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Synod on the Amazon to vote on Final Document

By Sarah Mac Donald - 26 October, 2019

The Synod on the Amazon’s delegates will spend time today reading the text of the Final Document before voting on it this afternoon.

The Final Document is a set of recommendations given to Pope Francis and drawn from the discussions of the three-week long Synod.

The Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region has been meeting since 6th October on the theme ‘Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology’.

It will conclude on Sunday 27th October.

The Final Document requires a two-thirds majority to pass. It unclear if the document will be voted on paragraph by paragraph or as a whole.

The document was presented to the Synod Fathers on Friday in the presence of Pope Francis and the 13 members of the Post-Synodal Council were elected.

The Council’s duty is to implement the directives of the Synod.

The newly-elected members represent the countries of the Amazon. Four are from Brazil; two each from Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru; and one each from Peru, the Antilles, Venezuela, and Ecuador. In addition to those elected, three other members will be named by the Pope.

Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the Relator General of the Synod and President of the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network (REPAM), presented the Final Document for the consideration of the Synod Fathers yesterday.

Introducing the text, Cardinal Hummes highlighted the immense work of the Commission for the redaction of the Final Document, as well as that of the Small Groups, which produced numerous amendments.

The text, he said, is formulated in the context of an urgent ecological crisis, which makes it necessary to act without delay.

The preservation of the Amazon, the Cardinal said, is fundamental for the health of the planet and he added that the Church recognised this.

The Brazilian prelate said the Church hears the cry of Amazonia, and the cry of the earth, which are the same cry.

The Synod, Cardinal Hummes said, is intended to achieve ecclesial communion with Peter and under the guidance of the Pope.

Meanwhile, the communications secretary for the Amazon synod, Fr Giacomo Costa, SJ has underlined that the Synod’s Final Document is not an official Church document, but an instrument in the synodal journey.

Addressing the media this week, Fr Costa said the document was “not the objective of the synod, but an instrument for going forward all together.”

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