In October 2019, the bishops of the Amazon gathered in Rome to discern how people of faith can stand in solidarity with the exploited earth and marginalized communities. While the synod was about the Amazon, it is also a model for the entire world.
Every community of faith, wherever they are, is invited to listen to the experience of marginalized communities, take seriously the costs of environmental degradation, and discern how it can take action to protect all life.
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. On this webpage, you will find a series of articles about the Synod and the Amazon, as well as practical ways you can listen and respond to the "cry of the earth and the cry of the poor" (Laudato Si', #49).
Why is the Church committed to being an ally with the Amazon, and other marginalized communities?
How can your faith community initiate a process of cross-cultural dialogue, ecological conversion, and collaborative social action?
Every year, hundred of people are killed or persecuted defending the environment. Tell the US Senate to protect them.
Illegal logging on Pirititi indigenous amazon lands with a repository of round logs on May 8, 2018 (Felipe Werneck/Ibama via flickr via AP)
We are challenged in this moment to ensure our global economic systems treat the Amazon not as a commodity for our use but as an integral region that supports life on Earth. This is not an easy task, but our first step must be to recognise our deep connection to the Amazon, no matter where we live.
It is hoped that the synod may go some way towards achieving what science to date has not been able to; igniting a spark to overcome the political inertia that has resisted addressing this massive change. More and more, a prevailing belief is that a moral force is needed.
Our faith calls us to stand in solidarity with those who are vulnerable and persecuted. One way we can do that for the courageous people who defend our common home, especially indigenous communities, is by praying a "Novena for Earth Defenders."
The Synod of the Amazon is not only for Latin America, it is also for us on this side of world, and for the circle of life. It is indeed a Synod for life.
There is a worldwide movement underway, an awakening at last to the seriousness of the environmental crisis at hand. The future of the planet and humanity depends on it.
A new spirituality of creation is emerging, one deeply tied to the fate of the Earth. The stakes – the fate of the Earth and future generations – are high. Indigenous communities and women play a crucial role. The spirituality of creative nonviolence is deeper and more holistic, rooted in the gift of creation.
Copyright © 2020 Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Washington, D.C.