Brazil: “Goes forth” means to respect the indigenous culture

Pope Francis always insists on a Church that “goes forth”. In the Amazon, according to Bishop João Muniz Alves, Bishop of the Prelature of Xingu, in Brazil, this must be translated into “a Church that respects the cultures that are present here”.

The Prelature of Xingu, which has an area of 368,876.67 square kilometers, brings together the different cultures of Brazil, people from all regions of the country, “without forgetting that there are 64 indigenous villages, who are the primitive inhabitants of the region” emphasises Archbishop João Muniz.

Bearing this reality in mind, the Bishop pointed out: “our effort to work with cultures must take into account respect for diversity, respect for these cultures and the need to give them dignity”, a reflection that is present in the next Synod of the Bishops for the Amazon. On the other hand, Mgr. João Muniz Alves, denounces that “in the Amazon region there is no attention that should be given by the government, which has implications also in our way of evangelising, because we evangelise to people who suffer”.

In this mission, religious life plays a fundamental role, said Mgr. Zenildo Luiz Pereira da Silva, Bishop of the Prelature of Borba, “religious life plays a fundamental role in the Amazon”. Religious life “with the presence of different charisms, in fact assumes the role of being light and witness of the Gospel of joy. It is a great witness in this region and must continue to be so”.

The Bishop of the Prelature of Borba, pointed out some examples of how the work of religious life in the Amazon can be carried out: “for example, being interested in the formation of our people, of the heads of the communities, coordinating the presence of consecrated persons in the communities, which involves investments, visits and spirituality”.

According to this perspective, Mgr. Zenildo insists that “the great contribution will be in the presence and in the spirituality of every charism in the different dioceses, sending people who are well prepared to work for the formation of the people, leaders, pastoral workers, according to the new directions that are being sought”. The Amazon Synod will take place from October 6 through October 27 in Rome.

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