Earlier this month Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the relator general of the Amazon synod, sent a letter to some ordinaries indicating that the apostolic exhortation should be promulgated in January or February.
“The draft is currently being reviewed and corrected and then needs to be translated. Pope Francis hopes to promulgate it by the end of this month or in early February,” Cardinal Hummes, who is also president of the Pan Amazonic Church Network, wrote in a Jan. 13 letter.
Among the works of REPAM is “protection for the 137 ‘contactless tribes’ of the Amazon and affirmation of their right to live undisturbed.”
Cardinal Hummes said in his letter that Francis is preparing the exhortation “to present the New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology as developed with the guidance of the Holy Spirit” during the Amazon synod.
According to Cardinal Hummes, the exhortation “is keenly awaited and will attract great interest and many different responses.”
The cardinal added that the pope wants ordinaries to receive the text “before it is published and before the world press starts to comment on it, and join him in presenting the Exhortation and making it accessible to the faithful, to fellow believers and all people of good will, and to the media, the academic world, and others in positions of authority and influence.”
Cardinal Hummes offered “some suggestions” to bishops on how to prepare well for the exhortation's release. “The purpose is not to generate publicity or attract attention. Rather, it is quietly to support you the Ordinary, in communion with Pope Francis, as you prepare to receive the Exhortation and pass it on to the People of God in your jurisdiction.”
In addition to advocating the priestly ordination of married men, the synod's final document called for women to be considered for diaconal ordination. It presented the synod assembly’s reflections and conclusions on topics ranging from environmentalism, inculturation in the Church, and the human rights of indigenous communities in the face of economic, environmental, and cultural exploitation.
Four days before the final document was approved, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna indicated that it was to be written principally by a team chaired by Cardinal Hummes.
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