By Vatican News
The president of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, has expressed his gratitude to Pope Francis for the Apostolic Exhortation Querida Amazonía, which, he says, “arose in the heart of your Holiness as the fruit of the dialogue and discernment during the recent General Synod of Bishops on the Amazon”.
Pope Francis' care for the Amazon
In a letter to Pope Francis, written on behalf of the “faithful and pastors of Poland”, the Archbishop of Poznan said, “My gratitude is deeper the more I discover with what care and love the Holy Father, as Pater Patrum [father of fathers] surrounds the children of our beloved Mother, the Church, scattered across all continents and inhabiting even the most distant places, often not only forgotten and overlooked, but also exploited and destroyed”.
Archbishop Gądecki notes that Querida Amazonía “is above all a manifestation of the faithful memory and responsible care of the whole Church for our brothers living in this region of the world, who often with great heroism and devotion, in suffering but also with hope, follow the paths of the Gospel of Christ”.
The voice of the Church
Citing the Exhortation itself, the Archbishop continues, “Thank you, your Holiness, for this necessary, important, and sensitive voice that becomes the loud voice of the Church ‘for the rights of the poor, the indigenous peoples and the least of our brothers and sisters, where their voices can be heard and their dignity advanced’; for the call for Amazonia to ‘preserve its distinctive cultural riches, where the beauty of our humanity shines forth in so many varied ways’, and to ‘jealously preserve its overwhelming natural beauty and the superabundant life teeming in its rivers and forests’”.
Archbishop Gądecki concluded his letter with the prayer that, “through the grace of God and the commitment of us all”, Pope Francis’ dreams for the beloved Amazon region “will inspire people of good will to take even greater care of the Amazon and its peoples”.