Suburban Vicariate Vicar’s Cup won by Holy Cross Santa Cruz
August 15, 2023
Religious heads contemplate Christian identity, international funding
August 15, 2023

First time meeting for Conference of the Amazon

Bishop Francis Alleyne OSB of Georgetown, Fr Joel Thompson SJ and Marva Joy Hawksworth, an indigenous laywoman living in St Ignatius Village, Guyana were among the participants for the first assembly of the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon (CEAMA) at the Maromba Retreat House of the Archdiocese of Manaus, Brazil August 8–11.

Seventy participants from the nine countries of the Amazon Biome: Antilles (Guyana, Suriname, and French Guyana), Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela attended.

A release from CEAMA said that in the tradition of the Catholic Church, there have been Conferences of Bishops, but CEAMA is the only Ecclesial Conference of the universal Church for a region whose Assembly will include bishops, lay people, representatives of native peoples, deacons, religious and priests.

The objective of the meeting was “to strengthen the identity of this ecclesial and representative organism, the sense of belonging with the motto ‘We are CEAMA’, to define the lines of pastoral action and to build joint strategies to visualise its ecclesial horizon,” the release stated.

CEAMA is the fruit of the Amazon Synod, which was held in October 2019, and from which emerged Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Dear Amazonia, with its four dreams for the Catholic Church in the Amazon: social, cultural, ecological, and ecclesial.

CEAMA was officially founded on June 29, 2020, and is currently a representative organism of the Church in the Amazon with legal, canonical, and public status.

Its objective is to help delineate the Amazonian face of the Church and promote new paths for the evangelising mission, incorporating the proposal of integral ecology.

The CEAMA Assembly will be constituted, according to its Statute, by the members of the Presidency, the Executive Secretariat, the Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions of the Amazonian territory which, together with the seven Episcopal Conferences, each appointed five delegates.

Four founding organisations of CEAMA were also present: the Latin American Episcopal Council – CELAM, the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network – REPAM, the Latin American Confederation of Religious Men and Women – CLAR and Caritas Latin America and the Caribbean.

There were also representatives from specialised Vatican agencies, expert advisors and other special guests linked to the Church and the Amazon.