EvangelizationAlessandro Gisotti

Dear Amazonia, dreams that open new roads

Who would have thought just a few years ago that a Synod on a remote region like the Amazon would arouse so much interest in the Church and beyond its confines? 

March 5, 2020-Reading time: 2 minutes

The first fruit of Dear Amazonia lies precisely in this: with the Synod, first, and now with the Exhortation, the Pope has overturned the narrative mainstream, putting the periphery in the center and "forcing" us to abandon prejudices and simplistic analyses. Through the synodal journey, significantly initiated in 2018 in Puerto Maldonado - the "gateway" to the Amazon rainforest - it has given voice to peoples who had been silenced and has recalled, with a beautiful expression present in the Exhortation, that the destiny of the Amazon must concern us all, because this earth "is also ours".

It is a poetic text, not only because the Pontiff quotes various poets who have narrated this marvelous land, but also because he has written this document as an "intimate", personal text, in which he entrusts his dreams for the Amazon and for the People of God who inhabit it, for a Church with an Amazonian face. Page after page, Francis' dreams for the Amazon are manifested to the reader: social, cultural, ecological, ecclesial, which are far from being abstract because they are a "...".gift that God sows in our hearts".. And they do not allow us to remain immobile in the face of evil. In Francis' dreams we can find the hopes and concerns, the frailties and the strength of a people who cry out to heaven for the devastations their "home" is suffering.

These dreams, especially in Chapter IV of Dear AmazoniaThe book, dedicated more directly to pastors and the faithful, encourages us to initiate new processes, to change direction and to embark on a path of conversion. To overcome, as I have already indicated Evangelii GaudiumThe temptation of "it has always been done this way". And yet, the Pope escapes from the "binary logic" in which some wanted to enclose this exhortation: open or close, authorize or not.

For the Pope, the goal is not simply to increase the number of priests, as if it were an algebraic equation. He sees it rather as an effect, the fruit of a renewed missionary impulse from which the last, the "discarded" of the world, who are, on the contrary, the "first" for Francis, benefit above all. This is the heart of Dear Amazoniapublished shortly after the Extraordinary Missionary Month. Once again the Document of Aparecida resounds with its call to be "disciples and missionaries".. Only in this way, by becoming disciples of Christ and missionaries of the Annunciation that saves, will we be able to be "members one of another" and truly feel that even distant peoples, thousands of kilometers away, are our brothers and sisters.

The authorAlessandro Gisotti

Deputy Director. Editorial Direction of the Dicastery for Communication.

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