FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 12, 2020
STATEMENT BY THE MOST REVEREND NICHOLAS DIMARZIO, BISHOP OF BROOKLYN
ON THE APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION BY POPE FRANCIS: “QUERIDA AMAZONIA”
Today, Pope Francis has brought the plight of the people, the struggles facing the Catholic faith, and the destruction of the environment in the Amazon to the forefront of the world’s conversation.
The Holy Father’s Apostolic Exhortation, Querida Amazonia, or Beloved Amazon, is a sensitive document that vividly describes the cultural and ecological challenges of the Amazon. It is poetic at times, yet it makes powerful statements about the problems the indigenous and the environment face in today’s world.
This pastoral exhortation challenges us all to recognize that we have a collective responsibility to improve the situation for the poor and oppressed and protect the land and the environment.
Pope Francis acknowledges the unique contribution women have made in the region. Without any titles, they have been critical in preserving the faith for decades. He points out that while lay ecclesiastical ministries might not feel empowered without ordination, the Church sees their contribution no less worthy. In fact, he goes on to say “without women, the Church breaks down.”
He gave further credence to the important role of women in the region by releasing his Exhortation on the 15th anniversary of the assassination in Brazil of American Sister Dorothy Stang, a missionary who defended the poor and the environment.