By Roberto Carrasco, OMI
In view of the Synod for the Amazon, an articulation process has begun that brings together several Church institutions and organizations with the aim of generating a space for dialogue and listening, that walks alongside the Synod Fathers this October 2019 in Rome.
As we remember what the experience of the Martyrs Tent in Aparecida was – in Brazil in 2007, we all seek to enrich this space of interaction and communication between persons, with the spirit of the Amazon. It is not just presenting various activities, it is rather an exercise in communication and intercultural dialogue, an interaction with the new, the diverse, the still unknown.
Amazon: Common House, is an effort to make present the life of the Amazon and who inhabits it. In the Amazon, maloca is the place where indigenous communities sit to simply be, listen, celebrate and be able to discern what happens in the life of the community.
Amazon: Common House in Rome, has that spirit, it is like the “Great Maloca” to which we are all invited. Therefore, we are guests in this space. Our indigenous brothers and other representatives of the territory and the ecclesial presence in that territory are the actors and protagonists of this space. They invite us to talk. We facilitate this meeting, whether among the indigenous leaders of various regions, between them and those who come from abroad. May it be their voice that helps the Synod Fathers to discern the new paths that the Church needs to find in order to respond to that cry of the poor and of the Common House.
It is important that we understand that Amazon: Common House, is not a forum, nor space for everyone to simply “show” what they know how to do. Everyone, in an attitude of listening, makes it easy for the voice of the Amazonian peoples to resonate: in us, in organizations, in the Church and in the world. It is not that each star shines, it is rather that together we shine like stars and give the best light to beautify the night, a night that wants to become darkness. The Amazon is screaming and inside her, her sons and daughters scream. We cannot be indifferent.
Amazon: Common House is an ecclesial space from which we will discuss matters that our Amazon brothers consider a priority. A space where reflection, discussion, dialogue, conversations, but above all, listening, develop. A space where its clamour, and not our interests, prevail.
In this spirit, we are invited to participate in a great tent, a great maloca, a great opportunity. Let us work to make this space a place of intercultural dialogue and meeting in the heart of the Catholic Church, together with Pope Francis, “our grandfather”, “our sage”, as the indigenous peoples call him. We need to meet each Amazonian and look at each other face to face. Together we travel these new paths with respect, tolerance, exchange, acceptance, openness, reciprocity, dialogue and listening.