s living history, is something else through which every generation, accepting what has been handed down by previous generations, such as understanding and experiencing faith in Jesus Christ, enriches this tradition in current times with their own experience and understanding of faith in Jesus Christ.
The light means announcing Jesus Christ and untiringly practising mercy in the Church’s living tradition. It means showing the path to be followed in moving forwards inclusively in a way that invites, welcomes and encourages everyone, with no exceptions, as friends and siblings, respecting the differences between us.
“New pathways.” One must not fear what is new. In his 2013 Pentecost homily, Pope Francis already expressed the idea that, “Newness always makes us a bit fearful, because we feel more secure if we have everything under control, if we are the ones who build, programme and plan our lives in accordance with our own ideas, our own comfort, our own preferences... (...) We fear that God may force us to strike out on new paths and leave behind our all too narrow, closed and selfish horizons in order to become open to his own. Yet throughout the history of salvation, whenever God reveals himself, he brings newness - God always brings newness -, and demands our complete trust.” In the Evangelii Gaudium (no. 11), the Pope portrays Jesus Christ as “eternal newness”. He is always new, He is always the same newness, “yesterday, today and forever” (Heb 13, 8) He is what is new. That is why the Church prays using the words, “Send forth your spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.” So we must not fear newness, we must not fear Christ, the new. This Synod is in search of new pathways.
In his speech to Brazilian bishops during the 2013 World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, speaking of the Amazon as “a litmus test for Church and society in Brazil,” the Pope proposed that the “the Church’s work needs to be further encouraged and launched afresh [in Amazonia], consolidating the results achieved in the area of training a native clergy and providing priests suited to local conditions and committed to consolidating, as it were, the Church’s Amazonian face.” Pope Francis added, “In this, please, I ask you, be courageous, and have parrhesia! In the “porteño” language [of Buenos Aires], be fearless.” This inevitably returns us to the history of the Church in that region. Ever since the very beginning of the colonisation of Amazonia, Catholic missionaries were there both to provide assistance to the colonisers and to evangelise the indigenous peoples. This marked the beginning of the Church’s evangelising mission in the region. Amidst light and shadow – certainly more lights than shadows – later generations of missionaries of both genders, above all religious Orders and Congregations, but also diocesan priests and lay people– in particular women – tried to bring Jesus Christ to local people and establish Catholic communities. In this synod, it is right to remember, acknowledge and exalt the heroic history, and often martyrdom, of all the missionaries of the past as well as those who are today in Pan-Amazonia. In addition to missionaries, there have also always been many lay and indigenous leaders who provided heroic testimony and were often killed, as still happens today. Furthermore, one cannot forget that the missionary Church of Amazonia distinguished itself – and still does today – for the great and essential services provided to local populations in terms of schools, health care, the fight against poverty and human rights violations. On the other hand, the history of the Church in Pan-Amazonia shows us that there has always been a great lack of material resources and not enough missionaries for the full development of a community with, in particular, an almost total absence of the Eucharist and other sacraments essential for daily Christian life.
The Amazonian aspect of the local Church must be consolidated, as Pope Francis said in the aforementioned speech made to Brazilian Bishops and, as exhorted by His Holiness in Puerto Maldonado (19.01.2018), so must its indigenous aspect within indigenous communities. Ever since the Synod was announced, the Pope has made it clear that the Church’s relationship with indigenous people and the Amazon Forest is to be one of its central subjects. In announcing the Synod and in explaining its objectives, Francis said, “The main purpose of this convocation is to identify new paths for the evangelization of this segment of the People of God, especially the indigenous peoples, often forgotten and without the prospect of a peaceful future, also due to the crisis of the Amazon rainforest, the lungs of paramount importance for our planet” (Vatican City, 15.10.17). In Puerto Maldonado, he also told the indigenous people, “I wanted to come to visit you and listen to you, so that we can stand together, in the heart of the Church, and share your challenges and reaffirm with you a heartfelt option for the defence of life, the defence of the earth and the defence of cultures.” In the synodal consultation stages, the indigenous people made manifest in various ways that they want the Church’s support in defending and upholding their rights as well as in the creation of their future. They ask that the Church be a constant ally. This is because humankind has a great debt towards the indigenous peoples on the planet’s various continents and therefore also in Amazonia. It is necessary that the right to be the leading players in their own history be returned and guaranteed to indigenous populations, as the subjects and not objects of the spirit or the victims of anyone’s colonialism. Their cultures, languages, history, identity and spirituality are humanity’s wealth and must be respected and preserved as well as included in global culture.
The Church’s mission today in Amazonia is the Synod’s central issue. This is a Synod of the Church for the Church. Not an inward looking Church, but one integrated in the history and the reality of the territory – in this case Amazonia –, attentive to calls for help and the populations’ aspirations and the “common home” [the creation]. A Church open to dialogue, especially interreligious and intercultural dialogue. A Church that is welcoming and wanting to share a synodal path with other churches, religions, sciences, governments, institutions, peoples, communities and persons. A Church respecting differences, with the intention of defending and promoting life for the populations in the area, above all those who originated there, while preserving biodiversity in the Amazon region. An updated Church, “simper reformanda”, according to the Evangelii Gaudium; an outgoing missionary Church, explicitly announcing Jesus Christ, welcoming and communicative, merciful, poor, for the poor and with the poor. Therefore a Church with a preferential, encultured, inter-cultural and increasingly more synodal attention paid to the poor. A Marian Church, fuelled by devotion for the Most Holy Virgin Mary, according to many local titles, especially that of Maria de Nazaré, whose festivity brings together millions of pilgrims and faithful every year in Belém do Pará.
Inculturation of the Christian faith in the various different cultures is necessary. As St. John Paul II says about the missionary mandate of the Christian faith in the various different cultures, “The need for such involvement has marked the Church's pilgrimage throughout her history, but today it is particularly urgent.” (Redemptoris Missio, 52). Together with inculturation, the evangelisation of the peoples of the Amazon also requires paying particular attention to inter-culturality, because it is there that cultures are many and diversified, although they continue to share a number of common roots. The task of inculturation and inter-culturality lies above all in the liturgy, in interreligious and ecumenical dialogue, in popular piety, in catechesis, in daily coexistence in a dialogue with autochthon peoples in social and charitable works, in consecrated life and urban pastoral care.
One cannot however forget that nowadays and already for a very long time, the Church in Amazonia has suffered a great lack of the resources needed for its mission and that it needs to increase its communications potential (radio and television).
Within this broad context, the Church and integral ecology are united in this region. Ours is a Church that is aware that its religious mission, in keeping with its faith in Jesus Christ, inevitably includes “care of the common home”. This bond also proves that the cries of the land and those of the poor in this region are one and the same. Life in Amazonia has perhaps never before been so threatened “by environmental destruction and exploitation and by the systematic violation of the basic human rights of the Amazon population. In particular, the violation of the rights of indigenous peoples, such as the right to territory, to self-determination, to the demarcation of territories, and to prior consultation and consent.” (IL,14). According to synodal consultations with local populations, the threat to life in Amazonia derives from the financial and political interests of dominant sectors in today’s society, in particular those of companies that extract riches below the ground in a predatory and irresponsible manner [legally or illegally] also altering biodiversity. This often takes place in collusion or with the compliance of local and national governments and at times also with the consent of some local authorities.
