“It is a global problem.” Due to the increase in deforestation and advancing fires, this was how Pope Francis classified the devastation of the Amazon forest. This is why the Catholic Church will meet throughout the month of October in order to discuss the problems of the region, based on the theme “The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology.”

Indigenous leaders, civil society organizations, and researchers, such as the climatologist Carlos Nobre, will be among the guests who will attend the Synod of the Amazon and offer to the participants a more accurate view about the conflicts and the environmental challenges in the region.

The meeting is mobilizing many spheres and progressive groups that are part of the Church, such as the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM). With our support, the Purpose with GCCM are developing communication campaigns aimed specifically at Catholics, with the objective of raising awareness and engaging them in relation to climate change.

What is the synod on the Amazon?

The Vatican has invited the bishops from all dioceses in the world to travel to Rome in order to discuss the Amazon and its people. This gathering, or synod, is officially titled “The Amazon: new paths for the Church and for integral ecology.”

This is the first synod in which integral ecology will be applied to a specific place in creation. That’s a landmark for the Church. The synod runs 6-27 October, and the week of 13 October is dedicated to integral ecology.

The synod is guided by a preparatory document and an instrumentum laboris. The preparatory document includes a list of questions that were discussed with local communities in the Amazon, to ensure the synod responds to local expertise and concerns. The instrumentum laboris takes wisdom from these conversations and from the teaching of the Church to guide the synodal fathers’ discussions.

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