Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Cardinal and the Amazon

This Thursday, you are invited to join Cardinal Pedro Barreto, who was among the chief architects of the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, as he joins an international cast of environmental activists seeking to engage and guide the Biden administration towards effective action regarding the Amazon rainforest.

The event is free, and no pre-registration is required. It can be viewed here beginning at 1 p.m.

According to an article on the website of Crux, Cardinal Barreto has drawn a link between the Amazon rainforest and the current coronavirus pandemic.

Barreto has been among the most outspoken Latin American prelates on the need to protect the poor and vulnerable during the coronavirus outbreak in the region, particularly in his native Peru.

During a largescale virtual assembly of more than 3,000 indigenous leaders, small farmers, environmental activists, and women from the nine countries composing the Amazon region, Barreto spoke directly to indigenous communities about the impact of the coronavirus, saying the Church, “will live and die with you” if necessary.

. . . 

Barreto compared the impact of the coronavirus, which targets the respiratory system, on the lungs of those who are infected to the ongoing “attack” on the lungs of the planet, saying, “The virus gets into our lungs and suffocates and kills us.”

“In the history of humanity, the virus of greed and extractivism and a lack of respect for human beings has corroded the Amazon and nature and destroyed by genocide the Amazon culture and original peoples,” he said, but stressed that, “Life is much stronger than the virus.”

Other speakers included Carlos Nobre, an author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Climate Panel, which won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize; representatives of various indigenous groups and government officials from various nations. And for those who like celebrities, there are a few of them as well.

A list of speakers is available here.