Pope blames Amazon fires on destructive 'interests'

Elias Hubbard
October 9, 2019

Pope Francis will gather Catholic bishops at the Vatican on Sunday to champion the isolated and poverty-struck indigenous communities of the Amazon, whose way of life is under threat.

The pope, when he was the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, drafted the final document of the 2007 meeting of South American bishops in Aparecida, Brazil, which identified the Amazon and its indigenous peoples as threatened by global economic interests and deserving of the church's utmost attention.

Referring to the fire that recently devastated Amazonia, the Pope said it "is not the fire of the Gospel". It is fed by sharing, not by earnings.

"May the spirit, who makes all things new, give us his own daring prudence; may he inspire our synod to renew the paths of the church in the Amazon so that the fire of mission will continue to burn", the pope said.

Sunday's accumulating will come as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a climate-transform sceptic, instructed the United Nations that the world's media have been lying about the Amazon, and attacked indigenous leaders as tools of foreign governments.

He said: "Pope Francis, coming from Latin America, has an instinctive understanding of some of the challenges of that region".

Participants vote on the last record, and the pope will choose which recommendations to incorporate into his future rulings.

Pope Francis' last words were for our brothers and sisters in Amazonia: they are "bearing heavy crosses and awaiting the liberating consolation of the Gospel, the Church's caress of love", he said.

"Bill Donohue, president of the USA -based Catholic League, a conservative group, attracted criticism for what was considered to be a condescending attitude toward indigenous cultures when he explained this week a problem from the Amazon has been" the way to honor the culture of native peoples while at precisely the same time recognizing inherent deficiencies inside". "May God preserve us from the greed of new forms of colonialism", he added.

Of the 184 prelates on the synod, 113 hail from the Amazonian area, together with 57 from Brazil.

Pope Francis elected 13 new cardinals, who were appointed Saturday at a special Vatican ceremony.

Bishops at the synod will also discuss spreading the faith in the Amazon region, a greater role for women, and climate change, among other topics.

A top Vatican cardinal has expressed skepticism about ordaining married men to address the priest shortage in the Amazon, defending the value of priestly celibacy on the eve of a big Vatican meeting where the issue is officially up for debate.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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