The Cathedral Connection 3 November 2019

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OUR COMMON HOME

During October the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region was meeting in Rome. Such reporting as there was in this country hit on the Synod suggesting that where the need exists married men could be ordained as priests, and that there should be further reflection on whether women could be ordained as deacons.

Both are important issues, but there was far more to the Synod than that. The final document speaks of a long path of ‘listening to the People of God in the Church of Amazonia’. It refers to the ecological crisis in that part of the world: deforestation, a loss of biodiversity, infrastructure projects which do not serve the needs of the people, and unsustainable extraction of resources.  The document also emphasizes the ecological wisdom of the indigenous peoples of the region.

This might seem a long way away from us.  Papua New Guinea’s Cardinal John Ribat, however, who attended the Synod, has said that similar problems face this part of the world. The effects of climate change are already being felt in the island nations of Oceania. Sea levels are rising, drinking water is contaminated, storms and erosion threaten coastal communities. Four weeks ago Caritas Aotearoa launched its annual State of the Environment for Oceania report, available here https://caritas.org.nz/state-environment-oceania-2019-report. It’s a short document and worth reading.

As Pope Francis recently observed, ‘The young remind us that the earth is not a possession to be squandered, but an inheritance to be handed down’. In his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si, Francis reminded us that the whole creation speaks to us of God’s love for us, and that we must use these created gifts wisely, and with thought for future generations.

Jim McAloon
Chair, Parish Pastoral Council.

The full newsletter can be viewed here.