2019 | Synod on the Amazon

What is the synod on the Amazon?

The Vatican has invited the bishops from all dioceses in the world to travel to Rome in order to discuss the Amazon and its people. This gathering, or synod, is officially titled “The Amazon: new paths for the Church and for integral ecology.” 

This is the first synod in which integral ecology will be applied to a specific place in creation. That’s a landmark for the Church. The synod runs 6-27 October, and the week of 13 October is dedicated to integral ecology. 

The synod is guided by a preparatory document and an instrumentum laboris. The preparatory document includes a list of questions that were discussed with local communities in the Amazon, to ensure the synod responds to local expertise and concerns. The instrumentum laboris takes wisdom from these conversations and from the teaching of the Church to guide the synodal fathers’ discussions.

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Reflect and
take action

There are many ways to bring this groundbreaking event into your faith practice. Take action at home or attend an event in Rome.

Take action at home

Use the synod reflection guide in your community group (available in Spanish here).This beautiful resource will help you understand the themes of the synod and bring them into your life as a Catholic.

Join the Season of Creation from September 1 to October 4, just before the synod. The Season of Creation is a worldwide celebration of prayer and action to protect our common home, and this year’s theme is “the web of life.” 

Organize a climate strike in the name of the Amazon and its people. A day of global climate strikes is planned for September 20. 

Eat simply–learn more here. Eating plant-based meals honors our Catholic tradition and can protect the Amazon rainforest, where cattle ranching is the number-one cause of illegal deforestation. This Lent, approximately 1,100 people committed to eating vegetarian meals. 

Plant a tree–learn more here. Planting trees is a symbol of our commitment to protecting forests. Right now, half a billion trees are cut in the Amazon annually. For Earth Day, the GCCM network planted approximately 19,000 trees. Watch the recording of a webinar on the Amazon, co-hosted by GCCM and REPAM in English or Spanish.

Attend an event in Rome

Attend an event during the “Tent of our Common Home,” a city-wide series of events that brings the themes of the synod to life for synodal fathers and lay leaders alike.

Events

“Voices from the Amazon: Land, People, and Religion”

Place: Auditorium Antonianum, Viale Manzoni 1, 00185 Roma

Description: This conference is an opportunity to discuss the synod with synodal fathers and indigenous leaders one day before it begins. Join GCCM and OFM JPIC for structured plenaries and informal workshops to share ideas.

Learn more here.

Date: 5 October, 9.00-17.15

“Photo exhibit: Guardians of the Earth”

Description: Exposition of photos of indigenous communities as the guardians of the Earth, with a concrete focus on how they protect the Amazon.

Date: 6-27 October

“The Amazon and Beyond: Integral Ecology, Multiple Vulnerabilities and Youthful Commitments”

Place: Gregorian Pontifical University , Piazza della Pilotta, 4, 00187 Roma

Description: The Gregorian Pontifical University will host a seminar to discuss how integral ecology intersects with the lived experiences of communities in the Amazon.

Date: 18 October, 15.00-19.30

Pilgrimage in support of the synod

Description: Grassroots community leaders will take a 6-kilometer pilgrimage to “pray with their feet” and show support for the synod. The pilgrimage will end in St. Peter’s Square.

Learn more here.

Date: 19 October

Outdoor mass

Description: Cardinal Barreto will lead an outdoor mass to inaugurate the final week of the synod.

Date: 20 October

Partners

Around the world, the Catholic community is coming together to lift up this important moment for the Church and the planet. Global Catholic Climate Movement is grateful to collaborate with partners like REPAM, the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network, which is a key advisor to the synod.