In addition to the synod document’s proposal to change universal Church discipline on clerical celibacy and create new roles for women, it also contains strong exhortations on environmental issues and the rights of indigenous peoples.
On the topic of integral ecology and the environment, the document references the threat of exploitation of the Amazon and its peoples.
It also criticizes as "scandalous" the criminalization of Amazonian ethnic communities whose rights are threatened, it says, by public policies favoring the exploitation of natural resources.
These projects "exert pressure on ancestral indigenous territories" and are accompanied by "widespread impunity throughout regarding human rights violations."
The document notes the Church's teaching on the inviolability of the human person, which is created in the image and likeness of God.
The synod fathers propose giving support to "fair" sustainable development initiatives, though it does not name specific initiatives.
"The Amazon is in the hands of us all, but it depends mainly on immediately abandoning the current model that is destroying the forest, not bringing well-being and endangering this immense natural treasure and its guardians,” the report states.
It goes on to say it is "incumbent" on the Church to help protect the Amazon by being an "ally" of the local communities, "who know how to take care of the Amazon, how to love and protect it."
The indigenous peoples are “asking the church to become their ally and the answer of the church is yes,” Czerny said.
“With the Amazon burning, many more people are realizing that things have to change. We cannot keep repeating old responses to urgent problems,” Czerny said. “The ecological crisis is so deep that if we don’t change we won’t make it.”
Czerny said that environmental scientists and other experts who audited the synod helped the bishops to understand “the planet suffering” because “they drove scientific facts home in a way that we can feel them.”
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The Canadian cardinal said that people want “a plastic solution” that is not going to affect their lives and not require them to change, but he stressed that it does not exist and conversion is required.
The synod document also condemns the theft of the "traditional wisdom" of the Amazonian peoples as "biopiracy" and a "form of violence."
"The Church chooses to defend life, the land and the native Amazon cultures," including in the Amazon peoples' "registration, processing and dissemination of data and information about their territories and their legal status," it states.
The report says the Church must guard itself against "the power of neo-colonialism" and "unlearn, learn and relearn" in order to overcome any tendency toward "colonizing models."
The synod reaffirms a “commitment to defend life seamlessly from conception to natural death and the dignity of each and every person.”
Pastoral service to the indigenous, it says, “obliges us to proclaim Jesus Christ and the Good News of the Kingdom of God.”