Fifteen years ago, on Feb. 12, a 73-year-old nun walked along a rural road in the Amazon region of Para state in Brazil. She was followed by two men with guns — Clodoaldo Carlos Batista and Raifran das Neves Sales. Both men worked for a livestock company. They asked her if she had any weapons. In response she showed them her Bible and began to read, “Blessed are the poor in spirit ….” 

Published in Register Columnists

Reaction ranged from anger to relief after the Pope dodged a contentious debate about ordaining married men to the priesthood in his reflection on the recent Amazon synod.

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Esteemed theological thinkers will doubtless spend the coming months scratching their parses on the latest exhortation from Pope Francis, Querida Amazonia

Published in Peter Stockland

In his apostolic exhortation “Beloved Amazon” Pope Francis is talking about much more than just the Amazon.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis told a group of U.S. bishops that, like them, he is accused of not being courageous or not listening to the Holy Spirit when he says or does something someone disagrees with -- like not mentioning married priests in his document on the Amazon.

Published in Faith

SAO PAULO -- Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation on the pan-Amazonian synod surprised many church workers who live in the region and elicited a range of reactions.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis released his document on the Amazon region on the 15th anniversary of the assassination in Brazil of U.S. Notre Dame Sister Dorothy Stang, a missionary who defended the poor and the environment.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis acknowledged the serious shortage of priests in remote areas of the Amazon, but he insisted not all avenues have been exhausted to address the issue.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis said he dreams of an Amazon region where the rights of the poor and indigenous are respected, local cultures are preserved, nature is protected, and the Catholic Church is present and active with "Amazonian features."

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VATICAN CITY -- Talking about debates, differences and discernment, Pope Francis told a group of U.S. bishops that people focused on the possibility of ordaining some married men and women deacons for service in the Amazon will be disappointed in his apostolic exhortation.

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OTTAWA -- Respect for the Earth and different cultures and Indigenous communities go hand-in-hand as the Catholic Church moves forward after an historic synod that focused on the Amazon region.

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Canadian Josianne Gauthier is General Secretary of CIDSE, an international network  of Catholic social justice organizations, and was one of the delegates to last month’s Synod on Pan-Amazon Region. Here is what she told the Synod in an address:

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The recent Amazon synod gave voice to Indigenous worldwide and that can only bode well for northern Canadian dioceses with parallel realities, agreed Archbishop Murray Chatlain and Bishop Gary Gordon.

Published in Canada

VATICAN CITY -- Following a proposal made during the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, Pope Francis restructured several dioceses in the Brazilian Amazon to better address the needs of local Catholics.

Published in Vatican

From coverage that’s been splashed across both Catholic and secular media, you might suppose the Synod on the Amazon was all about long-standing bones of contention between liberal and conservative Catholics – married priests, authoritative roles for women, liturgies that don’t look like a pontifical high Mass. But it wasn’t really about any of that. It was actually about the Amazon.

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