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River Above Asia and Oceania Ecclesial Network

The ENA communiqué: Giving voice to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor

The Ecclesial Networks Alliance for Integral Ecology (ENA) shared a communiqué, Giving Voice to the Cry of the Earth, and the Cry of the Poor, that lays out the alliance’s identity, vocation, and mission in fostering a synodal church that journeys with Indigenous Peoples.

The ENA communiqué emerged from the Rome meeting in July when 45 representatives from territorial ecclesial networks from around the world met at the Vatican’s San Calisto offices to reflect on ENA’s identity, vocation, and mission. The gathering was hosted by the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, which supports but does not direct the work of the various territorial networks.

For RAOEN, the ENA communiqué affirms its efforts in listening to community concerns in the Oceania and Asia biome and in bringing these voices to the global while learning from shared realities in other territories. These are steps forward for RAOEN in “healing the wounds of humanity and the Common Home.”

The ENA communiqué is available in:

RAOEN shares below some excerpts from the ENA communiqué.

Territorial (biome-based) ecclesial networks

Biome-based ecclesial networks represented at the meeting included the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network (REPAM); the Ecclesial Network of the Congo Basin (REBAC); the River above Asia Oceania Ecclesial Network (RAOEN); the Mesoamerican Ecclesial Network (REMAM); and the Red Ecclesial del Gran Chaco y Aquifero Guarani (REGCHAG). Other networks sharing a common vision and mission include the International Family of Catholic Social Justice Organizations (CIDSE), the Laudato Si’ Action Platform (LSAP) and the European Laudato Si’ Alliance (ELSiA).

The networks are motivated by the desire to give voice to the peripheries, to engage in community discernment, and to care for and defend the life and dignity of peoples. Territorial ecclesial networks are seeking to foster a synodal church which journeys together with Indigenous and other marginalized peoples, as the Spirit moves the networks towards action in pursuing justice and addressing urgent environmental challenges.

ENA’s vocation and mission

An alliance of networks can engage on a broader worldwide level and when the networks come together, new possibilities emerge. At the gathering in Rome, several tasks and opportunities were identified.

On listening and communication:

  • To create a space where territorial networks can support and learn from each other
  • To help the networks grow while being mindful of their various stages of development, and extend an invitation to those regions where networks are struggling to be established
  • To create a communication structure for sharing information between networks
  • To foster connections with the Holy See, just as territorial networks deepen relationships with the church in each particular region

On discerning common action:

  • Participating in contexts of dialogue and decision-making where policy-makers are present and change is possible at a global level
  • By coming together, ENA may help the voices of the peripheries be heard in national and international conversations, such as the UNFCCC Conference of Parties
  • Seeking avenues to bring the voices of the territorial networks into places of discernment in the Church at a universal level, such as at the recent Synod on Amazonia and the forthcoming phases of the Synod on Synodality in Rome in October 2023/2024
  • Identifying partners with whom to work, facilitating collaboration with ecumenical, interfaith and other partners, and building connections with people and movements who share the pursuit of the common good

The gathering in Rome held together, and in tension, a sense of urgency and a common hope.

The urgency arises from the environmental and human crises and moves us to action in our regions. As one participant described their context, “Our home is on fire. You don’t sweep the floor if your home is on fire.”

The hope arises from our trust that the Holy Spirit is at work even in the world’s brokenness, bringing us together with the poor and each other at the service of a shared dream – God’s dream for the world. We were reminded that dreams can change the direction of cultures.

By walking together, upheld by the Holy Spirit and moved by love and a commitment to justice, we can take steps towards healing the wounds of humanity and of our Common Home.

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