Catholic human rights organisation the Edmund Rice Centre has applauded statements made by Australia’s new Ambassador to the Vatican supporting the push for a synod for the Pacific region.
Ambassador Chiara Porro met Pope Francis last month to present her credentials as Australia’s representative to the Holy See. In an interview with Vatican TV news agency Rome Reports, Ms Porro supported the call from Catholic leaders in Oceania for a synod in the region.
“One idea that I’ve been discussing with a few people is potentially pushing for a synod on the Pacific down the track – something along those lines because of the climate change issue, the anniversary of Laudato Si’ and also the fact it is one of the frontier regions that Pope Francis is so focused on,” Ms Porro said.
Corinne Fagueret, coordinator of the Pacific Calling Partnership (PCP), an initiative of the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice & Community Education, said it was encouraging Australia’s representative to the Holy See was "raising the calls and concerns of Pacific leaders outside of our region”.
Ms Fagueret said Suva Archbishop Peter Loy Chong raised the idea of a synod for Oceania while attending the Synod of the Amazon in October last year.
“Archbishop Chong also expressed his hope that Pope Francis will one day call for an Oceania synod, given the importance of the ocean to the web of life, calling for greater effort to protect the ocean from the crime of destroying the ocean and killing maritime creatures.”
Edmund Rice Centre director Phil Glendenning added his support for Ms Porro’s statement.
“This helps to amplify on the world stage the calls of Pacific leaders for genuine responses to our global climate emergency.”
Pacific climate voice in Vatican (Edmund Rice Centre)