Manual Room at the Table: Struggle for Unity and Equality in Disciples History

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Mandela took great interest in gardening. Between and , Mandela was writing his autobiography with help from Walter Sisulu and Ahmed Kathrada. Mandela spent four months secretly writing his autobiography by night, holding discussions with Sisulu and Kathrada throughout.

But in , when prison authorities began building a wall to completely isolate B Section, they discovered the manuscript hidden in the garden. As a consequence, study privileges for Mandela, Kathrada and Sisulu were revoked for four years. The originally transcribed manuscript was never read by the public as the ANC did not want to publish the material while Mandela was still in jail. The original manuscript would, however, form the basis of his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, published in They were also finally moved to Pollsmoor in April.

That same year a campaign demanding the release of all political prisoners was launched in South Africa and abroad. This campaign became one of the most powerful international solidarity movements in history.

With the apartheid government reeling under international pressure and mounting internal unrest, state president P. W Botha was forced to issue a statement on 31 January that he was prepared to release Mandela and other Rivonia Trialists. This was on condition that he renounced violence and the armed struggle. Despite this rejection, Botha repeated his willingness to release Mandela on 15 February under the same conditions stated in the previous statement, but Mandela stood his ground. From July onwards, a small group of the government and intelligence agents visited Mandela to persuade him to renounce the armed struggle.

Mandela refused but did not close the door to dialogue with the government. He had contact with government representatives, first with Minister of Justice Kobie Coetzee and subsequently with Minister of Constitutional Development Gerrit Viljoen. In , the ANC and the Mass Democratic Movement inside South Africa planned worldwide celebrations to mark Mandela's 70th birthday and prepared for mass celebrations inside the country. The government banned all gatherings and arrested some activists and leaders of the birthday celebrations.

A hour music concert in London, broadcasted to over 50 countries, drew enormous attention and many foreign countries pressured the South African government to release Mandela. He stayed in hospital for six weeks. It was subsequently revealed that he was suffering from tuberculosis. On 31 August, he was transferred to the Constantiaberg Medi-Clinic where he was treated until 7 December. W Botha at Tuynhuys in the Parliamentary precinct.

The meeting was historic as this was the first time the two men had met face to face. Botha resigned as state president in August and was succeeded by F. W De Klerk. Unknown to the government, Mandela had kept Oliver Tambo, the President of the ANC in exile informed of his discussions with the government through Mac Maharaj , a former Robben Island prisoner and a confidant of Mandela.

At this point, the government realised that apartheid was nearing its end, and opted for formal negotiations with the ANC through Mandela. Source: Getty Images. On 2 February , State President FW De Klerk, in his opening speech in parliament, announced the unbanning of the ANC and all other proscribed political parties, and the release Mandela and all other political prisoners. The subsequent welcome rallies held in Soweto and Durban drew thousands of people.

The ANC had announced their intention to move its headquarters from Lusaka to Johannesburg as soon as possible. He then travelled to Sweden to meet his comrade and friend, the incumbent ANC president Oliver Tambo, but had to cut short the rest of his proposed trip abroad as a result of increased unrest in South Africa. Adding to the chaos of this time, the apartheid government gave emergency powers to the President, allowing de Klerk to govern in a state of emergency.

Later in March, police opened fire on anti-apartheid protesters in Sebokeng, killing 14 people and wounding more than At the end of the meeting a document known as the Groote Schuur Minute was signed. This signified a commitment from both the ANC and the government to end the political violence which had gripped the country. Furthermore, a working party was formed from ANC cadres to advise on the release of political prisoners.

His reception by heads of state and hundreds of thousands of admirers confirmed his stature as an internationally respected leader. Talks resumed with the South African government in August and in the same month Mandela visited Norway. This was followed by visits to Zambia, India and Australia.

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However, despite their pledges to work towards peace, the violence continued. Mandela then issued an ultimatum to the government, setting a deadline by which it had to fire the Minister of Defence and Minister of Law and Order and end the ongoing violence. He indicated that the ANC would quit the negotiation process if these demands were not met.

