“It Is Inevitable to Speak of Jesus”: Homiletic Inspirations from the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Querida Amazonia

Keywords: proclaiming the word of God, preaching, evangelization, integral ecology, pastoral ministry


The article is an attempt at analysing the homiletic directives of the Apostolic Exhortation Querida Amazonia of Pope Francis. This is warranted insofar as this document is an attempt by the Bishop of Rome to find answers to problems and challenges facing the Church in South America, as it is eminently pastoral in character, and as proclaiming the Word of God is one of the chief pastoral activities. The author analyses the thought of Pope Francis in three areas: terminology, theology and praxeology. Such a perspective enables a holistic presentation of the exhortation, and allows to extract from it key directives for the preachers of the Word of God. A deeper study of Querida Amazonia leads to a surprising observation that the scope of the document is much broader that its title might suggest. In this perspective, the Amazon region becomes a symbol of a world with which Church attempts to share the Gospel, and its inhabitants—a symbol of the modern hearers of the Word of God.

Author Biography

Rafał Kowalski, Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Wroclaw, Poland

Rev. Rafał Kowalski, PhD—presbyter of the Archdiocese of Wrocław, doctor of theology of the Catholic University of Lublin (pastoral theology in the field of homiletics), assistant professor at the Department of Religious Communication at the Institute of Social Sciences of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Wroclaw, lecturer in homiletics and communication theory, Director of the Department of Social Communication of the Wroclaw Metropolitan Curia, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Wrocław


Bishops Committee on Priestly Life and Ministry of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Fulfilled in Your Hearing. The Homily in the Sunday Assembly. Washington: USCCB Publishing, 2002.

Codex Iuris Canonici. Holy See. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020. http://www.vatican.va/archive/cod-iuris-canonici/cic_index_la.html.

Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Homiletic Directory. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2014.

Francis, Pope. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Holy See. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020. http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papafrancesco_esortazioneap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html.

Francis, Pope. Postsynodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetita. Holy See. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020. https://w2.vatican.va/content/dam/francesco/pdf/apost_exhortations/documents/papafrancesco_esortazioneap_20160319_amoris-laetitia_en.pdf.

Francis, Pope. Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Querida Amazonia. Holy See. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020. http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papafrancesco_esortazione-ap_20200202_querida-amazonia.html.

Francesco, Papa. Esortazione Apostolica postsinodale Querida Amazonia. La Santa Sede. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020. http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/it/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-fran cesco_esortazione-ap_20200202_querida-amazonia.html.

Franziskus, Papst. Nachsynodales Apostolisches Schreiben Querida Amazonia. Der Heilige Stuhl. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020. http://www.vatican.va/content/francesco/de/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazione-ap_20200202_querida-amazonia.html.

Franciszek (Jorge Mario Bergoglio). Zepsucie i grzech [Corruption and Sin]. Translated by Lidia Wrona CM. Kraków: Esprit, 2013.

Paul VI, Pope. Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi. Polish edition. Opoka. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020. https://opoka.org.pl/biblioteka/W/WP/pawel_vi/adhortacje/evangelii_nuntiandi.html.

Ratzinger, Joseph. W drodze do Jezusa Chrystusa [On the Way to Jesus Christ]. Translated by Jarosław Merecki SDS. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Salwator, 2004.

Sacred Congregation of Rites. General Instruction of the Roman Missal. Polish edition: Ogólne wprowadzenie do Mszału Rzymskiego. Z trzeciego wydania Mszału Rzymskiego Rzym 2002. Poznań: Pallottinum, 2004.

Second Vatican Council. Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium. In Sobór Watykański II. Konstytucje, dekrety, deklaracje. Tekst polski. Nowe tłumaczenie [Second Vatican Council. Constitutions, Decrees and Declarations. Polish Text], 48–77 Poznań: Pallottinum, 2002, .

Siwek, Gerard. Blaski i cienie współczesnego przepowiadania: Przewodnik dla kaznodziejów i homilistów [The Ups and Downs of Modern Preaching: A Guide for Preachers and Homilists]. Kraków: Wydawnictwo M, 2007.

Sławiński, Henryk. Między ciągłością a zmianą: teoria homilii w Stanach Zjednoczonych po II Soborze Watykańskim [Between Continuity and Change: The Theory of Homiletics in the United States after the Second Vatican Council]. Kraków: Wydawnictwo M, 2008.

Tagle, Luis Antonio Gokim. Ludzie Wielkiej Nocy [Easter People]. Translated by Marek Chojnacki. Kraków: Wydawnictwo WAM, 2014.