Numerous consultations held throughout the Amazon show that the communities consider that life in the Amazon is especially threatened by: (a) criminalization and assassination of leaders and defenders of the territory; (b) appropriation and privatization of natural goods such as water itself; (c) both legal logging concessions and illegal logging; (d) predatory hunting and fishing, mainly in rivers; (e) mega-projects: hydroelectric and forest concessions, logging for monoculture production, construction of roads and railways, or mining and oil projects; (f) pollution caused by the entire extractive industry that causes problems and diseases, especially among children and young people; (g) drug trafficking; (h) the resulting social problems associated with these threats such as alcoholism, violence against women, sex work, human trafficking, loss of original culture and identity (language, spiritual practices and customs), and all conditions of poverty to which the peoples of the Amazon are condemned (IL,15).
Integral ecology teaches us that everything is connected, human beings and nature. All living beings on the planet are children of the earth. The human body is made of the “dust of the ground”, into which God “breathed” the spirit of life as the Bible says (cf. Gen 2,7). Consequently, all damage done to the earth damages human beings and all the other living creatures on the earth. This proves that one cannot address ecology, economy, culture and other issues separately. In the Laudato si’ it is stated that they must be considered as one; an environmental, economic, social and cultural ecology (cf. LS, cap. IV).
The Son of God too became a man and his human body comes from the earth. In this body, Jesus died for us on the Cross to overcome evil and death, he rose again among the dead and now sits to the right of God the Father in eternal and immortal glory. The Apostle Paul writes, “For in him all the fullness was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile all things for him (...) whether those on earth or those in heaven.”(Col. 1,19-20). In Laudato si’ we read that, “This leads us to direct our gaze to the end of time, when the Son will deliver all things to the Father, so that “God may be everything to everyone” (1 Cor.15:28). Thus, “the creatures of this world no longer appear to us under merely natural guise because the risen One is mysteriously holding them to himself and directing them towards fullness as their end” (LS, 100). It is thus that God has definitively connected Himself to His entire creation. This mystery is accomplished in the sacrament of the Eucharist. This Synod is held within the context of a serious and urgent climatic and ecological crisis, which involves our entire planet. The planet’s global warming caused by the greenhouse effect has resulted in an unprecedented, serious and pressing climatic imbalance as stated in the Laudato si’ and the Paris COP21, where practically all the countries in the world signed the Agreement on climate that for the moment has remained almost unimplemented in spite of its urgency. At the same time, the planet is experiencing galloping devastation, depredation and degradation of the earth’s resources, all fostered by a globalised, predatory and devastating technocratic paradigm reported by Laudato si’. The earth cannot take this anymore.
The immense urban reality of Amazonia, partly the result of internal migrations, and the presence of the Church in cities are another central theme in this Synod, because in cities the Church too must develop and consolidate its Amazonian face. It cannot be a reproduction of the urban Church in other regions. The Church’s mission in Amazonia includes the care and defence of the Amazon Forest and its people: indigenous, caboclos, ribeirinhos, quilombolas, poor of all species, small farmers, fishermen, seringueiros, coconut splitters and others, depending on the region. This mission will certainly not be a burden, but a joy such as only the Gospel can offer. Nowadays migrations are a global phenomenon, marking current times in Pan-Amazonia, amidst those of Haitians in the past and Venezuelans today, but, above all, those of the indigenous people and others groups of the poor in the region’s interior. The Church has made a great effort to welcome them. One must, however, highlight the migrations of indigenous people to the cities in their thousands. They need effective and compassionate attention so as not to culturally and humanly succumb in cities, faced with extreme poverty, abandonment, rejection, disdain and denial, thereby experiencing a desperate internal void. “Indigenous individuals in the city are migrants, landless human beings, survivors of a historic battle for the demarcation of their land, with their cultural identity in crisis.” (IL, 132). For many reasons they are obliged to be invisible. One must listen to the often silent but no less real and bitter calls for help of urban indigenous people. The Church in the cities faces all the social and religious problems of its poorest peripheries and of the evangelisation of all sectors of the urban population.
Another issue consists in the lack of priests at the service of local communities in the area, with a consequent lack of the Eucharist, at least on Sundays, as well as other sacraments. There is a lack of appointed priests and this means pastoral care consisting of occasional instead of adequate daily pastoral care. The Church lives on the Eucharist and the Eucharist is the foundation of the Church (St. John Paul II). Participation in the celebration of the Eucharist, at least on Sundays, is essential for the full and progressive development of Christian communities and a true experience of the Word of God in people’s lives. It will be necessary to define new paths for the future. During the consultation stages, indigenous communities, faced with the urgent need experienced by most of the Catholic communities in Amazonia, requested that the path be opened for the ordination of married men resident in their communities, albeit confirming the great importance of the charisma of celibacy in the Church. At the same time, faced with a great number of women who nowadays lead communities in Amazonia, there is a request that this service be acknowledged and there be an attempt to consolidate it with a suitable ministry for them.
Another important chapter concerns water, “Clean drinking water is an issue of primary importance. It is indispensable for human life and to sustain terrestrial or aquatic ecosystems.” (LS 28). The lack of safe drinking water is a growing threat all over the planet. “The questions that you are discussing are not marginal, but basic and pressing. (...). All people have a right to safe drinking water. This is a basic human right and a central issue in today’s world,” said Pope Francis in a speech made on February 24th, 2017. The Amazon is one of the planet’s largest reserves of freshwater. “The Amazon River basin and the surrounding tropical forests nourish the soil and regulate, through the recycling of moisture, the cycles of water, energy and carbon at the planetary level. The Amazon River alone sends 15% of the total fresh water of the planet every year into the Atlantic Ocean. The Amazon is essential for the distribution of rainfall in other distant regions of South America and contributes to the great movements of air around the planet. Moreover, it nurtures the nature, life and cultures of thousands of indigenous, peasant, Afro-descendant, river and urban communities.(...). Its generous natural abundance of water, heat and humidity means that the ecosystems of the Amazon host around 10% to 15% of the terrestrial biodiversity.”(IL,9). The role played by the forest and the indigenous populations also matters. In Amazonia the forest effectively takes care of the water and the water takes care of the forest, as together they produce biodiversity and the indigenous people have been the guardians of this system for millennia. It is for this reason that the Church also feels it is called upon to look after the water of our “shared home”, threatened mainly in Amazonia by global warming, deforestation and the contamination caused by mining and pesticides.
In conclusion, to comply with the working dynamics of this synodal assembly, I wish to suggest a number of core issues: a) The outgoing Church and its new pathways in Amazonia; b) The Church’s Amazonian face: inculturation and inter-culturality in a missionary-ecclesial context; c)Ministries in the Church in Amazonia: presbyterate, deaconate, ministries and the role played by women; d) The work done by the Church in looking after our “shared home”; listening to the earth and to the poor; integral environmental, economic, social and cultural ecology; e) The Amazonian Church in the urban reality; f) The issues concerning water; g) others.
I would like to conclude by inviting everyone to allow themselves to be guided by the Holy Spirit during these days of the Synod. Allow yourselves to be enveloped by the cloak of the Mother of God, Queen of Amazonia. We must not allow ourselves to be overcome by self-referentiality, but by mercy when faced with the pain expressed by the poor and the earth. We will need to pray a great deal, to meditate and discern a real practice of ecclesial communion and a synodal spirit. This Synod is like a table that God has prepared for His poor and He is asking us to serve at that table.
[01593-EN.01] [Original text: Portuguese]

