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Who writes the Amazon synod's final report?

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The roles played by various contributors in the drafting process is not entirely clear

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn explained Monday that the final document at the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops on the Amazon will be written principally by a team chaired by the synod’s Relator General, Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes.

“The word ‘drafting committee’ is not very clear, in fact, the drafts are from the principal relator and his team. The role of the drafting committee is to give immediate approval of the work the relators do. So we, the drafting committee, don’t write the text,” the Austrian archbishop said at a press conference held October 21 in the Vatican press room.

Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican’s press office, told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish language news partner, that Hummes and the synod’s “special secretaries” are principally responsible for the text of the final report.

“The relator and the special secretaries prepare the draft of the document based on the reports from the ‘small groups’ and the contributions of the participants during the general sessions. In doing this they are assisted by the ‘experts,’ included on the list of the Synod participants which was published before the synod began.”

The roles played by various contributors in the drafting process is not entirely clear.

Bishop Erwim Kräutler, emeritus heard of Brazil’s Xingu diocese, told ACI Prensa this week that Hummes, who chairs the drafting team, has not yet read the existing draft of the final document, suggesting it has been principally compiled by “special secretaries” participating in the synod, and by experts and other collaborators.

On Oct. 21, theologian Fr. José Oscar Beozzo told ACI Digital, CNA’s Portguse language news partner, that he was busy “helping with drafting the text” and needed to cancel a scheduled interview.

Beozzo is a well-known proponent of liberation theology in Latin America, a theological approach that has been the subject of several corrections and criticisms by the Vatican’s doctrinal offices.

On Oct. 22, Beozzo told ACI Digital that “the drafting of the document is the  responsibility of the bishops, experts, consultants that are in the synod hall. I’m on the outside.”

He added that some Brazilian bishops had asked him to pray the Office of the Martyrs in the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina during his free time.

The Vatican’s Synod of Bishops on the Amazon is an Oct. 6-27 meeting on the Church’s pastoral and social ministry in the Amazon region, which spans nine countries in South America.

The synod is considering the nature of evangelization in the region, as well as the proposals of married priests in the region and commission women to serve as deacons, and is expected to issue a final report this week, which will constitute a set of recommendations for the consideration of Pope Francis.