Pope worried about pollution of rivers with mercury used by gold miners in the Amazon – by Bruno Kelly and Anthony Boadle (Mining.com/Reuters – August 9, 2022)


Pope Francis will install the first cardinal of Brazil’s Amazon region this month in a sign of his concern for the rainforest and its indigenous inhabitants, the man whom he picked for the role said.

Dom Leonardo Steiner, archbishop of the Brazilian city of Manaus, said in an interview that Francis, the first pope from Latin America, is worried about deforestation, threats to indigenous cultures and pollution of rivers with mercury used by gold miners in the Amazon.

“The naming of a cardinal of the Amazon shows the pope’s desire to bring the Church closer to the Amazon,” Steiner said last week. Steiner will be among 21 new cardinals that Pope Francis will appoint on Aug. 27 in a ceremony known as a consistory.

Illegal logging and mining in the Amazon has surged under Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. His government has also opened the door to more evangelical missionaries in the region.

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