Novena to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary - Powerful Prayers to the Mother of Jesus


Say this prayer along with the Rosary for nine days.
 My dearest Mother Mary, behold me, your child, in prayer at your feet. Accept this Holy Rosary, which I offer you in accordance with your requests at Fatima, as a proof of my tender love for you, for the intentions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in atonement for the offenses committed against your Immaculate Heart, and for this special favor which I earnestly request in my Rosary Novena: (Mention your request).
 I beg you to present my petition to your Divine Son. If you will pray for me, I cannot be refused. I know, dearest Mother, that you want me to seek God's holy Will concerning my request. If what I ask for should not be granted, pray that I may receive that which will be of greater benefit to my soul. I offer you this spiritual "Bouquet of Roses" because I love you. I put all my confidence in you, since your prayers before God are most powerful. For the greater glory of God and for the sake of Jesus, your loving Son, hear and grant my prayer. Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.
SEE ALSO:

Saint October 7 : Our Lady of the Rosary who helped defeat an army at the Battle of Lepanto

https://www.catholicnewsworld.com/2019/10/saint-october-7-our-lady-of-rosary-who.html

Amazon Synod Opening "Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for Integral Ecology" Report by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, General Secretary - Full Text


#SinodoAmazonico - 1st General Congregation: Report by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, General Secretary, 07.10.2019 (FULL Video at Bottom of Post)


At 9.00 this morning, in the presence of the Holy Father Francis, the 1st General Congregation of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region began in the Synod Hall in the Vatican, on the theme: "Amazonia: new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology "(6-27 October 2019).

