Category: Querida Amazonia

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Narratives that Colonize

Narratives are powerful. Narratives help frame issues and events, making them accessible and more easily understood. Within a world full of confusion and “information overload,” narratives can provide meaning and clarity on complicated issues and controversies. But it is also true that narratives can be dangerous. Narratives almost always reflect the perspectives and biases of those who construct them. Many narratives are built on false or inaccurate assumptions; some narratives are devised to intentionally deceive....

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My Clericalism and Querida Amazonia

After reading Querida Amazonia, my initial reaction was to think we have a Pope that believes there are some issues more important than the priesthood. Those of us who criticize clericalism certainly believe this, yet many of us were disappointed by the exhortation. This may say something about us, especially those of us  on the “progressive” end of the Catholic spectrum, that we never thought we would say. What many see in our current Pope...

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Married priests and Querida Amazonia: my thoughts

“This sanctity is what protects and has always shielded the Church from every positivist and manipulative ideological reductionism (…) The synodal perspective does not cancel out antagonism or surprises, and neither do conflicts get solved by syncretic solutions of ‘consensus,’ resulting from the elaboration of censuses or surveys about one topic or another. That would be too reductive.”  — Pope FrancisLetter to the Pilgrim People of God in GermanyJune 29, 2019 (my translation) Prior to...

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Querida Amazonia: An Opportunity

As with so many of the reforms and magisterial acts of the papacy of Pope Francis, Querida Amazonia will surely make a lasting impact on the Universal Church into the future. Yet in the coming days and weeks, you will hear no end to the dissection, analysis, and—sadly—spin about the document. Querida Amazonia is full of gorgeous symbolism, powerful theology, and soul-stirring poetry. I could respond to the Pope’s new apostolic exhortation from many potential...

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Querida Amazonia: A Call for Authentic Inculturation

Vatican City — In his latest apostolic exhortation, Querida Amazonia, Pope Francis calls for “authentic” inculturation in the Amazon, so as to allow for the creation of a Church which truly bears the features of the region and the culture of its people. In the Pope’s latest document, published 12 February, Francis sets out a “brief framework” for the Church’s presence in the region. In reflecting on the synod that took place in October 2019, the...

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10 Essential Quotes from Querida Amazonia

1. The title “Querida Amazonia” is Portuguese / Spanish for “Dear Amazon”–as in somebody’s female beloved, or the salutation of a letter. Oftentimes (not always), a papal document with a title in a vernacular language is meant to speak to an immediate, specific socioeconomic or political problem–see Pius XI’s anti-fascist encyclicals Non abbiamo bisogno (Italian for “we do not need”) and Mit brennender Sorge (German for “with burning concern”), or Francis’s own Laudato Si’ (“Praise...