Below is a translation of some notorious passages from the Instrumentum Laboris for the Amazon Synod translated by R&T contributor Jesus Florez Villa:
1- ) Last sentence of pr. 30
“The original diversity that the Amazon region offers, including biological, cultural and religious, brings to mind a new Pentecost”
2- ) Pr. 37
“Dialogue seeks exchange, consensus and communication, agreements and pacts, without “losing sight of the mail objective which is aiming for a just, responsive and inclusive society (Evangelii gaudium 239)”
3- ) Pr. 39
“Many Amazonian peoples are constitutively dialogical and communicative. There exists an ample and necessary space of dialogue among spiritualities, creeds and Amazonian religions which demands a cordial rapprochement with these diverse cultures. Respect for this space of dialogue does not entail relativizing one’s own convictions, but rather to acknowledge other paths which seek to plumb the depths of the inexhaustible mystery of God. An insincere stance of openness to the other, as well as a corporatist attitude, which reserves salvation exclusively to one’s own creed, is destructive of the same creed. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus explained this to the inquiring lawyer. Love lived in any religion pleases God. “Through an exchange of gifts, the Spirit can lead us ever more fully into truth and goodness. “ EG 246
4- ) Pr. 50
“However, in order to promote an integral ecology in the daily life of the Amazon, it is also necessary to understand the notion of justice and inter-generational communication, which includes the transmission of ancestral experiences, cosmologies, spiritualities and theologies of indigenous peoples, concerning the care of the Common Home.
5- ) Pr. 69
Suggestions 69. What do migrants expect from the Church? How can we help them in a more efficient way? How do we promote integration between migrants and the local community?
- b) It is necessary to work as a team, cultivating a missionary mysticism (the blazes is this supposed to mean!), coordinated by people with diverse and complementary skills in view of effective action. The migrant problem needs to be addressed in a coordinated manner, especially by the churches bordering the Amazon.
6- ) Pr. 74
- We suggest:
- Promoting universal access to education and culture.
- Promoting a system of sanitation of the environment and universal access to healthcare.
- Generating spaces of interaction between the wisdom of the indigenous, riparian and quilombola peoples inserted in the city, and the wisdom of the urban population to achieve dialogue and integration on the topic of care for life.
7- ) Part II
Family and community
The Amazonian families
Last sentence of pr. 75
In short, it is in the family where one learns to live in harmony: between peoples, between generations, with nature, in dialogue with the spirits.
8 -) Pr. 76
Social changes and family vulnerability
The family in the Amazon has been a victim of colonialism in the past and of neo-colonialism in the present. The imposition of a Western cultural model fostered a certain contempt towards the people and customs of the Amazonian territory, even qualifying them as “savage” or “primitive”
9- ) Pr. 79
- d) Articulate a family ministry that follows the indications of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia:
- A family ministry that accompanies integrates and does not exclude the injured family.
- A sacramental pastoral program that strengthens and consoles everyone without excluding anyone.
iii. A permanent formation of pastoral agents that takes into account the recent synods and the familial reality of the Amazon.
- A family pastoral care program where the family is both subject and protagonist.
10- ) Pr. 87
Valorization and deepening of traditional medicines
(It sounds like they are attributing something analogous to sacramental efficacy to these rituals and ceremonies)
- Indigenous rituals and ceremonies are essential for integral health since they integrate the different cycles of human life and nature. They establish harmony and balance between human beings and the cosmos. They protect life against the evils that can be caused by both human beings and other living beings. They help to cure diseases that harm the environment, human life and other living beings.
11- ) Pr. 93
Education entails an encounter and an exchange in which values are assimilated. Every culture is rich and poor at the same time. Because it is historical, culture always has a pedagogical dimension of learning and improvement.
12- ) Pr. 94.
This education, which unfolds through an encounter, is different from an education that seeks to impose on the other (and especially the poor and vulnerable) itsown cosmovisions that are the cause of the former’s poverty and vulnerability. Education in the Amazon does not mean imposing cultural parameters, philosophies, theologies, liturgies and strange customs on the Amazonian peoples.
13- ) Pr. 98
The formation plans must respond to a philosophical-theological culture adapted to the Amazonian cultures capable of being understood and contributing to the Christian life. Therefore, we suggest the integration of indigenous theology and eco-theology that prepares them for listening and open dialogue where evangelization takes place.
We ask that indigenous Pan-amazonic theology be taught in all educational institutions.
- d) Amazonian Indigenous Theology:
- We ask that a probing of the existing Amazonian Indian theology take place, which will allow for a better and greater understanding of indigenous spirituality in order to avoid committing the historical errors that obliterated many original cultures.
- We ask, for instance, that we take account of the myths, traditions, symbols, knowledge, rites and original celebrations that include the transcendent, communitary and ecological dimensions.
