- Jan 27, 2020
An indigenous leader has won what is often called the “Alternative Nobel Prize” for environmentalism, a move one Catholic aid agency said “comes at a crucial moment” for indigenous people in the Amazon.
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.
“It’s as if the world hates us,” Daniela Andrade said Monday, trying to explain the bewilderment and anger people often feel over blatant pollution and related health issues generated by the oil and mining industries, coupled with grinding poverty and chronic governmental neglect.
In many ways, the liquid gold of oil runs through an artery of death in the Amazon, killing the life it touches and bringing few benefits to the people who live here.
“Brother Francis,” according to indigenous leader Gregorio Diaz Mirabal, is “risking his life” for the Amazon, ticking off Russia, China, the US and Europe as global powers unhappy with the pope’s efforts to shine a spotlight on the situation in the region.
Archbishop Rafael Cob of the Diocese of Puyo in Ecuador supports the ordination of married men as priests in the Amazon, supporting the idea of calling ‘viri probati’, or tested married men, into the priesthood to serve isolated rural communities.