For this reason he is continuing a practice he started at the youth synod in 2018: there will be four minutes of silence after every four speeches, which are called interventions, to give time for internal reflection.
He said that someone commented to him that it is dangerous to have silence because the synod participants will fall asleep, but he joked that the opposite occurred at last year’s synod on young people: “they tended to fall asleep during the interventions, at least on some, and they woke up in the silence.”
The pope asked for the bishops and other Amazon synod participants to have a pastoral heart toward the people living in the Amazon.
“Approach on tiptoe, respecting their history, their cultures, their style of ‘buen vivir,’ in the etymological sense of the word, not in the social sense that we often give it,” he said.
He condemned “ideological colonization” and the desire by some to “domesticate native peoples,” expressing sorrow for times when the Church did this, when it “was not inculturized.”
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“The homogenizing and homogenizing centralism did not let the authenticity of the culture of the peoples emerge,” he said. “Ideologies are a dangerous weapon. We always tend to grab an ideology to interpret a people. Ideologies are reductive and lead us to exaggeration in our claim to understand intellectually, but without accepting. Understand without admiring.”
The pope said he was sad to hear a “mocking comment” about a man who carried one of the gifts at the offering of the opening Mass of the synod Oct. 6. The man was wearing a head dress with feathers.
“Tell me: what is the difference between wearing feathers on the head and the tricorne used by some officials of our dicastery?” Francis asked, adding that he wants the bishops to look beyond the proposal of “pragmatic measures” to take a more “paradigmatic perspective.”
Understanding and serving people better happens on the synodal path, he said, not a roundtable or a conference. “Because the synod is not a parliament, it is not a call center, it is not to show who has more power over the media and who has more power among the networks to impose any idea or any plan.”
The Church is not about “a majority,” nor is it “sensationalist,” he stated.
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.