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Querida Amazonia: Summary and Analysis

The pope's official response to the Amazon Synod was released today. Entitled Querida Amazonia ("Beloved Amazon"), it is said to complement rather than supercede the synod's own Final Document (my analysis of which you can read here) (QA 2). The pope recommends everyone read that document in its entirety, and he says he "officially present[s]" it (QA 3). In addition, Francis says he has chosen not to respond to everything in the document (QA 2). That does not mean that those parts have been rejected or deemed unimportant. Rather, those parts stand on their own authority.

Chapter 1: Social Justice
The first chapter laments the social injustice and exploitation that Amazonia has suffered, both the land and — more importantly — the indigenous people. The powerful have seized the Amazon's resources as if they did not belong to the native people, and killed and enslaved those people (QA 12). The pope emphasizes that this exploitation, theft, and violence is o…

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