Poor people from the Amazon have shown that God’s creation must be treated “not as a resource to be exploited but as a home to be preserved, with trust in God,” Pope Francis said.
He celebrated Mass on Oct. 27 to mark the end of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, which brought together bishops, priests and religious, and lay men and women, including indigenous people, from the nine Amazonian countries.
Synod participants, some wearing their native dress and feathered headdresses, led the procession into St Peter’s Basilica. During the offertory, an indigenous woman presented the Pope with a plant.
Their presence was a reminder of the Pope’s rebuke to a bi-shop who had made a derogatory comment about an indigenous man wearing his headdress at the Synod’s opening Mass on Oct. 6. Instead of using a crosier made of precious metals, the Pope carried a carved wooden crosier that the Vatican said was a gift from the Synod. During the assembly, participants described the environmental devastation and social problems caused by mining in the Amazon.