The Bishop for the Environment has joined calls to save the Amazonian rainforests, warning that “if the Amazon suffers, the world suffers”.
The Bishop of Salford, John Arnold, said his thoughts mirrored the “deep concern” of Latin American bishops in response to the devastating conflagration, which is raging through and decimating large areas of the precious region.
Speaking on behalf of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, Bishop Arnold said: “We echo the deep concern of the Latin American Bishops about the seriousness of this tragedy, which is not only of local impact, nor regional, but of planetary proportions.
“Prophetically, Pope Francis has written in preparation for the forthcoming Synod on the Amazon, ‘In the Amazon rainforest, which is of vital importance for the planet, a deep crisis has been triggered by prolonged human intervention, in which a culture of waste and an extractivist mentality prevail’,” the bishop continued. “The Amazon is a region with rich biodiversity; it is multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-religious; it is a mirror of all humanity which, in defence of life, requires structural and personal changes by all human beings, by nations, and by the Church.”
The CBCEW is supporting the Latin American bishops’ call for the international community to take serious measures in order to save the Amazon.
“We join our voice with theirs to urge the governments of the Amazon countries, especially Brazil and Bolivia, the United Nations and the international community to take serious measures to save the lungs of the world.
“What happens to the Amazon is not just a local issue but of global reach. If the Amazon suffers, the world suffers,” Bishop Arnold concluded.
Bishop Arnold’s call comes as Catholics across the world prepare to observe World Day of Prayer for the care of Creation on Sunday, 1st September.
Picture: An Amazon rainforest advocate is seen wearing a gas mask in Rio de Janeiro. (CNS photo/Sergio Moraes, Reuters).