FCC News Desk
At the Angelus on Sunday, August 25, Pope Francis noted the universal concern for the “vast fires” that are raging throughout the Amazon region. The Holy Father prayed that, “with the commitment of all,” the fires “might be contained as soon as possible.”
“That forest lung is vital for our planet,” the Pope said.
In a statement released on August 22, the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean (CELAM) expressed their deep concern for destructive fires burning the world’s forests.
They wrote that the “tremendous natural tragedy” destroying the Amazon has turned what was previously a hopeful upcoming Synod, into one of “deep sorrow."
“To our brother indigenous people living in that beloved rainforest, we express our closeness,” said the Bishops, adding that they join them in crying out to the world for “solidarity and prompt attention” to this devastating tragedy.
The “seriousness” of the fires currently raging in Alaska, Siberia, Greenland, the Canary Islands, and “in particular, the Amazon” is not only local, said the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is “of planetary proportions.”
The Amazon, the world's largest rainforest, has been burning for over two weeks.
On Tuesday August 27, the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace issue the following statement regarding the fires in the Amazon:
“Last Sunday, after his Angelus prayer, Pope Francis expressed concern for the fires that have developed in the Amazon, stating, ‘Let us pray that, with everyone’s commitment, they may be tamed as soon as possible.’ As bishops of the United States, we join in these heartfelt prayers and urge the faithful of our nation to support, through their petitions and concern, these efforts. As our Church begins a “Season of Creation,” culminating on October 4th, the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, let us all consider spiritual and corporal acts of mercy towards our common home and all those living in it. We express solidarity with our brother bishops in Latin America who, through the Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (CELAM), have expressed their desire for a prompt extinguishment of these fires, and welcome the decision by the Group of Seven (G7) to extend financial support for these efforts.”