The government failed to meet these demands. Image source. The meeting also agreed to convene a conference of anti-apartheid organisations in support of the demand for a national constituent assembly. In August, Mandela travelled to countries in South America. This agreement between a number of political organisations, including the ANC, Inkatha Freedom Party and the National Party , established structures and procedures to attempt to end political violence which had become widespread.

In October , a meeting of the Patriotic Front was held in Durban in an attempt to bring together all the anti-apartheid groupings in the country. All attended with the exception of the Azanian People's Organisation.

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However, the PAC could not see its way clear to participate in the convention due to its belief that the convention should be held outside the country under the stewardship of a neutral party. The first meeting of Codesa, set up to negotiate procedures for constitutional change, was held in December, At the end of the plenary session, after De Klerk had raised the question of disbanding Umkhonto we Sizwe , Mandela delivered a scathing personal attack on him. Mandela argued that even the head of an illegitimate and discredited minority regime should have certain moral standards.

During , Mandela continued his programme of extensive international travel, visiting Tunisia, Libya and Morocco. On 13 April , Mandela called a press conference at which he stated that he and his wife, Winnie, had agreed to separate as a result of differences which had arisen between them in recent months.

In May , the second plenary meeting of Codesa was held, but the working group dealing with constitutional arrangements reached a deadlock when the ANC and the government could not reach agreement on certain constitutional principles. Codesa's management committee was asked to find a way out of the logjam but by 16 June by then known as Soweto Day no progress had been made and the ANC called for a mass action campaign to put pressure on the South African government.

While visiting the Scandinavian countries and Czechoslovakia in May, Mandela suggested that FW de Klerk was personally responsible for the political violence in South Africa. Mandela also criticised what he felt was the stranglehold imposed on the South African press, which represented White-owned conglomerates; however, he expressed support for a critical, independent and investigative press.

Following the Boipatong massacre of June , Mandela announced the suspension of negotiations until ANC demands were met, including that the government take steps to end political violence, form a transitional government and move towards the election of a constituent assembly. Mandela asked the UN to provide continuous monitoring of the violence and submitted documents, which he claimed, proved the 'criminal intent' of the government, both in the instigation of violence and in failing to curb it.

He maintained that the government was conducting a 'cold-hearted strategy of state terror to impose its will on negotiations'. On his return to South Africa, Mandela called for disciplined and peaceful protest and involved himself in the ANC's mass action campaign. Following violent incidents between ANC supporters in the Transvaal, Mandela admitted that the organisation had disciplinary problems with some of its followers, particularly in township Self-Defence Units and promised to take action against those who abused positions of power and authority.

During , Mandela indicated that the ANC had shifted its economic thinking, particularly with regard to nationalisation. This was no longer viewed as an ideological imperative, but merely as one policy option. He continued to stress the need to redress economic imbalances, but noted that the ANC was aware of both local and international business hostility towards nationalisation. Mandela indicated in September that he was prepared to meet De Klerk on condition that he agreed to fence off township hostels, ban the public display of dangerous weapons and release political prisoners.

They met at the end of the month and these bi-lateral talks resulted in the signing of a Record of Understanding between the two leaders, thereby enabling negotiations to resume. During and Mandela repeatedly called for peace. At a rally in Soweto's Jabulani Stadium he was booed by a militant crowd when he tried to convey a message of peace in the wake of the killing.

Mandela caused a political row in May when he suggested that South Africa's voting age should be lowered to enable 14 year old children to vote. However, he was persuaded to accept that only people aged 18 and above could vote in the April elections. In September , after the election date had been set for April , Mandela used a visit to the United States of America to urge world business leaders to lift economic sanctions and invest in South Africa.

During the latter half of and early he campaigned on behalf of the ANC for the election and addressed a large number of rallies and people's forums. At the same time, he continued his efforts to draw the Freedom Alliance partners White right wing groups, IFP, Bophuthatswana and Ciskei Bantustan governments into the election process. However, he ruled out the possibility of delaying the election date to accommodate them. In March , following a civil uprising in the Bophuthatswana bantustan, which led to the downfall of the Mangope government. Mandela guaranteed striking civil servants their jobs, but harshly criticised the looting that had occurred during the unrest.

