The following is a network case from the Jesuits in Latin America and the Caribbean for the Amazon through the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM). It is a letter from the Colombian Provincial Carlos E. Correa, S.J and it is entitled "Setting our sights on the Amazon."
"Our Common Home calls out because of the the damage that we cause due to the irresponsible use and abuse of the goods that God has created. We have grown up thinking we are the owners and masters authorized to despoil it."
That is how Pope Francis challenges us in the first two numbers of the Encyclical 'Laudato Si'. Later, he makes an important call: "The urgent challenge of protecting our Common Home includes the concern to unite the whole human family in searching for a sustainable and comprehensive development, because we know that things can change... Humanity still has the ability to collaborate to build our Common Home "(No. 13). It also helps us to realize that "the human environment and the natural environment are degraded together, and we can not adequately address environmental degradation if we do not pay attention to causes that have to do with human and social degradation... Today we cannot stop recognizing that a true ecological approach will always become a social approach, which must integrate justice into discussions about the environment, to hear both the cry of the earth as the cry of the poor "(No. 48 and 49).
The Jesuits in Latin America and the Caribbean have made a clear option for the Amazon. In the CAP (Common Apostolic Project) an important line of action was defined: "supporting the mission of the Society of Jesus in the Amazon and coordinating the actions of the Provinces and Regions that have projects and communities in it." From this line of action a new proposal has arisen: creating the Panamazonian Project, which focuses on "contributing, articulately, from a local and a global view, to the defense and promotion of life, rights and territories of indigenous peoples and sustainable environment in the Panamazonian region."
This project is being carried out within another major articulation: with all ecclesiastical districts and religious communities of the Catholic Church in the Region through the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM). This large network has emerged with a deep sense of hope and a great desire to respect and protect the life that we have been freely given.
Setting our sights on the Amazon is a must, not only as an imperative arising from the call of Pope Francis and from the Provinces of Latin America and the Caribbean, but as a true manifestation of our feeling for life and caring of the most beautiful gift that God has given to us: humanity and nature.
Some of our transversal works of the Province have already taken the initiative to visit the Jesuit Community of the CPAL living in Leticia (Colombian Amazon), in order to help with the proposal of the Pan-Amazon Project. A few days ago I was able go to Leticia and visit the Jesuits carrying out this project. I could feel the significant progress that has already been carried out, the best acknowledgement that we are getting it right in attempting to carry out God's will. I would like to invite you all to care about this project, so we can create the main articulations needed to continue moving forward in defending life, rights and territories of indigenous peoples and the sustainable environment in this region.
The Amazon is a key territory for the future of all humanity. Our commitment to its original inhabitants and the biodiversity that exists there is a clear manifestation of how we join our hearts to God, who works tirelessly to make life full."