Pope Francis’ beautiful apostolic exhortation on the Amazon caught the attention of many secular journalists mostly because they were primed to witness celibacy tumble or report that the all-male clerical state took a hit. We urge our media colleagues to read more deeply. The contents are earthshaking.

Pope Francis, again showing himself as both a father and a son of Catholicism, has delivered a love letter to the region from a church that yearns for friendship and deeper knowledge.

Here are three takeaways from “Querida Amazonia”:

First, like Jesus did, Pope Francis issues a call to conversion. “We need to feel outrage,” he wrote, frustrated by the world’s indifference to degradation of the environment, society and individual human beings. Hearts must make a turn, he wrote, teaching that care for ecosystems and people are tightly linked. Like Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict before him, Pope Francis raises the alarm about a consumerist culture that demolishes human dignity even faster than a bulldozer razes a rainforest.

Second, the pope recognizes that there already is strong leadership in the Amazon, including religious and lay faithful. These people, he wrote with gratitude, are the closest to those on the margins, which is where Christ calls the church. Their inside position, he said, empowers the church workers to set a vision for ministry and guide it.

Third, Pope Francis urges the world to move from tribalism to true human understanding. We ought not “look at the world from without but from within, conscious of the bonds with which the Father has linked us to all beings,” he writes. It is compassion, seeking to feel what others feel, that was so characteristic of Jesus.

If we learn nothing else from “Querida Amazonia,” it should be that compassion might heal a number of current ills in the world.