The meeting was unsuccessful and was followed by an attempt at international mediation. This, too, failed, but a final effort by Kenyan academic, Washington Okumu, brought the IFP back into the election process. Mandela and De Klerk then signed an agreement stating that the institution, status and role of the King of the Zulus, as well as the Kingdom of KwaZulu, be recognised and protected. Mandela contested the April election as the head of the ANC.

He cast his vote in Inanda, Durban, on the first day of voting on 27 April Mandela indicated his relief that the ANC did not achieve a two-thirds majority, as this would allay fears that it would unilaterally re-write the constitution. He restated his commitment to a government of national unity wherein each party shared in the exercise of power. Nelson Mandela casts his vote for the first time in April Photographer: Paul Weinberg, Permission: Africamediaonline. On 9 May, Mandela was elected unopposed as president of South Africa in the first session of the Constituent Assembly.

His presidential inauguration took place the next day at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and was attended by the largest gathering of international leaders in South African history, as well as about jubilant supporters on the lawns. The ceremony was televised and broadcast internationally. In his inaugural speech Mandela called for a 'time of healing' and stated that his government would fight against discrimination of any kind.

He pledged to enter into a covenant to build a society in which all South Africans, Black and White, could walk tall without fear, assured of their rights to human dignity, 'a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world'. This policy focused on basic needs such as jobs, land, housing, water, electricity, telecommunications and transport, among others. Furthermore, this policy emphasised that the people should be part of the decision making process. His pragmatic economic policy was welcomed by business in general.

Mandela continued to draw the White right wing into the negotiation process and in May, held a breakthrough meeting with the leader of the Conservative Party CP , Ferdie Hartzenberg. Negotiations also involved a possible meeting with Eugene Terre Blanche , leader of the neo-nazi Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging AWB , but it did not transpire. The following month he held talks with his Angolan, Mozambican and Zairean counterparts in an attempt to further peace-making efforts in Angola.

Mandela underwent eye surgery for a cataract in July. The operation was complicated by the fact that his tear glands had been damaged by the alkalinity of the stone at Robben Island where he had done hard labour breaking rocks. In September , Mandela made a crucial speech at the annual conference of the Congress of South African Trade Unions Cosatu where he called on the labour movement to transform itself from a liberation movement to one that would assist in the building of a new South Africa. The government of national unity nearly collapsed in January over an alleged secret attempt by two former cabinet ministers and 3 police to obtain indemnity on the eve of the April elections.

At a cabinet meeting on 18 January, Mandela attacked Deputy President De Klerk, stating that he did not believe De Klerk was unaware of the indemnity applications. He went on to question De Klerk's commitment to reconciliation. At a press conference on 20 January, De Klerk maintained that this attack on his integrity and good faith could seriously jeopardise the future of the government of national unity.

In April , Mandela discharged his estranged wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, as Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, following a series of controversial issues in which she was involved. She challenged her dismissal in the Supreme Court, claiming that it was unconstitutional. She obtained an affidavit from IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi to the effect that he had not, as a leader of a party in the government of national unity, been consulted about her dismissal. This was a constitutional requirement. Winnie Mandela was then briefly reinstated before being dismissed again, Mandela having consulted with all party leaders involved in the government.

Mandela and Madikizela-Mandela would divorce in due to political differences and the tension which she was causing within the ANC. In May , following a dispute between the IFP and the ANC regarding international mediation for the new constitution, Buthelezi called on Zulus to 'rise and resist' any imposed constitutional dispensation.

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Mandela accused Buthelezi of encouraging violence and attempting to foment an uprising against central government. In this context, Mandela threatened to cut off central government funding to KwaZulu-Natal, indicating that he would not allow public funds to be used to finance an attempt to overthrow the constitution by violent means. South Africa had recently been allowed to compete in international events after the dissolution of apartheid.

Mandela saw this tournament as an opportunity to begin to unite the country and diffuse the racial tensions which had built up before the elections. The South African national rugby team nicknamed the Springboks won the tournament, and in an iconic moment, Mandela presented the trophy to the White captain of the team, Francios Pienaar, while wearing a Springbok jersey. The policy proposed a set of medium-term policies aimed at the rapid liberalization of the South African economy. On his eightieth birthday on 18 July , he married his third wife, Graca Machel.