14- ) Pr. 104
Ecclesial conversion in the Amazon Suggestions
- We suggest:
- the recovery and update of rites and community celebrations that contribute significantly to the process of ecological conversion.
15- ) Pr. 108
Chapter I. Church with an Amazonian and missionary face
A face rich in expressions
- Inculturation and interculturality are not opposed to one another but rather, they complement each other. Just as Jesus became incarnate in a certain culture (inculturation), his missionary disciples follow in his footsteps. For this reason, Christians of a given culture go out to meet people of other cultures (interculturality). This happened from the beginning of the Church when the Hebrew apostles brought the Good News to different cultures, such as the Greeks, discovering there “seeds of the Word”.  From that encounter and dialogue between cultures, new paths of the Spirit emerged. Today, in the encounter and dialogue with the Amazonian cultures, the Church scrutinizes the new paths.
16- ) Pr. 110
A local face with a universal dimension
- A Church with an Amazonian face in its variegated nuances seeks to be a Church that goes forth (EG 20-23), a Church that leaves behind a monocultural, clericalist and a tradition of imposition, a Church that knows how to discern and assume without fear the diverse cultural expressions of the different peoples.
17- ) Pr. 120
Evangelization in cultures
- The creative Spirit that fills the universe (Wis 7: 1) is the one that for centuries has nurtured the spirituality of these peoples even before the proclamation of the Gospel and the one that moves them to accept it from their own cultures and traditions ….
18- ) Pr. 121
- It is necessary to grasp what the Spirit of the Lord through the centuries has taught these peoples: faith in the Father-Mother Creator God, the sense of communion and harmony with the earth, the sense of solidarity with their companions, the project of the “good life”, the wisdom of millenarian civilizations that the elderly possess and that influences health, coexistence, education, the cultivation of the land, the living relationship with nature and ‘Mother Earth’, the capacity of resistance and resilience, particularly of women, rites and religious expressions, relationships with ancestors, the contemplative attitude and the sense of gratuity, celebration and celebration, and the sacred meaning of territory.
19- ) Pr. 126 (this one is taken from Lifesite news)
Suggestions under chapter 3
The celebration of the faith: an inculturated liturgy
- a) A process of discernment is needed regarding the rites, symbols and styles of celebration of indigenous cultures in contact with nature, which need to be integrated into the liturgical and sacramental ritual. It is necessary to be attentive to grasp the true meaning of symbols that transcends the merely aesthetic and folkloric, especially in Christian initiation and marriage. It is suggested that the celebrations should be festive, with their own music and dances, using indigenous languages and clothing, in communion with nature and with the community. A liturgy that responds to their own culture so that it may be the source and summit of their Christian life (cf. SC 10) and linked to their struggles, sufferings and joys.
- b) The sacraments must be a source of life and a remedy accessible to all (cf. EG 47), especially the poor (cf. EG 200). We are asked [it is necessary] to overcome the rigidity of a discipline that excludes and alienates, and practice pastoral sensitivity that accompanies and integrates (cf. AL 297, 312).
- c) Communities find it difficult to celebrate the Eucharist frequently because of the lack of priests. “The Church draws her life from the Eucharist” and the Eucharist builds the Church. Therefore, instead of leaving the communities without the Eucharist, change is requested in the criteria for selecting and preparing ministers authorized to celebrate the Eucharist.
20- ) Pr. 130
Chapter V. Evangelization in the cities
- The Church needs to be in permanent dialogue with the urban reality, which demands different and creative responses
21- ) Pr. 136
Chapter VI. Ecumenical and interreligious dialogue
- Ecumenical dialogue takes place between people who share faith in Jesus Christ as Son of God and Savior, and from the Scriptures they try to give a common witness. Inter-religious dialogue takes place among believers who share their lives, their struggles, their concerns and their experiences of God, making their differences a stimulus to grow and deepen their own faith.
22- ) Pr. 138
However, other groups are present in the midst of the Amazon rainforest close to the poorest people, carrying out a work of evangelization and education … They are showing us another way of being a church where the people feel as the protagonist and where the faithful can express themselves freely without censure or dogmatisms or ritual disciplines.
23- ) Pr. 141
Chapter VII. Mission of the media Church media
141 …The indigenous world reflects values that the modern world does not have. That is why it is important that the empowerment made possible by media reach these native peoples. Their contribution can have resonance and help the ecological conversion of the Church and the planet. It is all about the Amazonian reality going forth from the Amazon region and having global effects (or repercussions).
24- ) Pr. 144
Chapter VIII. The prophetic role of the Church and the promotion of integral human development
A listening Church
- The Spirit is in the voice of the poor; that is why the Church must listen to them, they are a “locus theologicus”…