Latin American leader calls Pope's Pan-Amazon Synod a 'kairos'
Representatives of Colombia's indigenous community pose with Pope Francis in Villavicencio, Colombia, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. (Credit: L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP.)
Mauricio López, Executive Secretary of REPAM, the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network, said, "We must understand the synod as a call to conversion, change, which the pope is doing, but also look beyond." He says, "it is not enough to thank the pope." Instead he thinks the important thing is that from the fruits of the synod, "comes a deep commitment of fraternity, discernment and ecclesial articulation, involving also people of good will, so that what gives us so much hope today, is sustainable in time and becomes something that can last for a lifetime. If not, the synod will remain as an opportunity, a place for great ideas that never came to fruition."
Among other things, López said:
What follows are excerpts of the 45-minute phone conversation López had with Crux. …
- Life in the Pan-Amazonian region is at risk, threatened by mining and oil companies producing “environmental disasters” with the complicity of local governments.
- The voice of the laity, particularly indigenous people and peasants, must be heard at the synod.
- Priestly celibacy “is not for us to discuss, or even comment on,” but added that there are several “hopeful experiences” of permanent deacons.
- The challenges of the region can be divided according to two of Pope Francis’s recent documents: Evangeli Gaudium, meaning the challenge of pastoral conversion, and Laudato Si’, meaning the challenge of an ecological conversion.
- “We need to understand that the synodal call is embedded in a greater kairos. Therefore, we have to be careful not to put all our expectations, energies and forces in the synod.”