The Synod marks a turning point, a before and after of the Church. It is a ray of light that affirms hope in a time of great darkness. This current historical moment is full of storm clouds that prevent us from seeing the way forward with clarity. The synodal conversion is an invitation to embrace with passion the way of God which is given to us in this moment.
Every morning on the news and every evening, we hear the drumbeats of possible war with Iran or North Korea; we hear, too, the cry of the victims we will likely never meet, and the names of places in Syria, in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in other far off lands we will never see.
We invite you to come and see the reality beyond the rhetoric. By taking these nine steps, we hope you will gain a greater understanding of what is really going on at the border and how you can best advocate for border communities.
On this webpage are nine steps you can take to pray over what scripture and our Catholic tradition says about God’s creation, learn about the pervasive and often hidden impacts of extractive industries, and act in solidarity with the cries of our wounded earth and vulnerable communities.
Throughout the Amazon, indigenous and local communities are being threatened and displaced by extractive industries, like logging, oil, gas, and dam projects, as well as by large-scale infrastructure developments, like roads, electrical interconnections, and commercial ports.
Extractive industries visibly tear open the land and pollute the air and water. What starts to go missing with such disruption isn’t as easily seen -- the animals, plants, the delicate balance of life that forms an eco-system – but is just as harmful, if not more so.
Many countries with high levels of natural resource wealth also have higher rates of income inequality. This is known as the “resource curse,” or the “paradox of plenty.” This paradox exists due to weak policies and high levels of corruption.
Extractive industries are a major contributor to climate change, since they are responsible for extracting the natural resources whose consumption and extraction release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Extractive industries should respect and support the dignity of the human person, including the right to safeguard the global commons and sustainably develop natural resources.
Extractivism is a short-sighted model of development seen around the world that exploits natural resources on a massive scale, creating significant economic profits for the powerful few in the short term, but too often resulting in minimal benefits for the communities where these resources are found.
Copyright © 2021 Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach, Washington, D.C.