- Dec 14, 2019
Cardinal designate Pedro Barreto Jimeno once faced death threats for speaking out about pollution from a smelter that threatened the health of people living high in the Andes Mountains.
Two stories about Pope Francis in the last few days have confirmed impressions of him as a maverick, break-the-mold kind of pope, one on the death penalty and the other on the Amazon. In both cases, however, there’s a good argument to be made that what the pope is up to represents not a revolution, but a natural evolution of where the Church was already moving.
Pope Francis on Sunday announced that he’s calling a special Synod of Bishops in October 2019 for the Pan-Amazon region in Latin America, meaning the countries of the Amazon — Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guyana, Guyana, Perú, Venezuela and Surinam. It’s the first time Francis has called a synod for a specific region, something that St. John Paul II used to do to signal a special concern.