We publish below the Report that the Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, gave at the opening of the synodal works, after the speech of the Holy Father Francis:

Report by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri

Most Holy Father,
Eminences, Excellencies,
Brothers and sisters,

It is with immense joy that I take the floor in this inaugural session of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region, gathered in the name of Jesus Christ and dedicated to the theme "Amazonia: new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology". I warmly thank Your Holiness for having wanted to entrust to the Synod of Bishops the reflection on a subject of such extraordinary importance for the Church that lives in Panamazzonia and for the present and the future of all humanity. My thanks also include a special gratitude for the recent appointment of the Pro-Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops in the person of the Most Honest Mario Grech, to whom I address a cordial and fraternal welcome. He embodies himself in our synodal path by joining me in the guidance of the General Secretariat and is therefore counted among Members of this worthy Synod.

The theme assigned by Your Holiness to this Special Assembly discloses vast horizons to reflect deeply on the Amazon, that garden of immense riches and natural resources, mother earth of indigenous peoples with a history and an unmistakable face, territory extremely threatened by ambition huge man instead of being treated.

Under the guidance of the Spirit we want to go in search of new paths to correspond to a double objective. On the one hand, the Synod constitutes a real challenge for the Church, since the Amazon is a mission land with its own characteristics that require adequate proposals to respond to the "need to evangelize cultures to inculturate the Gospel" ( EG 69). On the other hand, the synodal assembly will have to face the provocation advanced by the environmental question. The Church intends to respond to this with an integral ecology that, as Your Holiness has taught us, "requires openness to categories that transcend the language of the exact sciences or of biology and connect us with the essence of the human" (LS 11).

The Synod Assembly, which today is entering into its celebratory phase, is also a real challenge for all the People of God, Pastors and flocks, and in particular for all of us who have received, as a gift from Providence, the call to participate. To have the precise orientation of this synodal path, it is opportune to recall what the Holy Father has indicated, from the beginning of this convocation, namely: "to identify new ways for the evangelization of that portion of the People of God, especially of the indigenous, often forgotten and without the prospect of a serene future, also because of the crisis of the Amazon forest, a lung of capital importance for our planet ". [1] Consequently, not only must we, first and foremost, listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, as it is there that the voice of the Spirit is heard that speaks through the People of God in the Amazon, but we must also respond with heart of pastors to their problems through appropriate proposals and good suggestions to the Holy Father.

In introducing the synodal works, I would also like to address a cordial greeting to the Members and other participants of this Special Panamazonic Assembly, who have come from all the particular Churches of that Region, distant in distance but close in our hearts. With this Synod, the universal Church, through its Pastors cum Petro and sub Petro, in the person of Pope Francis, wants to pay particular attention to all the members of the People of God in the Amazon and to commit themselves decisively to the search for new and proportionate ways to the their human and pastoral needs.

1) The specific characteristics of a Special Assembly
Before entering the actual celebratory path of this synodal assembly it is important to remember that we are celebrating a synod with particular characteristics, not only because of the specificity of the theme, but also because it is a special assembly. Therefore, it is not a matter of an Ordinary General Assembly, such as the one on the family and young people (2015 and 2018 respectively), not even an Extraordinary General Assembly, like that first Synod on the family (2014).
This, instead, is a Special Assembly, a typology of Synod that, according to the Apostolic Constitution Episcopalis Communio, is convened in a Special Assembly, for "dealt with matters that concern more one or more specific geographical areas" (Art. 1, 3). Furthermore, the Synod Instruction provides for Art. 20 that the Regulations of the Special Assembly may provide that the commissions, bodies and methods may be established, case by case, according to the particular characteristics of each Assembly of this type.

The peculiarities of a Special Assembly concern two aspects: the criteria for participation, and the modality of the three synodal phases: the preparatory, the celebratory and the application. As for the criteria for participation, they are established in analogy with the other types of synodal assemblies, but taking into account the geographical, cultural and ecclesial specificity of the area in question, in this case the vast region called Panamazzonia. This explains first of all that one of the criteria established since the beginning is the participation of all the Ordinaries - those equivalent to them according to the law - of the Amazonian ecclesiastical districts or those that have an Amazon territory, to which the Auxiliaries have also been added. Therefore, it is not a partial representation of the Bishops, as happens in the Ordinary and Extraordinary General Assemblies, but in this case they are all, precisely all the prelates of the region, to be summoned. This criterion intends to further highlight the effective and affective collegiality, which is the spirit of that distinctive characteristic of the synodal institution, defined precisely as "synodality".

Secondly, every Special Assembly, even if it concerns a specific geographical area, is always a Synod that concerns the Universal Church. For this reason, participation was extended to prelates from other particular Churches and regional and continental ecclesial bodies. In other words, it is the whole universal Church that wants to turn its gaze to the Church in the Amazon and take to heart what its challenges, concerns and problems are, because in the end we must all feel part of this global village in which it lives and the one Church of Jesus Christ throbs. Therefore, the Special Assembly for the Panamazonic Region is an expression of the concern of the whole Church for the people of God in that region, because, even in the Church, "everything is connected" (LS 91), as Your Holiness often teaches us , and as the Apostle Paul states "if one member suffers, all the members suffer together; and if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with him "(1 Co 12,26).

For this reason, the Special Assembly, even if it concerns a specific region, is celebrated in Rome, the See of Peter's Successor, and not in some cities of the Panamazzonica Region, as a purely worldly vision might suggest. Here the perspective is different, it is that of faith, which invites us to look at the Church in its universality and at the same time in its realization at the local level. It is a Synod that has set the whole universal Church in motion, on the Synod and in prayer under the guidance of her Supreme Pastor. This is what we wanted to highlight with this morning's procession, which started from the altar of Peter's Confession in the Vatican Basilica up to the door of the Paul VI Hall.

