Vatican City. On the fifth anniversary of Laudato si’, Pope Francis’s much-anticipated post-synodal apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia, was finally released on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. A press conference took place at the Holy See Press Office to present the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of the Holy Father.
Querida Amazonia shows the pontiff’s four dreams for the Amazonian region – social, cultural, ecological, and ecclesial. It is his own response to the discussions during the Synod of Bishops in October of 2019. He did not go into all of the issues treated at length in the final document of the Synod nor claimed to replace the text. He rather encourages everyone to read the final document in full.
Querida Amazonia is divided into four Chapters which contains these four dreams of the Pope for the Pan Amazonian region:
- I dream of an Amazon region that fights for the rights of the poor, the original peoples and the least of our brothers and sisters, where their voices can be heard and their dignity advanced.
- I dream of an Amazon region that can preserve its distinctive cultural riches, where the beauty of our humanity shines forth in so many varied ways.
- I dream of an Amazon region that can jealously preserve its overwhelming natural beauty and the superabundant life teeming in its rivers and forests.
- I dream of Christian communities capable of generous commitment, incarnate in the Amazon region, and giving the Church new faces with Amazonian features (7).
As he speaks of inculturation, in the third chapter, Pope Francis cited one of our brother’s poem, Pedro Casaldaliga’s “Carta de navegar (Por el Tocantins amazónico)” in El tiempo y la espera, Santander, 1986.
In the ecclesial dream, he emphasized the importance of collaboration in the apostolic ministry by Catholics in various states of life (86). He also stressed the singular role of the priest (87 to 90) alongside the affirmation of the laity’s ongoing contributions to evangelization. The Pope did not endorse a proposal from some bishops in the Amazon region to permit the ordination of married men to the priesthood. He calls us “to broaden our vision, lest we restrict our understanding of the Church to her functional structures.” He rejects a narrow vision of “conceptions of power in the Church” that “clericalize women” (100). He called for a stable presence of mature and lay leaders endowed with authority. common good”.
Pope Francis concludes Querida Amazonía with a prayer to the Mother of the Amazon Region
We should not be confused between the two documents. We have to remind ourselves of the difference between the two. The post-synodal exhortation on the Amazon is part of the Church’s ordinary magisterium while the final document of the synod is not. Synods of bishops convened by the pope serve mainly a consultative role, as it is indicated in the Code of Canon Law.