May Ecuador, together with the other countries in the Amazon, never allow that its rich patrimony of biodiversity to be lost. This was the Pope's appeal in his address to Tuesday afternoon, 7 July, to the various areas of civil society. In an extensive and articulate address which summarizes the content of Francis' visit to Ecuador, the first stop on his three-nation tour in Latin America.
Quoting Laudato Si’, the Pope sketched out a bleak picture of the devastation of the Amazon, underlining that the “tapping of natural resources, which are so abundant in Ecuador, must not be concerned with short-term benefits” but to aim to care for the environment in order to deliver it safely to future generations, just as we received it from previous ones.
After the Mayor of Quito gave him the keys to the city, the Holy Father met with political, economic and civic leaders in San Francisco Square. Accompanied by the Franciscan community which lives in the convent next-door, the Pontiff visited the church which is part of the architectural complex called Escorial de los Andes, the oldest religious building in Latin America. It also has particular symbolic significance for the indigenous people since it was once a military command headquarters for the Inca and Caranqi.
The meeting was marked by musical interludes, the most acclaimed of which was performed from a group of young musicians with Down syndrome. Two of them literally threw themselves into the Pope's arms, who embraced them like a loving father.
St. Peter’s Square
July 21, 2018
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