Machel, at the time, was the widow of Mozambican president, Samora Machel. Mandela retired from active political life in June after his first term of office as president. Mandela continued to play an active role in mediating conflicts around the world.

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For instance, in he was appointed mediator in the war-torn, Burundi, a mission he accomplished with aplomb. In , he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He devoted a large amount of his time to raising funds for the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. This concert would be the first of six international concerts of the same name that took place between and Evelyn Mase passed away on 4 April, and Mandela cut short his overseas trip to attend her funeral. On 10 May , Mandela addressed a joint-sitting of parliament in celebrating a decade of democracy in which he acknowledged the extraordinary position he was in, being allowed to address Parliament despite not being an MP or sitting leader.

According to him, it would be a fitting present for the 10 years of democracy. On 15 May , he was in Zurich, Switzerland when South Africa was awarded the right to host the soccer showpiece. Mandela cried openly at the achievement. He said he felt like a year-old boy and the memory would live with him forever. Though retired from public life, Mandela carried the Olympic torch on Robben Island on 14 June on its first journey on African soil since the inception of the Olympic Games.

Mandela was the recipient of numerous awards and honours both within South Africa and abroad. In line with his desire to recede from the political limelight, the unending invitations to receive more awards and honours prompted him to publicly urge that other leaders in the struggle to liberate and democratise South Africa should be recognised and honoured as he had been. His 88th birthday celebrations on 18 July, kicked off with a new round of honours, including a photo exhibit and the release of a book called The Meaning of Mandela during the week before his birthday.

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The Amazon region today contains the greatest diversity of flora and fauna in the world, and its native population has an integral sense of life not contaminated by economic materialism. The Amazon is a healthy territory in its long and fruitful history, although there was no shortage of diseases. The model of development focused exclusively on the economic exploitation of the forest, mining and hydrocarbon wealth of the Pan-Amazon affects the health of the Amazon biomes, their communities, and the entire planet!

LS 22 , the disciples of Christ are called to promote a culture of care and health. Commitment to health care therefore demands urgent changes in personal lifestyles and in structures. Deforestation in the Amazon will prevent us from sharing in such riches, impoverishing future generations. Currently, the extinction rate of species in the Amazon due to human activities is a thousand times greater than from natural processes.

The only way to preserve this wealth is to take care of the territory and the Amazon rainforest and to empower the indigenous people and citizens. Indigenous rituals and ceremonies are essential for integral health because they integrate the different cycles of human life and nature. They create harmony and balance between human beings and the cosmos. They protect life from evils that can be caused by both human beings and other living beings. They help to cure diseases that harm the environment, human life and other living beings.

Health care of the inhabitants involves detailed knowledge of medicinal plants and other traditional elements that are part of healing processes. To this end, indigenous peoples rely on people who, throughout their lives, specialize in observing nature and in listening to and collecting the knowledge of the elderly, especially women. But because of environmental pollution, both nature and the bodies of people in the Amazon are deteriorating. Contact with new toxic elements such as mercury causes new diseases to appear that were unknown until now by the elderly healers.

All this puts this ancestral wisdom at risk. That is why the responses to the Preparatory Document emphasize the need to preserve and transmit the knowledge of traditional medicine. Faced with these new diseases, inhabitants are forced to buy medicines from pharmaceutical companies using the same plants from the Amazon. Once marketed, these drugs are beyond their financial reach for reasons that include patenting of drugs and overpricing. Therefore, it is proposed to value traditional medicine, the wisdom of the elders and indigenous rituals, and at the same time to facilitate access to medicines that cure new diseases.

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But it is not only medicinal herbs and medicines that aid healing. Clean water and air, and healthy food, the fruit of their own cultivation, gathering, hunting and fishing, are necessary conditions for the integral health of indigenous peoples. Finally, it is proposed to evaluate the health structures of the Church, such as hospitals and health centres, in terms of integral health available to all the inhabitants who count on traditional medicine as part of their health programmes.

