Pope: “It is irresponsible to pollute water and air, governments must act“

Pope: "It is irresponsible to pollute water and air"

Pope: “It is irresponsible to pollute water and air, governments must act“

By Salvatore Cernuzio/ Vatican city

Message to the “Laudato Si' & Big Cities” international conference in Brazil, “We can not stand with our arms crossed, when we notice a serious environmental degeneration”. Francis endorses a world-wide pledge campaign in favor of creation

Francis calls for "respect, responsibility and relationships" to face the challenges of this world. Ecological challenges such as serious degeneration in the quality of the air, water pollution, and increased production of waste. But also social challenges such as "poverty" of those who are isolated and rootless, which often leads to discrimination and "ghettoizing", hence, "violence" and "injustice".

The Pontiff then proposes the three big "Rs" in his Spanish Message to participants at the "Laudato Si' y Grandes Ciudades" International Congress organized by the "Antoni Gaudí Foundation for Big Cities" in Barcelona, which opened yesterday in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. "Respect, responsibility and relationships – the Pope writes - help interact with the most essential imperatives of our society."

We must nurture in society "respect of the environment" and "respect for creation," the Pontiff underlines. "It is a duty we all have." Because all of us "received (creation) as a precious gift and we must strive so that future generations can continue to admire and enjoy it."

Such awareness must be "taught and transmitted"; Also because, the pontiff says, "we can not stand with our arms crossed, when we notice a serious degeneration in the quality of the air" and of the environment in general. "Facts like these are the result of an irresponsible form of exploitation of creation and demand that we act responsibly for the good of all”

The Pope also faces the dilemma of accessible clean water, a 'fundamental right', he recalls, although about two billion people in the world still have no access to it as evidenced by the latest Oms-Unicef data. "When it is not given the deserving attention, it turns into a source of illness and endangers millions of lives," warns Francis.

The first step is therefore to break down the wall of "indifference" against our "common home", and open our eyes to the many environmental tragedies that have occurred and continue to occur on a daily basis. "This passivity proves that humankind has lost their sense of responsibility towards their kindreds on which every civil society is founded," the Pope writes, quoting his Laudato Si'.

For the Pope, it is “ever more urgent” that governments and institutions adopt policies that encourage citizens to "help create a more livable and healthier environment". Equally, Francis recommends human "relationships" as prerogatives of a multicultural society, understood in its positive sense. People should not be "closed-in and distrustful of their neighbor," he urges, "some people’s lack of roots and isolation are forms of poverty, which can lead to the formation of ghettos and cause violence and injustice. Instead, man is called to love and be loved, to establish bonds of belonging and unity among their peers."

It is therefore important that "society works together in political, educational and religious ways to create warmer human relationships, to break down the walls that isolate and marginalize people." This - Bergoglio explains - can be obtained through a joint effort among associations, schools, parishes and other structures capable of building "a network of communion and belonging, able to promote better coexistence and overcome difficulties."

Always on the protecting the environment issue, the Pope has recently joined the campaign "Compromiso Laudato Si’" promoted by the Global Catholic Climate Movement. An initiative aimed at mobilizing at least one million Catholics to turn the indications of Francis’ encyclical into concrete actions for the planet. In addition to the Pope, the campaign has been endorsed by Cardinal Turkson, Tagle, Ribat, Cupich and Marx and important environmental leaders such as UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, former UN Climate Director, Christiana Figueres, And May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org. The executive director of the Movement, Tomás Insula, said: "We are 1.2 billion Catholics all over the world we have a critical role to play in tackling climate change and the wider ecological crisis. Pope Francis has already changed the discussion around climate change and this pledge is inviting us to put the Church's teachings into action and answer the urgent call for strong political action and lifestyle change put forth in Laudato Si'.

Sat, 07/15/2017 - 16:21
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