The Tablet: Pope says go green ‘before it is too late’

Posted by Kendall Harmon

POPE BENEDICT XVI has called on young people to take steps to save the planet "before it is too late". Speaking last weekend at the end of an Italian youth gathering at the Marian shrine of Loreto near the Adriatic Sea, the Pope told the young people that one of the "most urgent" responsibilities of their generation was to protect the environment and help reverse ecological destruction.

"Before it is too late, courageous choices must be adopted that are capable of recreating a strong alliance between humans and the Earth," the Pope said on Sunday to a vast outdoor crowd. The remarks were only an aside in a much broader message to the young people, but they constituted some of the Pope's strongest comments to date on ecological questions. "There needs to be a decisive ‘yes' in defence of creation and a strong commitment to reverse those trends that risk creating situations of irreparable degradation," he said.

The two-day "Agora" was the first major event of a three-year initiative by the Italian episcopal conference (CEI) aimed at reaching out to young Catholics. The Pope's environmental comments were made in support of another CEI initiative - the second annual "National Day for the Safeguarding of Creation", which is commemorated each year on 1 September.

Pope Benedict noted that this year's theme focused on water, which he called a most precious resource. He warned that it would become a "motive for harsh tensions and bitter conflicts" if not shared in a fair and peaceful manner - a reality that is already occurring in many parts of the world.

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

5 Comments
Posted September 8, 2007 at 5:07 pm

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1. Bob from Boone wrote:

I’m delighted to know that the Christian world will have a “green pope” in Rome joining the “green patriarch” in Constantinople. His focus on water is right on the mark, in my view.

September 8, 9:01 pm | [comment link]
2. trooper wrote:

Good Bob,

Now just keep wondering what else the Holy Father has “right on the mark,” and you’ll be heading down the right path.  My prayers for your journey….  really

September 9, 12:32 am | [comment link]
3. Bob from Boone wrote:

Cute, trooper. To cite another example, I sometimes agree with my president even though I think for the most part he is leading our nation down the wrong path.

September 9, 2:27 pm | [comment link]
4. Chris wrote:

I have to wonder to what extent, if any, that the Pope is cognizant of the Green movement’s advocacy of things like abortion, contraceptives and of course population control…..

September 9, 3:45 pm | [comment link]
5. libraryjim wrote:

Of course, clean air and clean water ARE Scriptural goals of stewardship and love of neighbor.  So are care of the earth, land-friendly agricultural techniques (the Torah actually gives instruction for crop rotation and allowing fields to lay fallow for certain seasons!).  So the Pope is right on in this case (in the example of St. Francis of Assisi). 

However, we must not follow the example of the radical, secular and neo-pagan environmentalists who, as Chris points out, often do not have Godly motives for some of their other causes.  Tony Campolo put out an interesting book some time ago that laid bare these dangers, yet still called Christians to develop an Earth-friendly lifestyle: How to Rescue the Earth without Worshipping Nature.  Sadly, I think it is out of print, but one may be able to request a copy through your friendly neighborhood library or their interlibrary loan program.

Pax et bonum
Jim Elliott

“The world is a dangerous place to live — not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”—Albert Einstein

September 9, 8:44 pm | [comment link]


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