On the occasion of the Special Assembly of the Synod for the Pan-Amazon Region, WUCWO together with Italian Azione Cattolica, the International Forum of Azione Cattolica and the Pio XI Foundation (School of Holiness of Azione Cattolica) organised an event on October 15 to discuss the theme "Witnesses and martyrs of the inculturation of faith in the Amazon".
We were able to count on distinguished panelists who talked about their synodal work and personal experiences in some of the Amazonian countries:
- Cardinal Baltazar Porras, appointed by Pope Francis as one of the delegated Presidents of the Synod and a prominent pastor in Venezuela;
- Bishop Domenico Pompili, Bishop of Rieti and one of the few Synod Fathers personally chosen by the Holy Father;
- Rev. Sister Inés Azucena Zambrano Jara, Missionary of Mary Immaculate and Saint Catherine of Siena, from our beloved Colombia, appointed as auditor, among the 35 women of the Synod;
- Mons. Gutiérrez Reyes, Archbishop of Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela;
- Mons. Reyes Sequera, Apostolic Vicar of Puerto Ayacucho, Venezuela and Bishop of Canapio
Who are the "martyrs"? Martyrdom is a "gift." It is the gift of a call to live a particular relationship of love and coexistence with Jesus. What makes a violent death a true martyrdom is the identification and union of the person with Christ and the existential consequences of this radical option.
In the Pan-Amazon Region, the Church shows us concrete lives of witnesses who demonstrate this love in the defense of human rights, the protection of Creation and the accompaniment in the struggles of indigenous populations for the recognition of their dignity and their ancestral cultures.
The situations of radical injustice in the area are not only historical events but also current events. Our President María Lía Zervino recalled that in these conflicts the main victims are always the poorest families, who live in the jungle and on the rivers sides, in particular the “ribereñas” women.
The hope is, as indicated in the Preparatory Document (n. 12), that the Special Assembly for Pan-Amazon will be able to “find new ways of developing the Amazonian face of the Church and to respond to situations of injustice in the region”.