2) The participants of the Special Assembly
Altogether, 185 Synod Fathers take part in this Synod: 137 ex officio of which 113 from the Pan-Amazonian ecclesiastical circumscriptions; 13 Heads of the Dicasteries of the Roman Curia; all the members of the pre-Synodal Council. Furthermore, there are 15 religious elected by the Union of Superiors General, and 33 former members of the pontifical nomination.

Among the Synod Fathers there are 28 Cardinals, 29 Archbishops, 63 residential Bishops, 7 Auxiliaries, 27 Apostolic Vicars and 10 Prelate Bishops, 21 non-members of the episcopal order between diocesan and religious.

Given that the Panamazzonica Region extends over the territory of nine nations (French Guiana, Cooperativist Republic of Guyana, Surinam, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru), the ex officio Synod Fathers who come from that Region belong to 7 Conferences Episcopals: Antilles, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru. Thus, among the 113 Synod Fathers of the Pan-Amazonian ecclesiastical circumscriptions there are 3 from the Antilles, 6 from Venezuela, 13 from Colombia, 7 from Ecuador, 57 from Brazil, 11 from Bolivia, 10 from Peru, as well as the respective Presidents of the aforementioned Conferences Episcopal.
The 33 members of pontifical appointment come from all continents, in particular from countries and geographical areas involved in the same problems that constitute the subject of the synodal theme; such as the Congo river basin. Thus, this Assembly wants to reflect the wide spectrum of cultural and ecclesial realities in which sensibilities are reflected and the voices of different ethnic groups and original peoples resound as well as the breath of a living Church that has so much to give and to receive.

I take this opportunity to cordially greet the 6 Fraternal Delegates, representatives of other Churches and Ecclesial Communities, whose presence revives in us the will to work together to achieve the full visible unity of the Church of Christ, in the awareness that the Holy Spirit arouses continually new paths and opens new doors to announce and bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Amazon and throughout the world.

Also significant is the presence of 12 special guests - never so many in a special assembly - who have been chosen for the synod works because of their high scientific competence and also for belonging to organizations and associations throughout the world, outside and inside the Church, they are interested in various ways in various activities related to humanitarian assistance and the ecological care of the environment.

My heartfelt thanks also extend to the 25 Experts, appointed by virtue of their expertise to contribute to the synodal work as collaborators of the Special Secretaries, and to the 55 Auditors and Auditors, including specialists and pastoral workers from the most important corners remote of the Panamazzonico territory. Among them emerges the presence of 16 representatives of different indigenous ethnic groups and original peoples who carry the voice, the living testimony of the traditions, culture and faith of their populations. Thanks to all of them! No less significant is the presence among the Sisters of as many as 10 nuns presented by the International Union of Superiors General (U.I.S.G.), bearing witness to the important role that women's consecrated life plays in the Amazon.

Finally, a special thanks to the Assistants, Translators, Technical Staff, as well as to the Consultors, Officials and Collaborators of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, who - under the guidance and coordination of the Most Holy Under-Secretary, Mons Fabio Fabene - they have worked with competence and spirit of service in the preparation and celebration of the Assembly.

3) The preparation of this Synodal Assembly
The present Special Assembly takes place at the end of a long journey, begun with the decision of the Holy Father, on October 15, 2017, to convene a Synod of Bishops on the theme: Amazonia, new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology. The first meeting of the General Secretariat with the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM) in Puerto Maldonado took place a few months after the launch of the Synod Assembly. From the beginning, the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops and the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network have worked together in a spirit of communion and synergy to carry forward the preparatory phase of the Synod.

On 9 March 2018, the Holy Father then formed the Special Pre-Synodal Council of the General Secretariat, including several prelates, two religious and a lay person, belonging to the aforementioned Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM). This Council has met twice: the first on 12 and 13 April 2018 to prepare the Preparatory Document and the second from 14 to 15 May 2019 to elaborate the Instrumentum laboris, which will be our reference text in the celebratory phase of the Synod up to the elaboration of the Final Document Project.

With the publication of the preparatory document, the great consultation with the people of God in the Amazon was launched on the subject of the Synod. The questionnaire attached to the Preparatory Document gave occasion to a rich debate within the seven Episcopal Conferences involved in the Panamazzonica Region, which then sent their answers to the General Secretariat. Furthermore, with the collaboration of REPAM, around 260 events were carried out in the territory, of which 70 territorial assemblies, 25 thematic forums and more than 170 other activities, including seminars, meetings, meetings of all kinds. It is estimated that more than 87,000 people took part in these events, of which 22,000 took part in the events organized in the dioceses and other ecclesial bodies, while 65,000 took part in preparatory processes for various consultations.
The material, which came from this extensive consultation, was the object of careful study and classification by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops which, with the help of qualified experts, proceeded to draft a draft working document. The drafting group of this text was formed by various experts, some of whom came from the Panamazzonica Region.

The Synod also includes three significant events that took place in the preparatory phase, the results of which have been appropriately integrated into the drafting of the Instrumentum laboris. The first of these events was the meeting of REPAM with the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops on 14 and 15 November 2018, in Manaus. Then the emerging results of the Regional Assemblies celebrated throughout the Amazon territory were collected and some aspects were clearly outlined, including: awareness of the fact that the Amazon is not only geographical but also political, social , economic and cultural; listening as a paradigm of the ecclesial journey begun with the Pan-Amazonian Assembly; the vision of integral ecology not only as a defense but also as a promotion of the peoples and of the common House.

The second important event in the preparatory phase was the Study Seminar organized in Rome by the General Secretariat from 25 to 27 February of the current year on the theme: Towards the Special Synod for the Amazon: regional and universal dimension. The program included the two major topics included in the synodal theme, namely, the Church's mission and integral ecology.

