Francis’ response to Amazon synod coming February 12, Vatican announces

By Joshua J. McElwee, 10 February 2020
An Indigenous woman hands Pope Francis a plant during the closing Mass of the Synod. Image: Vatican Media/Vatican News.


Pope Francis’ highly anticipated document responding to last year’s Synod of Catholic bishops from the Amazon region, expected to address a host of sensitive topics, will be released February 12, the Vatican has announced.

The document, taking the form of an apostolic exhortation, has been given the Spanish title Querida Amazonia, suggesting an English translation of “Beloved Amazon.”

The Feb. 7 announcement of the document’s coming release ends weeks of speculation about its publication, partially fuelled by a letter sent to the world’s bishops from the Vatican in January, which asked global prelates to consider hosting press conferences to support the text upon its release.

That abnormal request appeared to acknowledge the unique atmosphere surrounding Francis’ document, which, among other issues, is expected to address the synod’s proposal to allow for the priestly ordination of married men on a limited, regional basis, and its call for better inclusion of women in Catholic ministry.

Also expected to be addressed is the rampant environmental destruction taking place in the Amazon, which was brought to global attention last year with the sparking of tens of thousands of unprecedented wildfires.

The text of the exhortation will be released at noon in Rome Feb. 12. The Vatican is hosting a press conference an hour later to officially present the document to the public.

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With thanks to National Catholic Reporter (NCR) and Joshua J McElwee, where this article originally appeared.


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