Card. Turkson says Amazon region deserves a different future, after a history of “persecution, dehumanization and extermination.”

November 17, 2015

Reprinted from Vatican Radio.  

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said the Amazon region deserves a different future, after a history of “persecution, dehumanization and extermination.”  He was writing to the Ecclesial Meeting of the Pan-Amazonian Network (REPAM), taking place in Bogotà.

In his message, Cardinal Turkson put the issues facing the Amazon region into the perspective of the “shameful attacks” in Paris, Beirut, Iraq, and Syria, by recalling  the words of Pope Francis during his 9 July 215 address to the Second World Meeting of Popular Movements in Bolivia.  AP3167330_LancioGrande“Do we realize that something is wrong where so many senseless wars are being fought and acts of fratricidal violence are taking place on our very doorstep? Do we realize something is wrong when the soil, water, air and living creatures of our world are under constant threat?”

“What we are learning is that these two questions are not different, but two different ways of asking about one crisis affecting our civilization and the Earth  – ‘our common home’ – as the subtitle states in Laudato si’,” Cardinal Turkson said. “Christians, Do we have today the light, courage and determination to wrestle with these two questions side-by-side, as the Holy Father challenges us to do?”

The Cardinal said we live in a “world with enormous challenges”, and acknowledged the work done by REPAM in protecting the places and people in the Amazon region.  “In these times of darkness and gloom in Europe, I would like today to express my gratitude for the commitment, for the perseverance and for the witness which illuminates South America,” he said.