From September 9 to 12, at the headquarters of the Pontifical Missions in Brasilia, Brazil, a meeting coordinated by the Department of Justice and Solidarity of the Latin American Episcopal Council and the Episcopal Commission for the Amazon of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops, took place. Institutions formally associated with the initiative were: the Confederation of Latin American and Caribbean men and women religious, the Secretariat of Caritas Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Among the approximately sixty participants: bishops of countries which include within their territory the Amazon region; Diocesan priests or missionaries from congregations connoisseurs of the Amazon jungle and its peoples; representatives of Caritas from South America, Europe and the US; lay people belonging to various structures of the Church.
The meeting is the culmination of a process of integration and cooperation of the Church in the Amazon region on the unique challenges of this space: the evangelizing work of the Church that seeks to be more and more a "face of the Amazon"; the preservation of cultures and ancestral knowledge; the fate of indigenous peoples in their lives often overwhelmed by large projects for the exploitation of natural resources or infrastructures - projects that have regularly a corollary of intimidation, rights trampled or killings; the defense of life and nature; the evaluation of a number of studies and research carried out by the Church in the Amazon; the promotion of a model of a solidal alternative development, which is not that of the cynical exploitation of nature nor the organization of society on the basis of purely economic interests.
A first draft of the Ecclesial Pan-Amazonian Network (REPAM) has been drawn: its organization, its bodies at the national or Amazonian level and their functions, its main fields of work for the first few years of operation.
H. Em. Card. Peter K. A. Turkson sent a message:
Greetings from Card. Peter K. A. Turkson (Spanish)