The cries of the Amazon

We're celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Encyclical Laudato Si'.

Pope Francis reminded us last October that certain regions of the world such as the Amazon are "new paths for the Church and for an integral ecology". The Amazon reveals to us some of the singular features of the Earth. It is a message of life with its connecting axis of water: its cycle links ecosystems, cultures and territorial development. Indigenous peoples speak in their own way of the harmony of the cosmos, a harmony celebrated in a different way in many traditions.

For the indigenous Amazonian peoples, the search for life in abundance is embodied in what they call "living well": one recognizes the resonances of Laudato Si', the importance of living in the intercommunication of all the elements of the cosmos: "living in harmony with oneself, with nature, with human beings and with the supreme being" (§9). This integral way of living manifests itself for these peoples in the "doing good", a "proper way of organizing oneself that starts from the family and the community, in a responsible use of all the goods of creation" (ibid.). How close we are to them. They seek to maintain harmony between their traditional ways of life and the new technological acquisitions, and we are a little bit the same, but in the other direction. 

This search is accompanied by a cry today coming from Amazonia, a cry of the earth, and a cry of the underprivileged... A cry due to the privatization of natural assets such as water, massive deforestation, predation on animal species, pollution caused by the mining industry and urban waste, and climate change. The social consequences are serious: disease, drug trafficking, sexual exploitation and human slavery, criminalization, loss of culture of origin and identity, etc. The social consequences are serious. - consequences of the economic and political interests of dominant sectors. The victims are first, the most vulnerable, "children, youth, women and our sister Mother Earth" (§10).

To this catastrophic situation, another one is added: the Covid-19 which is hitting Brazil, the second country in the world in terms of numbers of contaminations, with another worrying element: the high proportion of young adults among the victims, the Brazilian population is particularly young and many young people, especially in poor neighbourhoods, need to work with insufficient health security. The Amazon is particularly affected. Its cries reach us.


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