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Thirst for Profit Threatens Humanity, Vatican Official says

An woman from the Pataxo Ha-ha-hae tribe looks at dead fish near the Paraopeba River after a tailings dam owned by Brazilian mining company Vale SA collapsed near Sao Joaquim de Bicas, Brazil, Jan. 28, 2019. (CNS photo/Adriano Machado, Reuters)

ROME (CNS) – Left unchecked, unbridled greed and a thirst for profit leads down a slippery slope that endangers the earth and all who live on it, especially indigenous populations, a Vatican official said. Msgr. Fernando Chica Arellano, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the World Food Program, called on world leaders to make human beings, and not material gain, as their primary concern. “If this priority is not clear, we will leave withered lands, depleted seas, polluted air, wastelands where beautiful orchards used to flourish as an inheritance to future generations,” Msgr. Chica said February 13 at the Fourth Global Meeting of the Indigenous Peoples’ Forum. The theme of the February 12-13 conference, held at the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s headquarters in Rome, focused on “promoting indigenous people’s knowledge and innovations for climate resilience and sustainable development.” In his address, Msgr. Chica said that the world must not view indigenous people as minorities but rather as “authentic interlocutors” who correctly instruct humanity about the “harmonious and fruitful relationship between human beings and nature, reminding us that man does not have absolute power over creation.”