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Pope Francis: exploiting the Earth is ‘our sin’



Pope Francis has told workers and employers that men should safeguard and look after the Earth, not exploit it, and called for development that respects “God’s creation”.

The Pope told an audience in an Italian university on Saturday that agriculture is a fertile dialogue between men and nature and that in order for the earth to give its goods to humankind, this has to be guarded, not exploited.

When I look at America, also my own homeland – South America – so many forests, all cut, that have become land that cannot be cultivated and can no longer give life. This is our sin, exploiting the Earth and not allowing her to give us what she has within her, with our help”, he said.

“This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: to convert ourselves to a kind of development that respects creation.”

Pope Francis made a similar remark in May, when he said, “We are custodians of creation. But when we exploit creation we destroy the sign of God’s love for us. Safeguard creation, because if we destroy creation, creation will destroy us”.

He also previously called for greater protection of the Amazon, as well as offering support to ethical investment markets.

The Pope also spoke out recently about child sexual abuse scandals involving members of the clergy, asking the victims for forgiveness and condemned those who tried to cover up the crime, although no formal punishment has taken place for paedophile priests yet.

He said, “There is no place in the church’s ministry for those who commit these abuses, and I commit myself not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not.”

Photo: Semilla Luz via flickr

Further reading:

Pope Francis urged to support fossil fuel divestment campaign

Pope Francis: a year in the life of an environmental pope

Pope Francis speaks out against fracking and environmental devastation

Pope Francis: ‘if we destroy creation, creation will destroy us’

‘The church must see caring for the environment as part of morality’


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