Caritas supports Church network to protect the Amazon

A Church network to protect the Amazon has been officially launched at the Vatican with the support of Caritas.

REPAM (the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network – Red Eclesial Panamazónica) connects nine Latin American Caritas organisations with the Latina American Bishops’ Conference, the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Religious as well as missionaries to protect the environment and the most vulnerable communities of the Amazon.

Caritas secretary general, Michel Roy, was at the launch of REPAM. He said, “It’s our responsibility to ‘turn off the engines’ and stop. We need to stop plundering and stripping communities of the very environments from which they make their living. We need to help them conserve what they’ve got. For this reason, Caritas Internationalis supports Caritas members in the Amazon basin so that Amazonia is protected and so that its development is based on the richness of its inhabitants.”

Caritas Internationalis has been involved in the creation of REPAM since the beginning. REPAM illustrates the commitment of Caritas towards the poorest people in the vast Amazon territory.

REPAM was created in September 2014 by bishops in Latin America. The executive secretary of the network is Mauricio López, executive secretary of Caritas Ecuador.

The network was presented to Pope Francis on 19th February. In a message sent to the network on its creation last year, the Holy Father wrote, “We cannot live alone, closed up in ourselves; we need to love and be loved, and we need tenderness. Only in this way can Christian witness, thanks to this network, reach the existential peripheries of humanity, facilitating the work of Christian leaven and bringing progress to the living cultures of Amazonia and their values.”

For more information, please contact Michelle Hough on +39 06 69879721 / +39 334 2344136 or hough@caritas.va.

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