Pope Francis reflects on the Synod for the Pan-Amazon Region that concluded with the celebration of Holy Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Sunday morning.
Before reciting the Angelus prayer this Sunday, Pope Francis commented on the readings of the closing Mass for the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region, and how they relate to the Synod itself.
The first reading, from the Book of Sirach, reminds us of the starting point of the Synod journey, he said: the prayer of the poor, which “will reach to the clouds” because “God hears the prayer of the one who is wronged.”
“The cry of the poor, together with that of the earth, came to us from the Amazon,” said the Pope. After these three weeks of the Synod, “we cannot pretend we have not heard it,” and we cannot remain indifferent, he said.
Pope Francis went on to describe the Synod itself as “walking together, comforted by the courage and consolations that come from the Lord.” It was a time of sincere listening and service, he said, “experiencing the beauty of moving forward together.”
In the second reading, Saint Paul expressed his last wish: not something for himself but for the Gospel, “so that it may be proclaimed to all nations.” This comes first and counts more than anything, said Pope Francis.
The Synod asked how to open up new pathways for the proclamation of the Gospel. Only what we live can we proclaim, said the Pope. To live according to the Gospel, “we must go beyond ourselves.”
The Synod was inspired to venture out into the deep, continued Pope Francis, “to leave our safe harbours,” and enter “the open sea where the Spirit invites us to cast our nets.”
Pope Francis concluded by invoking Our Lady as Queen of the Amazon. She “inculturated” herself, said the Pope, and with “the humble courage of a Mother, she became the protector of her children, the defender of the oppressed.”
To her, said the Pope, we entrust her poorest children and our common home.
Pope Francis announces retrieval of indigenous statues
On Friday, The Holy See Press Office provided a transcription of Pope Francis’s remarks concerning several indigenous statues, stolen last week and thrown into the Tiber River.
The Holy Father spoke off-the-cuff following the liturgical prayer that opened the afternoon session of the 15th General Congregation of the Synod for the Amazon on Friday 25 October.
Pope Francis said:
Good afternoon. I want to say a word about the statues of the pachamama that were taken from the church of the Transpontina – which were there without idolatrous intentions – and were thrown into the Tiber.
First of all, this happened in Rome, and, as Bishop of the Diocese, I ask pardon of the persons who were offended by this act.
Then, I want to communicate to you that the statues which created such attention in the media, were retrieved from the Tiber. The statues were not damaged.
The Commander of the Carabinieri desires that you should be informed of this recovery before the news is made public. At the moment, the news is confidential, and the statues are being kept in the Italian Carabinieri Commander’s office.
The Commander of the Carabinieri has expressed his desire to follow up on any indications that you would like to give concerning the manner of publication of the news, and any other initiative you may want to take in this regard: for example, the Commander said, “the exhibition of the statues during the Holy Mass for the closing of the Synod”. We’ll see.
I have delegated the Secretary of State to respond to this.
This is a bit of good news. Thank you.
Vatican News – Pope Francis announces retrieval of indigenous statues
With thanks to Vatican News.
The Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region was held in the Vatican from 6 to 27 October. For more information, click here.