Infanticide and suicide have traditionally been part of the culture in many parts of the Amazon region. So why does the working document for October's Pan-Amazon Synod suggest that the Catholic Church 'puts on an Amazon face'?
The synod will focus on a group of countries that surround Latin America's Amazon Basin; that is Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Perú, Venezuela and Surinam. When announcing the synod, Pope Francis called on the Church to “find new ways to evangelize that portion of the people of God, especially indigenous people, often forgotten and without the prospect of a peaceful future". What the Pope and his collaborators fail to mention is that, as well as the suffering caused by the exploitative corporations, the communities themselves are also the source of this lack of peace. While particular attention is given to 'ecocide', there is no mention made of the infanticide, suicide or patricide that are part of the fabric of life in the Amazon.
Once upon a time in America, we led the world in educational achievement, but according to the Learning Curve, we now rank 17th out of 40 industrialized nations. Another survey by the Program for International Student Assessment reported the U.S. is 38th out of 71 countries in math and 24th in science.
If you believe this is not something to be concerned about, you are in the teachers’ union.