By Melissa Butz
October 25 marked an exciting day at the Vatican: the final document and fruit from all the work at the Amazon Synod was published and read aloud in Friday’s afternoon session for all the Synod fathers — and most especially Pope Francis — to review.
There are leaks coming out of Synod about the content for the final document. Two main topics are ecology and addressing the pastoral needs in the Amazon. The main way these needs could be met is with a new rite, the Amazonian rite, which apart from the Latin rite, separately could include ordaining married men as priests and women as permanent deacons.
“We are waiting for the final document, so we don’t have a proposal [on a rite] yet. The proposal was made at different levels only in connection to the liturgy and articulating spirituality and rights,” explained Father Giacomo Costa S.J., secretary of the Information Commission.
“It depends… even if this will be proposed, there would have to be some serious work delving into the topic,” he added.
“We don’t have document, so like Fr. Giamcomo said, to speak about an Amazonian rite, is speaking about something very complex, said Paolo Ruffini, head of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication.
One Synod father from Uruguay, Father Martin Lasarte, insisted that it was not the only theme to be included in the final document.
“There is an enormity of themes, but popularly, this theme of ordinations has taken prominence. Other issues include culture, acculturation, and cultural dialogue within the various Amazonian groups,” he said. “Drug trafficking, which is closely linked to arms trafficking and human trafficking. The problem of child prostitution. They are dehumanizing situations.”
Trafficking stems from another issue: migration. The Synod fathers specifically looked at the indigenous who are affected and frontier areas like those in Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil.
Drawing from the last year’s Synod, another umbrella topic was that of young people. There were many positive points directed to them, and concerns about their involvement in drugs, and what the future of the Church in the Amazon will look like for them.
The final document will be voted on during the Oct. 26 morning session. The Synod fathers said there are not expecting any big changes from it, but perhaps a paragraph or sentence here or there could be cut.
The document will be shared with journalists on Saturday evening, who at this rate do not know how many articles or paragraphs are contained inside.