The statement also noted the participation of “important members of the Holy See ... who will undoubtedly continue to follow these new paths from their respective offices.”
Among those who took part in the virtual assembly were several Vatican representatives: Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops; Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America; Cardinal Luis Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; and Cardinal Michael Czerny, secretary of the Section for Migrants and Refugees.
The creation of the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon followed a proposal in the final document of the Synod of Bishops on the Pan-Amazonian Region for “a permanent and representative bishops’ organism that promotes synodality in the Amazon region,” connected with CELAM and REPAM.
“So constituted, it can be the effective instrument in the territory of the Latin American and Caribbean Church for taking up many of the proposals that emerged in this synod,” paragraph 115 of the synod final document continued. “It would be the nexus for developing Church and socio-environmental networks and initiatives at the continental and international levels.”
The synod members said in the October 2019 document that having this organism “helps to express the Amazonian face of this Church and continues the task of finding new paths for the evangelizing mission, especially incorporating the proposal of integral ecology, thus strengthening the physiognomy of the Church in the Amazon.”
Pope Francis responded to the proposal in his own comments at the end of the Amazon synod Oct. 26, suggesting that the idea of a smaller regional bishops’ conference could be applied in the Amazon.