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Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 10:24 p.m.

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Pope calls the Amazon 'heart of church'

Francis blasts exploitation of rain forest in speech to indigenous peoples in Peru

By NICOLE WINFIELDand CHRISTINE ARMARIO The Associated Press

This article was originally published January 20, 2018 at 2:55 a.m. Updated January 20, 2018 at 2:55 a.m.

representatives-of-perus-indigenous-peoples-attend-a-speech-by-pope-francis-on-friday-in-puerto-maldonado-in-which-the-pope-called-the-natives-the-custodians-of-our-common-home

Representatives of Peru’s indigenous peoples attend a speech by Pope Francis on Friday in Puerto Maldonado in which the pope called the natives the custodians of “our common home.”

PUERTO MALDONADO, Peru -- Pope Francis traveled deep into the Amazon rain forest Friday to demand an end to the relentless exploitation of its timber, gas and gold and recognition of its indigenous peoples as the primary custodians to determine the future of "our common home."

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