The President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace issue the following statement regarding the fires in the Amazon:
“Last Sunday, after his Angelus prayer, Pope Francis expressed concern for the fires that have developed in the Amazon, stating, ‘Let us pray that, with everyone’s commitment, they may be tamed as soon as possible.’ As bishops of the United States, we join in these heartfelt prayers and urge the faithful of our nation to support, through their petitions and concern, these efforts. As our Church begins a “Season of Creation,” culminating on October 4th, the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, let us all consider spiritual and corporal acts of mercy towards our common home and all those living in it. We express solidarity with our brother bishops in Latin America who, through the Consejo Episcopal Latinoamericano (CELAM), have expressed their desire for a prompt extinguishment of these fires, and welcome the decision by the Group of Seven (G7) to extend financial support for these efforts.”
Prayer for an end to the Amazon Wildfires
Compassionate Lord, we pray for those who have been devastated by the recent fires that have developed in the Amazon. We remember those who have lost their lives so suddenly. We hold in our hearts the families forever changed by grief and loss. Bring them consolation and comfort. We ask your blessing on all those who have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their security and their hope. Bless the work of relief agencies and those proving emergency assistance. May their work be guided by the grace and strength that comes from You alone.
We also recall the words of Pope Francis, and “ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be ‘protectors’ of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment”. We pray for the grace to respond to this devastation with generosity in prayer, in assistance, in aid to the best of our abilities.
As we pray together seeking your intervention, we ask for rain to pour down on these horrendous wildfires and crush their destructive power. Our hearts are filled with compassion for all those who are afflicted by this dreadful natural disaster. Keep our hearts focused on the needs of those affected, even after the crisis is over.
We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
Sources: Xavier.edu, sosf.org and Vatican.va
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