VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis is considering dedicating a meeting of the Synod of Bishops to the concerns of the indigenous people of the Amazon region, a Peruvian archbishop said.
Although the church has continued to assist the native populations in the Amazon, which occupies 63 percent of Peru, efforts must continue “to revitalize” the church and its work in the region, said Archbishop Salvador Pineiro Garcia-Calderon of Ayacucho, president of the Peruvian bishops’ conference.
“The Holy Father told us he would like a synod for the Amazonian people in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil,” Archbishop Pineiro told L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.
In an interview published May 16, the archbishop said the Peruvian bishops met with Pope Francis for two and a half hours May 15 during the “ad limina” visit that bishops are required to make to the Vatican.
The challenge of evangelizing in remote communities was among the main themes the bishops discussed with the pope, Archbishop Pineiro said.
Among the problems facing bishops, he said, is the difficulty in physically reaching the native populations. For example, he said, although they are in the same church province, one bishop is five hours away and another is 17 hours away.
“It’s easier to meet in Rome,” he told L’Osservatore Romano. “It isn’t an easy area and the pope is very concerned.”
As a nation, he said, “we have turned our back on” the native people of the Amazon and have been “insensitive to their suffering, their marginalization.”
The church, he said, has been the only voice that has spoken out in defending the indigenous people of the Amazon. In the early 1900s, Saint Pius X strongly denounced the mistreatment of the native population in the rubber plantations of Peru, Archbishop Pineiro said.
A synod, he said, would expand that message and strengthen current efforts to evangelize.
“It is difficult to evangelize the native population,” he said. “Recently, the seeds have begun to be sown. Some of my brother bishops who are in that area have learned to speak the native language in order to draw closer to the population.”
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103