The first topic was dedicated to the first day and was presented with a Report on The Mission of the Church in the Amazon in the light of Evangelii Gaudium. This opening report was followed by 6 brief communications, which investigated the following themes: catechesis and Christian formation, inculturation, consecrated life, liturgy and sacramental life, ecclesial ministries, popular piety and proselytizing of Pentecostal communities.

The second day was dedicated to the theme of ecology, which was presented with a Report on Integral Ecology in the Amazon in the light of Laudato Si '. Following this, 6 short communications were issued on environmental ecology, environmental and cultural ecology, political and economic ecology, the indigenous issue, ecological education, ecological spirituality.

The third day was dedicated to a general debate preceded by a Report on Perspectives in view of the Panamazzonico Synod and followed by a final reflection by Card. Claudio Hummes, President of REPAM and General Relator of this Synod Assembly.

The overall budget of the Seminar was broadly positive and satisfying, as a rich panorama emerged of all the issues and problems inherent to the Amazon which deserve to be addressed pastorally and in a spirit of fraternal communion during this Synod. The proceedings of the Seminar are published and, besides being a valid contribution to the elaboration of the Instrumentum laboris, they are a significant material that will soon be available to you.

The third event in the journey towards the Panamazonic Synod was the International Conference celebrated in Washington to address the theme Integral Ecology as a synodal response from the Amazon region and other biomes and territories for the care of our common home. This event, which took place at the University of Georgetown from 19 to 21 March this year, was organized by REPAM, the Department for the Integral Human Development Service, the Observer of the Holy See at the UN and by the Conference of Jesuit Provincials of the United States and Canada, with the presence of this General Secretariat.

Specifically, this event has developed very important orientations about integral ecology, allowing to give a relevant space to a renewed pastoral and open to options of territorial communion around essential biomes. In essence, the Washington Conference contributed to the synodal process mainly by helping to become aware of the urgency of applying the guidelines of the Encyclical Laudato Sì and of the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium to concrete life. Perhaps what is most relevant is that everything in the aforementioned Conference was developed in the context of an international perspective, with reflections of socio-political impact aimed at supporting a global dynamism at ecclesial and civil level to promote territorial identities.
All this material - both that of consultation and that of the results of the aforementioned cultural events of the preparatory phase - came together in the text of the Instrumentum laboris which was finally discussed and approved by the pre-Synodal Council. It was made public at the press conference on 17 June.

In the drafting of the Working Document or Instrumenum laboris the General Secretariat availed itself of the collaboration of a group of experts for reading and summarizing the material resulting from the consultation, which was received mainly in Spanish and Portuguese. It will be the responsibility of the General Relator to present this Document in his Report, identifying the strength ideas, or the "generative nuclei" on which the synodal debate will be concentrated.

4) The synodal methodology
In the three weeks of the work that opens before us today, the Instrumentum laboris will constitute the point of reference and the necessary basis for reflection and the Synod debate and not a text to be amended. Its function ends with the elaboration of the final Document, which will collect the results achieved by this Assembly and by the entire synodal process.

The celebratory phase of the Synod that begins today is the culminating moment of the entire long synodal path, which will thus take into account the precious patrimony of ideas and reflections that have emerged so far, and of many celebrations, activities and prayers of the whole people of God.

In light of what has been expressed, I would now like to briefly explain the procedures according to which the work will take place, referring for further details to the Instruction that is available and to the Regulation delivered to all participants. It contains a series of specific legislative provisions for this Special Assembly, as well as the schedule of works prepared by the General Secretariat in close connection with the proposed methodology. This Regulation, drawn up on the basis of the Instruction, contains complete and detailed information on the procedure of the assembly activities and is therefore an indispensable tool to follow the work.

During this first General Congregation, after my Report, the General Relator will present the Instrumentum laboris, in its general lines and at the same time highlight those ideas-forces on which the synodal debate will have to focus. Such fundamental ideas could also be called "generative nuclei" because they are concepts capable of further generating proposals or suggestions to be included in the Project of the final Document.

After this presentation, the interventions in the Hall of the Synod Fathers, Auditors, Fraternal Delegates and Special Guests will begin, according to the order of submission of requests received through the petitio loquendi form. Each speaker has the faculty to speak only once during the General Congregations, referring to the part and number of the paragraph of the Instrumentum laboris he prefers. Since the number of those who have the right to speak is high (258 speakers, of which 185 Synod Fathers, 55 Auditors, 6 Fraternal Delegates and 12 Special Guests) and having given more space to the Circuli Minores (XI sessions), each will be allowed to intervene in the Chamber for a maximum time of four minutes, while in the Circuli you will have the possibility to do it extensively. Furthermore, as in the past, some afternoon General Congregations foresee moments, lasting an hour each, dedicated to the so-called "free interventions" of the Synod Fathers. This space of time has the purpose of offering a framework for open dialogue and sincere confrontation between Members. Therefore, please take advantage of this opportunity, not to do a second intervention, but to react to an intervention made, to ask for explanations if necessary, to express support or dissent with respect to other interventions. Only in this way, through an exchange of opinions in the spirit of fraternal communion, consensus is being shaped on the main themes that emerge during the debate in the Chamber.

