Bolsonaro targets the Catholic church over its ‘leftist agenda’ on the Amazon

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Gathering at the Vatican has triggered a political storm in Brazil as bishop denies undermining the government

The Prayer of Saint Francis welcomes worshippers to Adolfo Zon’s riverside cathedral in this far-flung Amazon outpost: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”

But when the 63-year-old bishop sets off from his Amazonian sanctuary this week and boards a plane for Rome, he will be travelling to the frontline of a smouldering political skirmish between a left-leaning, green-minded Argentinian pope and Brazil’s far-right, climate skeptic president, Jair Bolsonaro.

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