Pope calls for prayers that Amazon fires are controlled

Pope calls for prayers that Amazon fires are controlled
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Pope FrancisPope FrancisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Barr splits with Trump on election; pardon controversy Pope warns new cardinals against 'slumber of mediocrity' Pope Francis pays visit to predecessor with elevated cardinals MORE on Sunday called for prayers that fires in the Amazon rainforest are brought under control quickly, according to The Associated Press.

“[L]et us pray so that, with the efforts of all, they are controlled as quickly as possible,” the pope said in St. Peter’s Square, saying “we’re all worried” about the fires' implications for the environment.


The “lung of forest is vital for our planet,” added Francis, who was born in the neighboring nation Argentina, the AP noted.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has insisted the fires have affected previously deforested areas rather than intact sections of the forest.

Despite Bolsonaro’s downplaying of the threat, the fires have been a frequent topic of discussion at the Group of Seven summit, with French President Emanuel Macron saying this weekend that several democratic heads of state are working toward a deal on how to stem the blazes and repair the damage, according to the AP, “so that we can help [Brazil] in the most effective way possible.”

Macron also deemed the fires a global emergency, threatening to scuttle a trade deal between the European Union and Brazil and other South American nations. While German Chancellor Angela Merkel disagreed with Macron on torpedoing the trade deal, she said she supported treating the fires as an emergency, according to the AP.

Bolsonaro authorized the country’s armed forces to fight the fires  last Friday, making about 44,00 troops available for unprecedented” firefighting operations, according to the AP.