The Calendar provides that the General Congregations alternate with the smaller Circles. Thus, the sixth General Congregation ended (Wednesday 9 October), 4 sessions of minor Circles begin (until Friday 11). In these groups we will discuss what has emerged in the General Congregations and we will begin to elaborate the contributions that will remain, but open to new additions. Saturday 12 in the morning the General Congregations resume until Tuesday 15 afternoon. From Wednesday 16 to Thursday 17 in the morning the smaller Circles meet again in order to finish processing the contributions to be presented to the General Secretariat. In the afternoon of Thursday 17 a General Congregation takes place in which each minor Circle shares its work with the other participants, presenting in the Hall the fruit of its own debate.
Once the interventions in the Chamber and the work of the smaller Circles have been completed, the process of elaboration of the Final Document Project begins, which provides for the collection of everything that has been exhibited in the Chamber, but also and above all, the synthesis of the contributions that each Club will present in its own tongue. The aforementioned project will be presented to the entire Assembly in the Chamber, Monday 21st in the 14th General Congregation, and immediately afterwards the text passes to the smaller Circles where it is subjected to discussion in order to propose amendments or so-called “collective” modalities, because they must be approved, at least by an absolute majority, by the members of the Circle.

The examination of the collective ways takes place under the coordination of the General Relator, who will make use of the collaboration of the two Special Secretaries and some Experts. As happened in the last three General Assemblies, from the beginning, that is, after the presentation of the General Relator, a Commission will be elected for the elaboration of the final Document. It will be composed of the General Relator (who presides over it), the General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, the Special Secretaries and 7 Synod Fathers (4 elected by the Synod Assembly, and 3 appointed by the Holy Father). Also in the light of the experience gained in the recent past, this Commission will have the task of coordinating and supervising the elaboration of the synodal texts, in their various stages of progress up to the Project of the final document of the Synod. It, then, in its final version, will be presented in the Chamber on the morning of Friday 25th so that an adequate time remains for the individual reading of the text.

Finally, in the last General Congregation, on the afternoon of Saturday 26, the final Document will be voted and the works closed. In accordance with the nature of the Synod, this Document, the fruit of the Synod's work, will be handed over to the Supreme Pontiff, who is responsible for every decision on the matter.

A final step before dissolving the Synod Assembly consists in the constitution of the Special Council, we say post-synod to distinguish it from the pre-synodal one. In fact, the Instruction states that at the end of the work the Special Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod will be elected, which will have the task of collaborating with the competent Dicastery in the matter in the application phase after the closing of the Synod, always remaining in the disposition of the Holy Father for any task he wanted to assign to him. The election of the Members who will be part of this Secretariat will take place in the 15th General Congregation on Friday 25th October according to the regulations and the modalities that will be indicated when necessary.

5) Communication during the Synod Assembly
First of all, I would like to recall that since the beginning of the preparation of the Panamazonic Synod, the General Secretariat has opened a multilingual web page with various information not only about the Special Assembly - synodal documents such as the Preparatory Document with the Questionnaire and the Instrumentum laboris - but also with abundant material concerning the synodal event: articles, videos, interviews, etc. Furthermore, the themes of this Synod are shared through the dissemination of contents in active social networks focused in this Pan-Amazonian Assembly.

With regard to the dissemination of news relating to assembly work through the media, it should be remembered that it will be managed by the Communication Department, chaired by its Prefect, Dr. Paolo Ruffini, who in turn will be the President of the Commission for the 'information. Furthermore, this Commission will be composed of its Secretary, Rev. P. Giacomo Costa, SI, the Director of the Press Room, Dr. Matteo Bruni, the Editorial Director of the Communication Department, Dr. Andrea Tornielli, and Mr. Mauricio López Oropeza, Executive Secretary of REPAM, by Sister Maria Irene Lopes Dos Santos, Councilor of the Episcopal Commission for the Amazon of the CNBB, appointed by the Holy Father, and by 4 other Members who will be elected by the Synod Fathers.

The main source of information to the media will be represented by the daily briefings coordinated by the Prefect of the Communication Department and by the Director of the Holy See Press Office: these events will be attended by some Synod Fathers and other Synod participants indicated from time to time by the Commission for information. Moreover, through the social networks (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) of Vatican News and of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, news will be disseminated and shared about the progress of the Synod works. It is also suggested to use the #Sinodo Amazonico hashtag for all languages ​​in order to have an informative panorama on the Synod.
Once the interventions in the Chamber and the work of the smaller Circles have been completed, the process of elaboration of the Final Document Project begins, which provides for the collection of everything that has been exhibited in the Chamber, but also and above all, the synthesis of the contributions that each Club will present in its own tongue. The aforementioned project will be presented to the entire Assembly in the Chamber, Monday 21st in the 14th General Congregation, and immediately afterwards the text passes to the smaller Circles where it is subjected to discussion in order to propose amendments or so-called “collective” modalities, because they must be approved, at least by an absolute majority, by the members of the Circle.

The examination of the collective ways takes place under the coordination of the General Relator, who will make use of the collaboration of the two Special Secretaries and some Experts. As happened in the last three General Assemblies, from the beginning, that is, after the presentation of the General Relator, a Commission will be elected for the elaboration of the final Document. It will be composed of the General Relator (who presides over it), the General Secretary of the Synod of Bishops, the Special Secretaries and 7 Synod Fathers (4 elected by the Synod Assembly, and 3 appointed by the Holy Father). Also in the light of the experience gained in the recent past, this Commission will have the task of coordinating and supervising the elaboration of the synodal texts, in their various stages of progress up to the Project of the final document of the Synod. It, then, in its final version, will be presented in the Chamber on the morning of Friday 25th so that an adequate time remains for the individual reading of the text.

Finally, in the last General Congregation, on the afternoon of Saturday 26, the final Document will be voted and the works closed. In accordance with the nature of the Synod, this Document, the fruit of the Synod's work, will be handed over to the Supreme Pontiff, who is responsible for every decision on the matter.

