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VATICAN CITY (RNS) — As the synod on the Amazon region enters it final week, the bishops gathered here to discuss the region’s challenges and make recommendations to Pope Francis will begin preparing their final report. Their words could have profound impact not only on the Amazon but the entire church, as the ideas they present about protecting the environment, the rights of indigenous peoples as well as adaptation of church practices to local cultures are theoretically applicable anywhere.
The final report for the synod, which has been meeting since Oct. 6, will be put together by a drafting committee made up of bishops elected by the synod and appointed by the pope. After discussion and revisions, the report will be voted on paragraph by paragraph. Passage of any one paragraph requires a two-thirds vote. Only the 185 official delegates to the synod (almost all of them bishops) can vote.
Committee - Input - Synod - Groups - Issues
The drafting committee will work with input from 12 synod groups that met to discuss issues. The groups were organized by language (two Italian, four Portuguese, five Spanish, and one for English and French speakers). Each group of about 20 contained bishops, lay observers and experts who participated equally in the discussions.
The individual reports from these language groups, which totaled 35 pages, are the most accurate representation of where the synod is as it enters its final week.
Reports - Bishops - Concern - Destruction - Amazon
The reports show that the bishops are unanimous in their concern about the ecological destruction being inflicted on the Amazon by extractive industries (oil, mining, and lumber), cattle ranchers, monoculture and hydroelectric dams. The Amazon’s natural biodiversity has been destroyed to benefit development that is unsustainable but provides huge short-term profits to special interests.
Huge hydroelectric dams take away indigenous lands, rivers and sources of food, as do cattle ranches and monoculture. Mines do same plus...
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