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Rome Reports

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Brazilian Bishops stand up for the Amazon

Their concern is what they call a massive social and environmental crisis in the Amazon.

Msgr. Jesus Maria CizzaurreBrazilian National Bishops Conference“As bishops, we care about both the spiritual dimension we also care about the reality, the current situation in our home land.”

Now while the environmental concerns in the Amazon are nothing new, the bishops are worried about a government approved plan to build a hydroelectric dam. The 10.5 billion dollar dam is seen as critical for the future of Brazil’s energy supply. But the bishops believe project will have irreversible consequences, especially since it means drying up a 60 mile stretch of the Xingu river.

Msgr. Jesus Maria CizzaurreBrazilian National Bishops Conference“There are various indigenous tribes that live along the river. Their livelihoods depends on the river, for transportation and fishing. They’re going to suffer tremendously if they’re left without water.”

They’re also concerned their dislocation will create a wider haven for drug use, prostitution and violence.

But voicing their opposition has come at a high price, as some of them are facing death threats.

Msgr. Jesus Maria CizzaurreBrazilian National Bishops Conference“We believe we are the voice that needs to shout and wake up the community, so that as a community as the government as the Church we can resolve these issues. It won’t be easy, but we’re working on it.”

The bishops hope by making their voices heard, they’ll gain support for their cause and get the government to take these matters into account before its too late.

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