Pope Francis laments forests’ destruction in Argentina

Pope Francis, shown here in the Vatican gardens, is speaking out against deforestation in his native Argentina. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Max Rossi
Pope Francis, shown here in the Vatican gardens, is speaking out against deforestation in his native Argentina.  Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Max Rossi

Pope Francis, shown here in the Vatican gardens, is speaking out against deforestation in his native Argentina. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Max Rossi

(Reuters) – Pope Francis criticized the destruction of forests in order to plant soy in an interview with an Argentine radio station on Saturday, reinforcing his message that the environment should take precedence over financial gain.

“It hurts me in my soul when I see deforestation to plant soy,” said the pope in an interview with two priests at Radio Parroquial Virgen del Carmen in Campo Gallo, a tiny parish radio station in the poor northern province of Santiago del Estero in his native Argentina.

“It will take thousands of years to recover. Look after the woods and water.”

Argentina is the world’s largest supplier of soymeal and soyoil, and much of its vast pampas that were once given over to cattle ranches now grow the plant, used for animal feed and in foodstuffs, with China the leading importer.

In neighbouring Brazil, also a major soy supplier, environmentalists claim that its cultivation has led to the destruction of rainforest.

The head of the 1.2 billion member Catholic Church has caused controversy before by weighing into debates on the environment and condemning speculation in food commodities.

He visited South America last month and gave passionate speeches in which he censured capitalism, championed the rights of the poor, and warned of irreversible damage to the planet.

In an encyclical dedicated to the environment in June, Francis, the first pope from a developing nation, advocated a change of lifestyle in rich countries and demanded swift action to save the planet from environmental ruin.

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  • Sometimes I think I will go insane………the Pope is against growing food to feed people?!?!?……..

    It’s funny the Pope has never said it hurts him to see Americans funding Planned Parenthood and it’s mass murder of babies and selling the body parts industry.

  • What do you do with a Pope who says nothing about the murder of babies in the womb, says nothing about the atrocity of gay marriage, but sighs about the fact that people are planting crops to feed the world’s hungry? Something is really wrong with this Pope.

  • Maybe it wasn’t his soul hurting but rather really bad gas from all of the pasta that the pope eats?….Pasta made from soy beans, of course.

  • Pope Francis isn’t against feeding the poor! He’s against destroying the rain forests which helps the entire planet remain in balance!

    He’s absolutely correct!

  • What is drving the increased demand for soy? Increased demand for biofuels to combat climate change.

    According to Scientific American, (David Biello | February 7, 2008) “Ethanol demand in the U.S. has caused some farmers to plant more corn and less soy. This has driven up soy prices causing farmers in Brazil [and Argentina] to clear more Amazon rainforest land to plant valuable soy.”

    “Turning food into fuel also has the unintended consequence of driving up food prices, reducing the access of the neediest populations to grains and meat. “It’s equivalent to saying we will try to reduce greenhouse gases by reducing food consumption… Unfortunately, a lot of that comes from the world’s poorest people.”

    Using food crops for biofuels does not help people or climate change. If the Pope wants to stop deforestation and help the poor, he should tell people to stop burning food!

  • Maybe the pope’s soul should hurt over the number of souls going to hell, the number of uncatechised people, or the number of folks leaving the Church?

    Our Lord did not die on the cross to ‘balance’ the earth or save the trees or the whales or the snails, etc. NO! He came to save souls and that should be the concern of His vicar.

  • This papacy will go down as one of the greatest embarrassments in Church history. No wonder the world media love him so.

  • Christianity is an embarrassment, giving man domian over the earth. What a disaster. Thank God the Pope sees this and is doing what he can to mitigate the train wreck.

  • Right on, Magdalen. My thoughts exactly.

    I remember in his trip to the Philippines he told a child “there are no answers” when she asked about suffering in this world. The answer is simple: “sin”.
    If he concentrated more on that (he sometimes speaks of the devil), repentance and amending one’s life instead of what he admits he knows little of (economics, ecology, etc.), he wouldn’t have to turn to worldly “experts” but go to the REAL expert, Christ, Himself and His Teachings of Salvation, which is what Our Lord actually came for and died on the Cross for.

  • A pope by any other name is still a pope, unless he acts like an environmentalist and then he is a dope. Really. Souls going to Hell means nothing to this guy, but trees being cut down and he laments. My Oh my? And no one can judge this guy. Please, he is really losing his Catholic Faith (as if he hasn’t already lost it) and betting all his marbles on Pantheism. SICK!

  • A few months back the Pope said THE GREATEST tragedy of our time is youth unemployment, young men unable to find work. So here is a great opportunity to create jobs for hundreds of uneducated poor people and no, cannot harm any forests. Which does he want? He seems to not understand the most basic principles of economics.

  • Should we believe you because of the “sister” before your name or the alphabet string after? Taken any buses lately, Sis?

  • How long until Our Lord gives us a true and faithful Pope who will restore the beauty and unity of the temple worship, teach the true faith, purge the Church of heresy and confront the errors of the modern world?
    Please let it be soon.

  • You’ll be hearing more about how youth unemployment is a mortal sin, or how those living in adultery deserve more mercy and compassion than the spouse and family they abandoned. Don’t hold your breath with jesuits.

  • His main role is the salvation of souls. Instead, he is falling into the hands of the UN’s agenta for population control, carbon taxing everyone, and allowing the church to be politicized. One doesn’t need advanced degrees and acronyms ad infinitum behind one’s name to figure these things out.

  • I really DO NOT understand where this guy is coming from. Never have since he walked out onto the balcony and said ‘Good Evening’????? He looked like a fish out of water. I knew right THEN AND THERE, something is wrong here. What happened to: ‘Praise be to Jesus Christ’??? My gut reaction was correct, little did I know then. Since then he has seemed to be systematically destroying the Church. The most important thing I learned was not to really listen to what he says, but to watch what he does, after all, the media may ‘distort’ his words. He surrounds himself with heretics who do his bidding. He himself does not take the blame, it’s his ‘advisers’. All heretics of the highest order. I would say ‘out and proud’ heretics chosen personally by HIM. He invites gay activists into the Vatican? Wish I would have kept a journal as to all the anti Catholic things he has DONE without opening his mouth.

  • From the beginning of his papacy i thought I was the only Catholic I’m America who considered him a disaster. Nice to know I am not alone.