The upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Amazon is an “urgent” gathering, not of scientists and politicians but for the Church, whose focus will be evangelisation, Pope Francis said. Source: CNS.
However, the importance of the Amazon region’s biodiversity and current threats it faces also will be addressed because “together with the oceans, (the Amazon) contributes decisively to the survival of the planet. Much of the oxygen we breathe comes from there. That’s why deforestation means killing humanity,” he said.
The Pope’s comments came in an interview posted on Saturday by Vatican Insider, the online news supplement to the Italian newspaper La Stampa.
When asked why he convened a synod on the Amazon, Pope Francis said, “It is the child of Laudato Si’. Those who have not read it will never understand the Synod on the Amazon. Laudato Si’ is not a green encyclical, it is a social encyclical, which is based on a ‘green reality', the safeguarding of creation.”
Among the environmental issues the Pope is concerned about, the one that “has shocked me the most,” he said, is the way resources are increasingly being consumed faster than they can be regenerated.
“It’s very serious. It’s a global emergency,” Francis said.
The seriousness of the problem means “ours will be an urgent synod. But beware: a synod is not a meeting of scientists or politicians. It is not a parliament; it is something else,” he said.
The synod “is born” from the Church “and will have an evangelising mission and dimension. It will be a work of communion guided by the Holy Spirit,” the Pope said.
When asked what he feared most concerning the planet, he said, “The disappearance of biodiversity, new deadly diseases” and the kind of loss and “devastation of nature that can lead to the death of humanity.”
He praised the increased awareness and movements among young people, such as Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager whose #FridaysForFuture campaign asks students to hold a strike to demand swift action on climate change.
The Pontiff also addressed the dangers of “sovereignism” or nationalism, which he said represented an attitude of “isolation” and closure.
Pope: isolationism and populism lead to war (Vatican News)