Pope Francis Responds to the Proposed Amazonian Rite

As PrayTell already reported the recently concluded Amazonian Synod called for the establishment of an “Amazonian Rite” in its final document.  However Pope Francis in his off the cuff remarks at the end of the Synod seems to have cast some doubt on the proposal.  The final document had proposed that “the new organization of the Church in the Amazon must form a competent commission for studying and dialoguing, according to uses and customs of ancestral peoples, on the development of an Amazonian rite which expresses the Amazonian liturgical, theological, disciplinary, and spiritual patrimony, with special reference to what the Lumen Gentium affirms for Oriental churches” (Final Document 119).  

His remarks are not in perfect prose but I think that in his comments Pope Francis seems to  be in favour of giving the task of composing a new Amazonian Rite to the Congregation for Divine Worship in Rome and not simply leaving it to the local Church:

There was talk of a ritual reform, to open to rites. This is within the competence of the Congregation for Divine Worship, and it can do so following the criteria, and I know they can do very well, and make the necessary proposals that inculturation calls for, but always stress the overflowing, always go beyond. Not only ritual organization, <but> organization of another sort, what the Lord will inspire. Of the 23 Churches with their own rite that are mentioned in the Document, which came out at least in the pre-Document, I believe that at least 18 if not 19 are sui iuris Churches, which began small and build traditions up to where the Lord leads us, <and> not be afraid of organizations that guard a special life. Always with the help of Holy Mother Church, Mother of all, who guides us on this path so that we don’t separate. Don’t be afraid of them.

Zenit translation

Of course it is early days and one would imagine that both the local Church and the CDW would be involved in this proposed project. Indeed it is also possible that the project may never go beyond the drawing board (we will have to wait and see how the Post Synodal Exhortation deals with the matter). But initially it seems that it won’t be primarily a local project that would come to the CDW for a recognitio or a confirmatio. Instead Pope Francis presently seems more inclined to entrust it to the CDW to spearhead.


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