Beloved Amazonia – excellent environment quotes from the Pope’s new letter
Martin Davis of Cheltenham Green Christian Local Group writes:
Please dip into this wonderful document, just published! The headlines were all about its failure to endorse the need for married priests in the Amazon region, but there is so much else contained in Francis’ 16,000 words, not least some beautiful poetry. Below, I set out one or two extracts, but you can read the whole thing online – click here.
“Given in Rome, at the Cathedral of Saint John Lateran, on 2 February 2020, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the seventh year of his Pontificate.
“The equilibrium of our planet… depends on the health of the Amazon region… [I]t contains a dazzling diversity of woodlands on which rain cycles, climate balance, and a great variety of living beings also depend. It serves as a great filter of carbon dioxide, which helps avoid the warming of the earth… When the forest is eliminated, it is not replaced, because all that is left is a terrain with few nutrients that then turns into a dry land or one poor in vegetation… [I]n an ecosystem like that of the Amazon region, each part is essential for the preservation of the whole…The cry of the Amazon region reaches everyone… The interest of a few powerful industries should not be considered more important than the good of the Amazon region and of humanity as a whole. #48
From the original peoples, we can learn to contemplate the Amazon region and not simply analyse it, and thus appreciate this precious mystery that transcends us. We can love it, not simply use it, with the result that love can awaken a deep and sincere interest. Even more, we can feel intimately a part of it and not only defend it; then the Amazon region will once more become like a mother to us… This interior conversion will enable us to weep for the Amazon region and to join in its cry to the Lord. ##55/6
God our Father, who created each being in the universe with infinite love, calls us to be his means for hearing the cry of the Amazon region. If we respond to this heartrending plea, it will become clear that the creatures of the Amazon region are not forgotten by our heavenly Father. #57
A sound and sustainable ecology, one capable of bringing about change, will not develop unless people are changed, unless they are encouraged to opt for another style of life, one less greedy and more serene, more respectful and less anxious, more fraternal. #58
All of us, as Christians, are united by faith in God, the Father who gives us life and loves us so greatly. We are united by faith in Jesus Christ, the one Saviour, who set us free by his precious blood and his glorious resurrection. We are united by our desire for his word that guides our steps. We are united by the fire of the Spirit, who sends us forth on mission. We are united by the new commandment that Jesus left us, by the pursuit of the civilization of love and by passion for the kingdom that the Lord calls us to build with him. We are united by the struggle for peace and justice. We are united by the conviction that not everything ends with this life, but that we are called to the heavenly banquet, where God will wipe away every tear and take up all that we did for those who suffer. All this unites us. How can we not struggle together? How can we not pray and work together, side by side, to defend the poor of the Amazon region, to show the sacred countenance of the Lord, and to care for his work of creation? ##109/10″