A final step before dissolving the Synod Assembly consists in the constitution of the Special Council, we say post-synod to distinguish it from the pre-synodal one. In fact, the Instruction states that at the end of the work the Special Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod will be elected, which will have the task of collaborating with the competent Dicastery in the matter in the application phase after the closing of the Synod, always remaining in the disposition of the Holy Father for any task he wanted to assign to him. The election of the Members who will be part of this Secretariat will take place in the 15th General Congregation on Friday 25th October according to the regulations and the modalities that will be indicated when necessary.

5) Communication during the Synod Assembly
First of all, I would like to recall that since the beginning of the preparation of the Panamazonic Synod, the General Secretariat has opened a multilingual web page with various information not only about the Special Assembly - synodal documents such as the Preparatory Document with the Questionnaire and the Instrumentum laboris - but also with abundant material concerning the synodal event: articles, videos, interviews, etc. Furthermore, the themes of this Synod are shared through the dissemination of contents in active social networks focused in this Pan-Amazonian Assembly.

With regard to the dissemination of news relating to assembly work through the media, it should be remembered that it will be managed by the Communication Department, chaired by its Prefect, Dr. Paolo Ruffini, who in turn will be the President of the Commission for the 'information. Furthermore, this Commission will be composed of its Secretary, Rev. P. Giacomo Costa, SI, the Director of the Press Room, Dr. Matteo Bruni, the Editorial Director of the Communication Department, Dr. Andrea Tornielli, and Mr. Mauricio López Oropeza, Executive Secretary of REPAM, by Sister Maria Irene Lopes Dos Santos, Councilor of the Episcopal Commission for the Amazon of the CNBB, appointed by the Holy Father, and by 4 other Members who will be elected by the Synod Fathers.

The Synod Fathers will be free to grant interviews outside the Synod Hall as well as generally communicate with the media at their discretion and responsibility, obviously in a personal capacity, maintaining the necessary confidentiality on the names of the people who intervene, on the debates in the Chamber and in the Circulars minores. To ensure the confidentiality necessary for the Synod to take place, during the work, both in the Chamber and in the Circles, the participants are requested not to interact with the outside through social networks.
Furthermore, it must be remembered that, as in the last Synods, the interventions in the Chamber will not be officially published in the Bulletin of the Press Room. Instead, the reports presented by the Circuli, will be made public appropriately through the Holy See Press Office. For obvious reasons, the texts concerning the various phases of elaboration of the final document will remain confidential, considering that it is susceptible to continuous development until the final drafting.

6) The Special Assembly in the sign of an integral ecology
On the occasion of this Synod - which among other things has ecology as one of its thematic axes - the General Secretariat has implemented some initiatives that intend to promote environmental sustainability in order to preserve pollution and safeguard the common house.

The first initiative, carried out with excellent results, was the new practice for the registration of Participants through an IT procedure, which allowed those who were invited to take part in the Synod Assembly to register directly online, through a password and sending your personal data as well as indicating your logistical needs. You have already experienced this new practice and you have noticed the speed in communication, but above all the saving of printed paper.

Another initiative concerns the special attention that has been devoted to ensuring that among the materials used during the Synod there are no plastic objects, such as glasses that will be made of biodegradable material. For this same reason, the bag made available to Participants is in natural fiber, just as the pens are in biodegradable material. Finally, the paper used for all the documents that will be distributed is the one that has the most certifications of provenance and processing chain.

It is proposed as a characterizing sign of this Synod that a symbolic gesture is realized from an ecological point of view. We would like this to be a "zero-impact synod". On the basis of the calculations carried out, we intend to offset the emissions of 572,809 kg of CO2 (438,373 kg for air travel and 134,435 kg the other activities) generated by the consumption of energy, water, preparation, mobility of participants, by production of waste and promotional materials, with the purchase of forestry licenses for the reforestation of an area of ​​50 hectares of forest in the Amazon basin. The intention is to signify attention to the theme of the environment, on the part of the Holy Father and all those who participate in the Synod, following the Encyclical Laudato Si, which called for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. With this initiative we would like not only to discuss ecological conversion, but to consistently propose a concrete gesture. With regard to this project, the approval of this Assembly is desired.

Conclusion

Convinced of interpreting the sentiments of this Special Assembly, I conclude by addressing all the original peoples who follow us from the Amazon. We thank you for the contribution you have made to this Special Assembly during the Synod journey undertaken so far. Know that we have listened to your voices and will be present in the reflections we will be making. Thanks this initiative, the eyes of the world are focused on what you want, on your cultural, spiritual and faith heritage in Jesus Christ. The incarnation of the Word realizes full humanity, as Saint Francis of Assisi teaches us. Together with him, you too, before the beauty of creation, praise the Lord with and through his creatures. We carry you in our heart during these synod days and we remember you in our prayer. Let us therefore invoke the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary - so venerated as Nossa Senhora da Amazônia and with various other titles throughout the Panamazzonica area - so that this Special Assembly may offer the Holy Father fruitful fruits in view of an effective application of integral ecology and for new ecclesial paths that involve the whole People of God pilgrim in Amazonia, source of exuberant life, land of hidden beauties, kairòs of grace and blessings, place of dialogue between faith and cultures, always fertile ground to receive the seed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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[1] Francesco, Angelus, 15 ottobre 2017.
[2]
 Cfr. Francesco, Costituzione Apostolica Episcopalis communio, Art. 18; Istruzione Art. 1 § 4° e 5°, Art. 35 § 5.
[01592-IT.01] [Testo originale: Italiano]
[B0781-XX.02]
Unofficial Translation