Jesuit Superior: "Garden of Eden is being 'systematically destroyed"

The Jesuit Superior responsible for the work of the Society of Jesus in the Amazon Region has criticised people and organisations motivated by 'the evil spirit of self interest' and have created 'a socio-ecological mess'.  Using the Amazon River Region as a prime example, he has called for a fundamental change in our approach to civilisation,  including a 'spiritual transformation'.

Fr Roberto Jaramillo's address to the Many Heavens, One Earth Celebration at Windsor Castle was delivered in his absence today  by the British Jesuit Provincial, Fr Michael Holman SJ. Fr Jaramillo recently sustained a fall and was unable to attend himself. However, in his statement, the Jesuit priest warned that chaos - from which Creation arose - was making a come-back. 'The Garden of Eden is being systematically destroyed,' he wrote.

'The blind attitude of many individuals, groups, organizations, institutions and nations, motivated by the evil spirit of self interest, frequently disguised with the discourse of 'development' and even 'sustainability', expresses itself every day. 

It expresses itself not only in deforestation, in the contamination of water sources and rivers, in desertification, in the depredation of natural resources, in the irrational exploitation of timber, mining and fishing; but also in the concentration of land ownership in the hands of a few, in public corruption and in the abuse of authority; in unimaginable violence against Amerindian and peasant communities, in the displacement of rural inhabitants, in inhuman conditions of living in cities, in the trafficking of children and young women, in the growth of the sex tourism business, and also in the absence of democracy, of popular participation in decision making.  Starvation, exclusion and marginalization; human internal displacement; unemployment, the lack of opportunities for education and social mobility; an insufficiency of basic public services, these are all consequences of this socio-ecological mess.'

Father Jaramillo concluded by asking people and institutions across the world to help 'save this garden'. 'Not because the air your children will breathe depends on the trees that grow here ... but because the creatures of the Amazon, and first of all the Amazonian people, have the right to live in freedom and peace.'

To read the full statement by Fr Roberto Jaramillo, as delivered at Windsor Castle, see:

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