Cardinal Hummes appointed General Rapporteur of Synod meet on Amazonia
May 7, 2019
Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes (Photo by AFP/OSSERVATORE ROMANO)
Pope Francis has appointed Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes as General Rapporteur for the Synod of Bishops’ special assembly on the Amazon.
The meeting is to take place in Rome from Oct. 6 to 27, on the theme “Amazonia, new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology.”
Cardinal Hummes, retired archbishop of São Paulo (Brazil) and very close to Pope Francis, has been from the beginning a key figure in the preparation of this synod assembly.
The Franciscan, who served briefly as prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy (2006-2010), was also president of REPAM, the Pan-Amazon Church Network. He will be 85 when the assembly is convened. That is ten years beyond the normal retirement age for bishops and five years past the age when cardinals lose the right to vote in a conclave.
Pope Francis on May 4 also appointed two special secretaries for the synod assembly. The first, Bishop David Martinez de Aguirre Guinea, is a Spanish missionary bishop in Peru. This 49-year-old Dominican is the Apostolic Vicar of Puerto Maldonado, a city on the edge of the Amazonian forest where he welcomed the pope in January 2018.
The second special secretary will be Father Michael Czerny, one of the two under-secretaries in charge of the Migrants and Refugees section within the dicastery for integral human development.
Appointed to this position by Pope Francis in December 2016, the 73-year-old Jesuit, a Canadian born in Czechoslovakia, has been working for many years on social justice issues.
He has already participated as an expert in the last Synod of Bishops’ special assembly on Youth in October 2018 and in the synod assembly on Africa in 2009.