By Vatican News
The thirteen Members of the Council for the implementation of the Special Assembly of the Amazon were elected on Friday afternoon, by an absolute majority. The newly-elected Members represent the principle countries of the Region: four coming from Brazil; two each from Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru; and one each from Peru, the Antilles, Venezuela, and Ecuador. In addition to those elected, three other Members will be named by the Pope. The Council has the duty of implementing the directives of the Synod.
The presentation of the Document
Immediately following the vote, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the Relator General of the Synod and President of the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network (REPAM) presented the Final Document for the consideration of the Synod Fathers. In introducing the text, the Cardinal highlighted the immense work of the Commission for the redaction of the Final Document, as well as that of the Small Groups, which produced numerous amendments. The text, he said, is set in the context of an urgent ecological crisis, which makes it necessary to act without delay. The preservation of the Amazon, he said, is fundamental for the health of the planet; and the Church recognizes this, conscious of the fact that an integral conversion for an integral ecology is necessary. He said the Church hears the cry of Amazonia, and the cry of the earth, which are the same cry, and also an expression of great hope. The Synod, Cardinal Hummes concluded, is intended to achieve ecclesial communion, with Peter and under the guidance of the Pope.
Final vote set for Saturday
The Synod Fathers will be able to devote themselves to reading the text on Saturday morning. The vote on the Final Document will be held in the afternoon, during the 16th General Congregation of the Synod.
Finally, following a tradition of the Synodal Assemblies, Pope Francis offered to each of the Synod participants a special gift: the medal of the Pontificate for the year 2019, which features a depiction of Amazonia.