"The Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Charity, Justice and Peace of the CNBB, joins in the many expressions of indignation for the brutal murder of the couple" says a passage in the declaration. The Commission itself, in November 2010, had issued another statement, signed by José Cláudio in front of more than 400 scholars from different fields of research, in which the leading environmentalist said: "I live in the forest, I protect it, so I live waiting for a bullet in the head at any time, because I am always in full view, before everyone, and I denounce what I see."Like Sister Dorothy Mae Stang, who was shot to death in February, 2005, the murder of José and Maria shows us the great stakes in play when one seeks to protect the ecology and the people of Brazil.
The issue of deforestation in the Amazon, and elsewhere, can not be understated. What’s happening as a result of the eco-carnage in this lush rain forest is impacting worldwide biodiversity and is being fueled by, as well as results in, poverty.
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It is critical that Catholic ecologists—and all ecologists—explain to one and all the very dire consequences of the ongoing destruction of the vast ecological riches of the Amazon.
In fact, in a way, what’s happening in the Amazon is murder, because the damage occurring is causing, and will have, very real consequences on very real people within the Amazon and across the interwoven ecology of planet Earth.
May God bless José and Maria and welcome them into His eternal embrace, and may their murder teach us all what’s happening in the battle for the Amazon, why it’s happening, and what one risks when seeking to stop the madness.