Beloved Amazonia: The Apostolic Exhortation and Other Documents from the Pan-Amazonian Synod
allies with the poor,
defends Mother Earth,
and in so doing,
- Steve Heinrichs
Beloved Amazonia is a remarkable text that shares the work of the Pan-Amazon Synod. It is a text that, if made flesh in Canada, could revolutionize the Church’s relationship to Indigenous peoples, Indigenous spiritualities, and Indigenous lands.
The Amazon Synod, which occurred in Rome in October 2019, focused on the needs of the Amazon region—needs that are at once social, cultural, ecological, and pastoral. And yet for many observers, it was evident that this regional assembly was addressing issues of relevance for the wider church. Depending on the critical narratives at play, the Synod aroused powerful hopes as well as fears.
This volume is an essential guide to this historic gathering, featuring both the Final Document of the Synod and Querida Amazonia, the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation issued by Pope Francis. He has commended both these documents to the attention of the church and the world, urging that they both be studied together. Also included is the Working Document that laid out the themes for the Synod.
In his fascinating introduction, Christopher Lamb, Rome correspondent for The Tablet (UK) provides a journalistic review of the lead-up to the Synod, an account of what transpired, and an analysis of the controversies at play. Cardinal Michael Czerny, S.J., Co-Special Secretary of the Pan-Amazon Synod, provides an authoritative commentary on Querida Amazonia and the Final Document, addressing their particular meaning for the Amazon region and their relevance for the church as a whole. Just as the Amazon’s unique environment plays a vital role in the health of the planet, so a church with an Amazonian face calls the wider church to conversion, and to the renewal that comes from the periphery.
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