The Spring 2019 issue of the Columban Social Justice newsletter Vocation for Justice is now available. It takes the general theme of 'Forgotten People, Forgotten Places' from this summer's annual National Justice and Peace Network Conference, focusing particularly on the people's of the Amazon region and this year's Amazonia Synod. The cover of the newsletter - a photo of an indigenous family was taken by Columban Colin McLean, who works in Brazil with marginalised groups.
It is timely that a Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon region is meeting in Rome in October 2019 with the theme, 'The Amazon: New paths for the Church and for integral ecology'. "The Synod is an important moment for the voice of the Amazon and its peoples to be heard", according to Fr Peter Hughes, an Irish Columban who has worked for many years in Peru and who is involved in the process of the Synod. He is a founder of REPAM - the Pan-Amazonia Ecclesial Network - which connects and strengthens the work of the Church in the Amazon region so that its cry of pain can be heard. More than 45 regional meetings have been held in preparation for the Synod and Fr Peter says, "the overwhelming feeling is the joy of having the opportunity to express their own voice".
The global economic crisis, Trump, the refugee crisis, Brexit… these are just some of the symptoms of a broken system. We're experiencing a deep systemic disconnection: an ecological, social and spiritual cultural divide. There's a discernible disconnect between the infinite growth imperative and the finite resources of planet Earth. Because native spirituality is so connected to the land, hearing indigenous voices becomes ever more important in an age of climate change as the environment shifts underneath us.
Extracts from the Synod working document are given in the newsletter's centre spread:
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