‘Querida Amazonia’: Pope Francis invites all Christians to work together

21 Feb 2020

Gathering the results of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan–Amazon Region on the theme: “Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for Integral Ecology”, which took place from 6–27 October 2019, Pope Francis has issued the Post–Synodal Apostolic Exhortation ‘Querida Amazonia'. “The beloved Amazon region stands before the world in all its splendour, its drama and its mystery” are the opening word of the document, in which Pope Francis shares his “dreams for the Amazon region” (§§5–7), whose destiny must concern everyone because that land is also “ours”.

The fourth chapter concludes with a specific section on “Ecumenical and Interreligious Coexistence” (§§106–110) and deals in particular with the call to Christians to seek ways of working together in shared Christian witness. Pope Francis invites all Christians “to find occasions to speak to one another and to act together for the common good” (§106). Pope Francis affirms: “All this unites us. How can we not struggle together? How can we not pray and work together, side by side, to defend the poor of the Amazon region, to show the sacred countenance of the Lord, and to care for his work of creation?” The Holy Father takes care to ensure that there must be no fear of losing one’s identity in this regard. Indeed, “If we believe that the Holy Spirit can work amid differences, then we will try to let ourselves be enriched by that insight, while embracing it from the core of our own convictions and our own identity. For the deeper, stronger and richer that identity is, the more we will be capable of enriching others with our own proper contribution” (§106).