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Pope blames Amazon fires on destructive 'interests'

Pope blames Amazon fires on destructive interests

Vatican City: Pope Francis opened a synod Sunday to champion the Amazon's poverty-stricken and isolated indigenous communities by condemning the destructive "interests" he blamed for the fires that devastated the region.

"The fire set by interests that destroy, like the fire that recently devastated Amazonia, is not the fire of the

Gospel," he said before the bishops from the nine countries of the pan-Amazonian region and representatives of indigenous peoples.

"The fire of God is warmth that attracts and gathers into unity. It is fed by sharing, not by profits.

"The fire that destroys, on the other hand, blazes up when people want to promote only their own ideas, form their own group, wipe out differences in the attempt to make everyone and everything uniform."

The global spotlight has recently been on the world's largest rainforest, which is vital for the planet but is suffering from its worst outbreak of fires in years, due in part to an acceleration in deforestation.

The working document for the synod denounced in scathing terms social injustices and crimes, including murders, and suggested a Church action plan.

"Listen to the cry of 'Mother Earth', assaulted and seriously wounded by the

economic model of predatory and ecocidal development... which kills and plunders, destroys and devastates, expels and discards," the 80-page document said.

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