- Apr 16, 2021
Peruvian Cardinal Pedro Barreto, the new leader of the Church’s largest network in the Amazon, has said his top priorities are to protect indigenous communities and to fight poverty as COVID-19 continues to ravage Latin America.
Bolivia’s bishops want environmental concerns to play a key role when voters go to the polls to elect a new government in October.
Church leaders sent a strong message of support to an unprecedented virtual assembly of more than 3,000 indigenous leaders, small farmers, environmental campaigners and women from the nine countries of the Amazon region seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bishops in Bolivia’s Amazon region praised residents of a small town who seized a light plane, apparently owned by drug traffickers, that had violated their ban on landing at the local airstrip.
Catholic leaders warn that as the coronavirus pandemic spreads into the Amazon basin, the region may face a “humanitarian and environmental tragedy.”
In early May, 67 bishops and priests from the Amazon region published an open letter, asking for more attention from federal and state governments as well as state and federal legislation for the disease in the region.
Soon-to-be Cardinal Michael Czerny, one of Pope Francis’s top collaborators inside the Roman Curia who serves as both the public face of Francis’s agenda for migrants and refugees and who is playing a key role in organizing next month’s Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, has said he is not afraid of criticism of the event.
Before members of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon began packing their bags for the synod assembly at the Vatican Oct. 6-27, a variety of groups were announcing side events.