Suriname indigenous people pray for the protection of the Amazon Suriname indigenous people pray for the protection of the Amazon 

Voices of the Synod: Bishop Choennie, Suriname

The Bishop of Paramaribo in Suriname highlights the need for an ecological conversion and stresses the important role of women in the Church

“We are the greenest country on earth, 93% covered by the forests. We have little carbon foot print, yet still we feel the scorch of climate change and ecological crisis,” says Karel Martinus Choennie, Bishop of Paramaribo in Suriname, a country located on the northern coast of South America.

Speaking to Vatican News on the sidelines of the Synod for the Amazon, the Bishop points out that what is needed is an “ecological conversion because the world is at a crisis and we’ll have to act collectively to change the crisis.”

So what can be done to bring about this conversion? Bishop Choennie says that, “it will call for a complete change of lifestyle and solidarity and for the development of our own resources because we are rich in natural resources."

Indeed, Surname’s economy is dependent on the supply of natural resources, most notably bauxite, (the principal ore of aluminium) of which it is one of the top producers in the world.

He goes on to say that, “we should look at it from the point of integral ecology, so not only how much profit do we make but how does ecology effect the social structures.”

During the daily press briefing at the Holy See Press office on Wednesday a question was raised about the role of women in the Church with the Bishops present noting the important part they have to play in missionary work, catechesis, liturgy, in caring for the poor and in caring for children.

This is something Bishop Choennie is also keen to highlight saying, “I have also stressed the recognition of the role of the women in the Church that there be ministries created where their input is recognized.”

Listen to the interview with Bishop Choennie



17 October 2019, 08:47