Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Humanity can no longer ignore the cry of a suffering Earth due to greed and over-consumption of its resources, Pope Francis said.
In his message for World Creation Day, the Pope said the current climate crisis is calling on men and women, especially Christians, to “repent and fix our lifestyles and destructive systems”. .
“The current state of disintegration of our common home deserves as much attention as other global challenges such as acute health crises and wars. It is neither an optional nor a secondary aspect of our Christian experience,” he wrote in a message issued by the Vatican on July 21.
The theme of World Creation Day, celebrated on September 1st, is “Listen to the Voice of Creation”.
Reflecting on this theme, the Pope said that there is “a kind of dissonance” when hearing the “voice of creation.”
On the one hand, we can hear sweet songs praising our beloved Creator. On the other hand, it is an anguished plea lamenting our mistreatment of this common home of ours,” he said.
His Holiness said the planet is “prey to our excessive consumerism” and “tyranny anthropocentrism” – an attitude where people think they are the center of the universe. . Such an attitude is “incompatible with Christ’s centrality in the work of creation.”
Exaggerated self-centeredness has led to biodiversity loss and countless extinctions, with a major impact on the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable indigenous peoples.
“As a result of predatory economic gain, their ancestral lands are being invaded and desolate on all sides, causing a cry that rises to the heavens,” he said.
Furthermore, the Pope said that the younger generation felt “threatened by short-sighted and selfish behavior” and that “we will do everything possible to prevent, or at least limit, the collapse of the planet’s ecosystems.” I’m asking adults to do that,” he said.
Pope Francis said the Vatican’s accession to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement on July 6 “wants that humanity in the 21st century will be remembered for graciously shouldering its great responsibility”. said it was done.
His Holiness said that while the goal of limiting global temperature rise is “extremely demanding”, there is a “responsible commitment among all nations” to tackle the climate crisis by reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero. It is also a call for cooperation,” he said.
Cardinal Michael Czerny of Canada, who released the Pope’s message at the Vatican’s press office on 21 July, is head of the Decastery for the Promotion of Integrated Human Development and said Pope Francis’ message was “This year’s COP27 and COP15 It served as a call to bolder action by the world leaders attending the summit.” On climate change and biodiversity. ”
Cardinal Czerny said, “Earth is already 1.2 degrees Celsius hotter, but every day new fossil fuel projects are accelerating our race towards the precipice.” All new exploration and production of coal, oil and gas must be terminated immediately, and existing production of fossil fuels must be urgently phased out. ”
In his message, Pope Francis stressed the need to change “models of consumption and production, and lifestyles” and transform them into those that respect creation and integrated human development.
“Underlying all of this is the need for a contract between humans and their environment. It’s a mirror that reflects what you’re traveling towards..’
“The transition brought about by this conversion cannot ignore the demands of justice, especially for workers most affected by climate change,” the Pope added.
He also expressed hope that the COP15 summit on biodiversity in Montreal in December will adopt a new agreement “to stop ecosystem destruction and species extinction.”
Pope Francis stressed the principles needed to prevent “further degradation of biodiversity”, calling on the mining, oil, forestry, real estate and agribusiness industries to “stop destroying forests, wetlands and mountains, replacing rivers and seas”. I appealed to stop polluting and stop poisoning ‘food and people’. ”
Pope Francis said, “There is no denying the existence of the ‘ecological debt’ owed by the wealthiest countries that have polluted the environment in the last 200 years.”
“Even economically less wealthy countries have a ‘diverse’ but important responsibility in this regard,” he added. “The delay of others can never justify the failure of our own actions. We all need to act decisively, because we have reached a breaking point.”