“The natives feel like themselves as part of a whole life that is composed of so much diversity, of such wonder,” Vizcarra explained, “and that then it is a gift for them and therefore they do not consider themselves a part of this world, of this biome, not as owners or possessors, but as living in the Amazon, being part of this Amazon.”
The synod, he said, should make Catholics better understand the relationship of human beings with the world around them.
Bishop Ricardo Ernesto Centellas Guzmán of Potosí spoke about the participation of women in society and the Church. He noted that women are very active in the Church, but not at the level of decision making.
This change must happen at the local level, he said, adding that he wishes to see pastoral councils move from advisory to deliberative. “To walk together is to decide together,” he said.
Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay said he thinks there is much more bishops can do to include women in the leadership of the Church.
“I think we bishops are the ones who are not really using the full opportunities that we have to give women much more, which we should really,” he said, explaining that per canon law women are not the ordinary ministers of any sacraments, they can do “practically everything else.”
He noted that CIC 517§2 provides that “If, because of a shortage of priests, the diocesan Bishop has judged that a deacon, or some other person who is not a priest, or a community of persons, should be entrusted with a share in the exercise of the pastoral care of a parish, he is to appoint some priest who, with the powers and faculties of a parish priest, will direct the pastoral care.
Gracias stated: “Women can be teachers, women can be running the parish, they can be organizing, they can be judges of our tribunal. So there is very, very much more that we can do at the moment and I think we must use all this.”
Bishop Zenildo Luiz Pereira da Silva, Prelate of Borba, responded to a question about different interpretations of the Amazon synod by the media, stating that these differences will always be there, but dialogue is always welcome.
The participation of media, both Catholic and secular, is constructive, not threatening, he added.