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Pan-Amazonian Synod: preparatory document, “identify the type of official ministry that can be conferred on women”

“A Church with an Amazonian and indigenous face”. The final part of the preparatory document for the Synod ends with this hope, recalling once again the words spoken by the Pope in Puerto Maldonado, which are a compass to “specify the contents, methods, and attitudes necessary for an inculturated pastoral ministry capable of responding to the territory’s vast challenges”. The second “priority”, mentioned in the final part the preparatory document, is to “propose new ministries and services for the different pastoral agents, ones which correspond to activities and responsibilities within the community”. Along these lines, “it is necessary to identify the type of official ministry that can be conferred on women, taking into account the central role which women play today in the Amazonian Church”. There is also a need to “foster indigenous and local-born clergy, affirming their own cultural identity and values” and to consider new ways “for the People of God to have better and more frequent access to the Eucharist, the center of Christian life”. In general terms, it is necessary for the Church in the Amazon Basin “to have a greater presence” and to rethink “the Church’s limited presence in relation to the immensity of the territory and its cultural diversity”. “We are called as a Church to strengthen the leading roles of the peoples themselves” – this is the pastoral guideline contained in the document. “We should refine an intercultural spirituality to help us interact with the diversity of peoples and their traditions. We must join forces to take care of our Common Home”. In concrete terms, for the Holy See, “this requires a spirituality of communion between native missionaries and those who come from outside, in order to discover together how to accompany people: listening to their stories; participating in their life projects; sharing their spirituality; and shouldering their struggles. This is spirituality after the fashion of Jesus: simple, human, in dialogue, and Samaritan, allowing us to celebrate life, Liturgy, the Eucharist, and festivals, always in respect for the rhythms proper to each people”.

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