Peruvian bishop: Pope sees Amazon region, new ‘Amazon Ecclesial Conference’ as ‘testing ground’

Peruvian bishop: Pope sees Amazon region, new ‘Amazon Ecclesial Conference’ as ‘testing ground’ by MAIKE HICKSON for Life Site News

Upon the explicit request of Pope Francis, this new structure is not called an Episcopal Conference.

While people have been distracted by the current coronacrisis or other, election-related or Black Lives Matter-related topics, Pope Francis has quietly continued to work with the Amazon bishops to implement the ideas as set forth during the October 2019 Amazon Synod. As the Peruvian Bishop David Martinez de Aguirre Guinea of Puerto Maldonado – Vice-President of the newly established Amazon Ecclesial Conference – reveals, it was Pope Francis who in 2013 said that the Amazon region is the “testing ground” for the universal Church.

There are two new reports from The Tablet coming to us that are very important and revealing of important new facts.

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First, on July 6, The Tablet reported the above-mentioned words by Pope Francis as revealed by Bishop Martinez de Aguirre Guinea. He, together with Cardinal Claudio Hummes – one of the architects of the Pan-Amazon Synod of last October – related that this new Amazon Ecclesial Conference as established this June will be different from other entities, inasmuch as “women and indigenous people” will have their own influence in it, thus reflecting the new “synodal” spirit of the Church.

And Pope Francis himself suggested this new structure, which upon his explicit request is not called an Episcopal Conference.

Stated Cardinal Hummes: “Following a suggestion from the Pope himself, this is not going to be an episcopal conference, like so many others, but what he has called the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon Region. The reason for this is that it is meant to be an expression of the synodal nature of the Church in the region…Like the Amazon Synod, where there were bishops who had a vote, but many others, lay people, indigenous, with the right to speak, it is a Church that listens to the communities and with them looks for ways of evangelising that are incarnate and inculturated.”

Bishop Martinez de Aguirre added that this new ecclesial body is meant to be “a sort of experiment – I’m not sure if that’s the most appropriate word – for a new form of Church life, based on synodality, in which the bishop is no longer someone that leads the Church on his own, but someone who is part of the whole Church journey.”

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