We forget that we have our roots, that we belong to an original people, and we are allowing ourselves to be carried away by technology. It is not bad to walk with both feet, to know the modern and also to take care of the traditional. Consulta, Ecuador. Through mutual listening to peoples and nature, the Church transforms into a Church that goes out in both geographical and structural ways, and a Church that is sister and disciple through synodality. He himself became a disciple in Puerto Maldonado by expressing his willingness to listen to the voice of the Amazon.

Education implies an encounter and an exchange in which values are assimilated. Every culture is rich and poor at the same time. Because it is historical, culture always has a pedagogical dimension of learning and improvement. This education, which develops through encounter, is different from an education that seeks to impose on the other and especially on the poor and vulnerable the very worldviews which are precisely the cause of their poverty and vulnerability.

Education in the Amazon does not mean imposing cultural parameters, philosophies, theologies, liturgies and strange customs on the Amazon peoples. Education in an integral ecology encompasses all the constitutive relationships of individuals and peoples. In order to understand this vision of education, it is worth applying the same principle as in health: the goal is to observe the whole body and the causes of the disease and not only the symptoms.

Indigenous peoples have a teaching-learning method based on oral tradition and experiential practice with a contextualized pedagogical process within each stage. The challenge is to integrate this method in the dialogue with other educational proposals. The formation plans must reflect a philosophical-theological culture adapted to the cultures of the Amazon, capable of being understood and therefore of nourishing Christian life. Indigenous theology and ecotheology ought to be integrated for this very reason: this will prepare them for the listening and open dialogue in which evangelization takes place.

It is proposed to reform the structures of the seminars in order to facilitate the integration of candidates for the priesthood in the communities. Schools: educational plans are needed to focus on education that reflects one's own culture and respects native languages, an integral education that responds to one's own reality, in order to deal with school dropouts and illiteracy, especially among women.

University: it is necessary to promote not only an inter-disciplinary orientation but also to address issues in a trans-disciplinary manner, that is to say, favouring an approach that restores unity in diversity to human knowledge, along the lines of the study of an integral ecology according to the prologue of the Apostolic Constitution Veritatis Gaudium.

The teaching of Pan-Amazon indigenous theology is requested in all educational institutions. It is desirable to deepen existing Amazonian Indian theology, which will allow for a better and greater understanding of indigenous spirituality and thus avoid committing the historical errors that have violated many original cultures.

It is requested, for example, to take into account the original myths, traditions, symbols, knowledge, rites and celebrations that include transcendent, community and ecological dimensions. A fundamental aspect of the root of human sin is to detach oneself from nature and not recognize it as part of the human and to exploit nature without limits, thus breaking the original covenant with creation and with God Gen After the ruptures of sin and the universal flood, God re-establishes the covenant with man himself and with creation Gen , calling upon humanity to care for it. The reconciliation with creation to which Pope Francis invites us cf.

LS presupposes above all that we overcome passivity — like the passive attitude of King David refusing to take charge of his mission cf. Likewise the Church can be tempted to remain closed in on herself, renouncing her mission of proclaiming the Gospel and of making the Kingdom of God present. On the contrary, an outgoing Church is a church confronts the sins of this world from which it is not alien cf. This sin, as St. John Paul II said, is not only personal but also social and structural Cf.

Christ redeems all of creation submitted by humanity to sin Rom Therefore, conversion must also have the same levels of concreteness: personal, social and structural, bearing in mind the various dimensions of relationality. This conversion implies recognizing personal and social complicity in the structures of sin, unmasking the ideologies that justify a lifestyle that assaults creation. We often hear stories that justify the destructive actions of power groups that exploit nature, dominate its inhabitants in a despotic manner cf. LS 56, , and ignore the cries of pain of the earth and of the poor cf.

The process of conversion to which the Church is called involves unlearning, learning and relearning. This path requires a critical and self-critical regard that allows us to identify what we need to unlearn , what harms our common home and its inhabitants. We need to take an inner journey to find the attitudes and mentalities that prevent us from connecting with ourselves, with others and with nature.

