VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has personally invited Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston and Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego as well as ex-United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to take part in the Amazon Synod next month, according to a full list of participants published Sept. 21 by the Vatican.

The two U.S. prelates are among 185 members to be invited to the Oct. 6-27 event, whose other participants include every bishop of the region, religious superiors, experts, fraternal delegates, and the heads of Vatican departments.

Cardinal O’Malley, a trusted member of the Pope’s Council of Cardinals as well as head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, has a strong interest in Latin America and is a fluent Spanish speaker.

Bishop McElroy has been a vocal proponent of combatting climate change, saying in July this year it should be a “central priority” for the U.S. Church. The synod, whose theme is “New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology,” is expected to focus on environmental concerns.

A third U.S. bishop, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, will also be taking part, as will all the heads of Vatican departments, including Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.  ….