This Assembly of Bishops from across Oceania, held in Suva this week, is a significant experience of being Church in the world today. We have been enriched by listening to the diversity of peoples and learning from their ancestral stories about deep relationships with land, sea and sky, the vanua. We have celebrated with communities and received the hope of young people and families with their dreams for a flourishing future with the oceans. The nations and peoples of the Oceania region are facing some of the world’s greatest uncertainties with growing anxiety, but with faith, hope and resilience. Rising sea levels, extreme weather events, human and economic insecurity, compounded by exploitation and pollution threaten the survival of many communities. The decisions we make today will determine the region’s tomorrow, and how the vaka (canoe) of our peoples is held by the oceans.
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