Their daily life gives testimony to contemplation, care and relationship with nature. They teach us to recognize ourselves as part of the biome and as co-responsible for its present and future care. Conversion is presented in Sacred Scripture as a movement that goes from sin to friendship with God in Jesus Christ; that is why it belongs to the process of faith Mk Beholding the reality of the Amazon with believing eyes has made us appreciate the work of God in creation and its peoples, but we also observe the presence of evil at various levels: colonialism dominion , an economicist-mercantilist mentality, consumerism, utilitarianism, individualism, technocracy, throwaway culture.

Unmask the new forms of colonialism present in the Amazon. Identify and critically analyze the new ideologies that justify ecocide in the Amazon. Denounce the structures of sin at work in the Amazonian territory. Identify the reasons with which we justify our participation in the structures of sin in order to analyze them critically. Promote habits of behaviour, production and consumption, recycling and reuse of waste.

Salvage myths and update community rites and celebrations that contribute significantly to the process of ecological conversion. Thank the native peoples for their care of the territory through time and recognize in this the ancestral wisdom that forms the basis for a good understanding of integral ecology. The local Church formally to recognize the special ministry of pastoral agents who promote care for our common home. Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on them all! The proclamation of Jesus Christ and having a profound encounter with Him through conversion and the ecclesial experience of the faith presuppose a welcoming and missionary Church that is incarnated in cultures.

She must keep in mind the steps that have been taken in response to the challenging themes of the centrality of the kerygma and of the mission in the area of the Amazon. This paradigm of church action inspires ministries, catechesis, liturgy, and social pastoral ministry in both rural and urban areas. LS 63, , Evangelization in the Amazon is a set of tests for the Church and for society.

The Amazonian face of the Church is manifest in the multiplicity of its peoples, cultures and ecosystems. This diversity demands that the Church choose to be an outgoing and missionary Church, incarnated in all its activities, expressions and languages. Inculturation and interculturality are not mutually opposed; they complement each other. Just as Jesus became incarnate in a particular culture inculturation , his missionary disciples follow in his footsteps. For this reason, Christians from one culture go out to meet people from other cultures interculturality.

Today, in the encounter and dialogue with cultures of the Amazon, the Church continues to search for new pathways. According to the Aparecida Document, the preferential option for the poor is the hermeneutical criterion for analyzing proposals for the construction of society , , , , and the criterion for the Church's self-understanding as well.

It is also one of the physical features, as it were, that characterize the Latin American and Caribbean Church , , and all its structures, from the parish to its educational and social centres , , , , , , , The Amazonian face is that of a Church with a clear option for and with the poor [48] and for the care of creation. OA 4; EG Shaping a Church with an Amazonian face includes an ecclesial, social, ecological and pastoral dimension, often conflictual. In fact, political and legal organization has not always taken into account the cultural face of the justice proper to the peoples and their institutions.

The Church is no stranger to this tension. It has a tendency at times to impose a culture alien to the Amazon that prevents us from understanding its peoples and appreciating their worldviews. Cultural diversity calls for a more robust incarnation in order to embrace different ways of life and cultures. Constructing a missionary Church with a local face means to progress in building an inculturated Church that knows how to work and articulate like the rivers in the Amazon basin with what is culturally available, in all fields where it is present and active.

The mission of the Church is to announce the Gospel of Jesus of Nazareth, the Good Samaritan Lk , who has compassion on wounded and abandoned humanity. The Church proclaims the mystery of his death and resurrection to all cultures and all peoples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Mt She has tried to carry out this missionary mandate by embodying and translating the message of the Gospel in different cultures, in the midst of difficulties of every kind — political, cultural, geographical. But much remains to be done.

The Church has tried for centuries to share the Gospel with the peoples of the Amazon, many of whom have joined the church community. Missionary men and women have a deep history of relationship with this region. They have left deep traces in the soul of the Catholic people of the Amazon. The Church has come a long way, but deepening and updating are needed for it to be a Church with an indigenous and Amazonian face. However, as was revealed in our regional consultations, there is still an open wound due to past abuses.

In fact, in Pope Pius X recognized the cruelty with which indigenous people were treated in the Encyclical Lacrimabili Statu Indorum.

