A delegation from the River above Asia and Oceania Ecclesial Network (RAOEN) joins more than 30 representatives from different territorial ecclesial networks who are gathering at the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development from 2 to 4 July 2023 to collectively discern the identity, vocation, and mission of the Ecclesial Networks Alliance (ENA) for Integral Ecology.
ENA works in favor of integral ecology from a territorial perspective and this meeting’s objectives are to discern and consolidate its identity, to define and establish common priorities, and to articulate the link with the Dicastery and discern contributions to the Instrumentum Laboris, a document of the Synod 2021-2024 process.
Since its inception in 2019, ENA has engaged in several global processes such as the UNFCCC Conference of Parties (COP) and the Synod 2021-2024 through communion, participation, and mission.
Participating in the ENA meeting are representatives from the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM), the Ecclesial Network of the Congo Basin Forest (REBAC), the Mesoamerican Ecclesial Ecological Network (REMAM), the Ecclesial Network of the Gran Chaco and Guarani Aquifer (REGCHAG), and RAOEN.
RAOEN’s delegation includes Anthony Cardinal Poola of the Archdiocese of Hyderabad in India, Archbishop Peter Loy Chong of the Archdiocese of Suva in Fiji, Dr Leonaitasi Hoponoa of Caritas Tonga as RAOEN’s territorial representative, and Pedro Walpole SJ, RAOEN Coordinator. The RAOEN delegation will share experiences of community living and perspectives towards better listening of voices and concerns from the territory.
A critical part of the program is a historical reflection on the Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery with Indigenous Peoples. The document is emerging as a reference point of ecclesial networking, in which territorial representatives will have the space to share their stories.
A critical meeting for RAOEN
For RAOEN, the ENA meeting is an important gathering to listen to unheard voices of local communities from the Oceania-Asia biome, to share perspectives on how the local and universal Church can better accompany communities, and to discern ways to sustain its task of raising the territorial voices with hope while broadening its networking dynamics with other territories.
To enrich and strengthen RAOEN’s networking process with communities and local churches in the Oceania-Asia territory while giving witness to a new way of being Church, and as its link with ENA and the Dicastery are better defined, RAOEN calls for a discernible listening and dialogue process that follows local churches, an articulation on how ecclesial networks from different territories and contexts can come together and reflect on a sense of shared vision, and the development of a communication process with the local and global Church that can better listen to people’s experiences.