Lima (Agenzia Fides) - The Bishops of the Apostolic Vicariates of the Peruvian Amazon have decided to set up a joint seminary, which is expected to start work in 2022.
The initiative recognizes the importance of proper formation for future priests, also reaffirmed at the recent Ecclesiastical Assembly for Latin America and the Caribbean (November 21-28, 2021). The 8 Apostolic Vicariates in Peru that will join forces are those of Jaén, Puerto Maldonado, San José del Amazonas, San Ramón, Yurimaguas, Requena, Pucallpa and Iquitos. In several Apostolic Vicariates there have been Seminaries for many years. With the new Seminary, the Bishops underline, they want to join forces and strive for common goals and contribute to giving the Church an Amazonian profile that does justice to the challenges of the Church and the peoples of the Amazon region. As reported by the Council of Latin American Bishops' Conferences (CELAM) and the Peruvian Bishops' Conference, the formation of future priests has always been one of the most important issues in the reflections of the Latin American and Caribbean Church in recent years. The issue was also the subject of debate at the Amazon Synod of Bishops and was revisited at the recent Latin America and Caribbean Assembly. With a view to the post-synodal Exhortation "Querida Amazonia", the bishops of the vicariates of the Peruvian Amazon have therefore decided to set up a joint seminar. Also in the final document of the synod (n. 107) it says: "formation for ordained ministry should be a communal schooling that is fraternal, experiential, spiritual, pastoral and doctrinal; in contact with the real lives of people; in harmony with the local culture and religiosity; and close to the poor". Then in number 108 he highlights: "In order to offer future priests of the Amazon’s churches a formation with an Amazonian face, inserted in and adapted to the reality, contextualized and able to respond to the many pastoral and missionary challenges, we propose a formation plan in line with the challenges of the local churches and the reality of the Amazon". For this reason, the text continues, "The formation centres for priestly and religious life should preferably be inserted in the Amazonian reality, with a view to keeping the young Amazonian in formation in contact with his or her own territory while preparing for the future mission, thus guaranteeing that the process of formation not distance itself from the people’s lived reality and their culture, as well as offering other young non-Amazonians the opportunity to take part of their formation in the Amazon, thus fostering missionary vocations". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 21/1/2022)