Amazonia: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology

Listening to the voice of the Spirit in the cry of the Amazon peoples and in the magisterium of Pope Francis requires a process of pastoral and missionary conversion cf. To this end, it is suggested to:. The Creator Spirit who fills the universe Wis is the one that has nurtured the spirituality of these peoples for centuries, even before the proclamation of the Gospel, and moves them to accept it from within their own cultures and traditions. It also recognizes that the seed has already grown and borne fruit in many of them.

It presupposes respectful listening that does not impose formulations of faith expressed with other cultural referents that do not respond to their lived reality. The inculturation of faith is not a top-down process or an external imposition, but a mutual enrichment of cultures in dialogue interculturality. Hopefully this will arouse the interest and participation of the faithful and engage with the integral indigenous world view, stimulating a pastoral conversion that embraces integral ecology.

To this end, indigenous subjects themselves should be present in the current communications media. Sacrosanctum Concilium , 65, 77, 81 proposes that the liturgy should be inculturated among the indigenous peoples. The celebration of the faith must be carried out in an inculturated way so that it may be an expression of one's own religious experience and a bond of communion in the celebrating community.

It is necessary to be attentive to grasp the true meaning of symbols that transcends the merely aesthetic and folkloric, specifically in Christian initiation and marriage. It is suggested that the celebrations should be festive, with their own music and dances, using indigenous languages and clothing, in communion with nature and with the community. A liturgy that responds to their own culture so as to be the source and summit of their Christian life cf SC 10 and linked to their struggles and sufferings and joys. EG 47 , especially the poor cf. We are asked to overcome the rigidity of a discipline that excludes and alienates, and practice a pastoral sensitivity that accompanies and integrates AL , All of this happens thanks to community associations that organize various events such as prayers, pilgrimages, visits to shrines, and processions and festivals celebrating the patron saint.

This is evidence of a wisdom and spirituality that forms a real theological locus with great evangelizing potential cf. The Church must be incarnated in the cultures of the Amazon that have a pronounced sense of community, equality and solidarity — and that is why clericalism is not accepted in all its guises. The native peoples have a rich tradition of social organization where authority is rotational and has a deep sense of service.

Given this experience of organization, it would be opportune to reconsider the notion that exercise of jurisdiction power of government must be linked in all areas sacramental, judicial, administrative and in a permanent way to the sacrament of Holy Orders. In addition to the plurality of cultures in the Amazon, distances generate a serious pastoral challenge that cannot be solved by mechanical and technological means alone.

This requires the local church to reconfigure in all its dimensions: ministries, liturgy, sacraments, theology and social services. The following suggestions from the communities recall aspects of the early Church when it responded to needs by creating appropriate ministries Acts ; 1 Tim :. Promote vocations among indigenous men and women in order to respond to the need for pastoral and sacramental care. Their critical contribution is in the movement towards an authentic evangelization from the indigenous perspective, according to their habits and customs.

This would be indigenous people preaching to indigenous people from a deep knowledge of their culture and their language, capable of communicating the message of the Gospel with the strength and effectiveness of those who share their cultural background. Affirming that celibacy is a gift for the Church, it is requested that, for the most remote areas of the region, the possibility of priestly ordination be studied for older people, preferably indigenous, respected and accepted by their community, even if they have an existing and stable family, in order to ensure availability of the Sacraments that accompany and sustain the Christian life.

Identify the type of official ministry that can be conferred on women, taking into account the central role they play today in the Church in the Amazon. Indigenous communities are participatory with a high sense of co-responsibility. With this in mind, it is asked to put proper value on the proactive role of lay Christian men and women and to recognize their place as subjects in the Church that reaches out.

Offer integral training options to assume their role as credible and co-responsible animators of communities. Create formative itineraries in the light of the Social Doctrine of the Church with an Amazonian focus for lay men and women who work in Amazonian territories, especially in areas of citizenship and politics. Open new channels of synodal processes, with the participation of all the faithful, with a view to the organization of the Christian community for the transmission of the faith.

In the ecclesial field, the presence of women in communities is not always valued. The recognition of women is sought for their charisms and talents. May the Church embrace more and more the feminine style of acting and of understanding events. It is therefore proposed to promote an alternative and prophetic consecrated life, inter-congregational and inter-institutional, dedicated to be present where no one wants to be and with whom nobody wants to be.

Support consecrated men and women in their going to and being with the most impoverished and excluded, and into political advocacy, in order to transform reality. Encourage the men and women religious who come from abroad to be willing to share the local life with their hearts, heads and hands in order to unlearn models, recipes, schemes and pre-set structures; and to learn the languages, cultures, traditions of wisdom, cosmologies and mythologies of the indigenous peoples.

Given the pastoral urgencies and the temptation to get to work immediately, it is recommended to give time for learning of language and culture in order to generate bonds and develop an integral pastoral ministry. It is recommended that formation in religious life include formative processes focused on interculturality, inculturation and dialogue between spiritualities and worldviews of the Amazon.

It is suggested that priority be given to the needs of local people over those of religious congregations. There is an urgent need for dialogue with young people to listen to their needs. Young people find themselves between two worlds, between the indigenous mentality and the lure of the modern mentality, especially when they migrate to the cities. It is urgent to address the problem of the migration of young people to cities. Greater emphasis is needed on the defense and recovery of victims of drug trafficking and human trafficking networks, as well as addiction to drugs and alcohol.

Account Options

The border is a fundamental factor in the life of the Amazonian peoples. It is the location par excellence where conflicts and violence worsen; and where the law is not respected and corruption undermines the control of the State, leaving many companies free to exploit indiscriminately. For all these reasons, it is necessary to work to make the Amazon a home for all and deserving the care of all.

The border Churches should join together in pastoral action to face common problems such as the exploitation of the territory, delinquency, drug trafficking, human trafficking, prostitution, etc. Pastoral networks in border areas should be encouraged and strengthened as a path to more effective social and ecological pastoral action, continuing the service of REPAM. Given the specific characteristics of the Amazon territory, the need for an Amazon episcopal structure to implement the Synod ought to be considered.

The Church needs to be in permanent dialogue with the urban reality, which demands different and creative responses. For this, it is necessary that the priests, men and women religious, and laity of the different ministries, movements, communities and groups in the same city or diocese, be increasingly united in carrying out joint, intelligent missionary activities and capable of joining forces. The urban mission will only advance as long as there is a great communion among the workers in the vineyard of the Lord, because, faced with the complexity of the city, individual and isolated pastoral action loses effectiveness.

The city, even with its challenges, can witness an explosion of life. Cities are part of the territory, so they must take care of the forest and respect the indigenous people. Indigenous individuals in the city are migrants, landless human beings, survivors of a historic battle for the demarcation of their land, with their cultural identity in crisis. In urban centers, government agencies often shirk their responsibility to guarantee their rights, denying them their identity and condemning them to invisibility. Some parishes, for their part, have not yet assumed their full responsibility in the multicultural world that awaits a specific, missionary and prophetic pastoral ministry.

An important phenomenon to be taken into account is the rapid growth of recently founded evangelical churches of pentecostal origin, especially in the peripheries. All this leads us to ask ourselves: what parish structure can best respond to the urban world, where anonymity, media influences and pronounced social inequality reign supreme? What kind of education can Catholic institutions promote at the formal and informal levels? Promote a specific pastoral ministry for the indigenous people who live in cities, with them participating as protagonists.

Promote the integration of the indigenous people in the various pastoral activities of the parish with follow-up and formation, valuing their contribution more and more each day. Develop a common strategy of pastoral work in the cities. Rethink church structures, overcoming the outdated cultural forms that have been acquired over the centuries. Promote necessary changes in social and economic structures so that the growth of cities is not a threat. Sensitize the community about social struggles, supporting the different social movements to promote ecological citizenship and defend human rights.

Promote a missionary and evangelizing Church, visiting and listening to the present reality in the new neighbourhoods. Be present in the media and communications in order to evangelize and promote the original cultures. Ecumenical dialogue takes place between people who share faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Saviour and, based on the Holy Scriptures, seek to bear common witness.

Interreligious dialogue takes place between believers who share their lives, their struggles, their concerns and their experiences of God, making their differences a stimulus to grow and deepen their own faith.