Pope calls global warming a “sin”
Insisting that environmental damage such as global warming amounts to a sin against creation, Pope Francis on Thursday once again called on Christians to join forces to protect the earth on what’s ecumenically designated as the “World Day of Prayer for Creation.”
“To commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God,” the pope writes, quoting an address the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew gave in Santa Barbara, California, back in 1997.
Francis has long shared the interest for protecting the planet with Bartholomew.
In a message released by the Vatican on Thursday, Francis pointed out the “sins” against creation, which include humans destroying the ecosystem and degrading the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, and the contamination of the earth’s waters, land, air, and life.
Keeping in mind both the Holy Year of Mercy and prayer day for creation, celebrated on Sept. 1, Francis on Thursday called for Catholics to add a new work of mercy to the traditional 14: “Care for our common home.”
The works of mercy, as taught by the Catholic Church, are divided into corporal and spiritual. The first seven, which include feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty and clothes to the naked, were directly taken from the New Testament.
Yet in Thursday’s message, the pontiff proposes “a complement to the two traditional sets of seven.”
As a spiritual work of mercy, the care for our common home, Francis wrote, “calls for a ‘grateful contemplation of God’s world.” As a corporeal one, instead, it requires “simple daily gestures which break with the logic of violence, exploitation and selfishness” and “makes itself felt in every action that seeks to build a better world.”
The “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” is a global ecumenical stewardship initiative, which began in 1989 under the leadership of the Orthodox Church. Yet it wasn’t until last year that the Catholic Church formally joined the initiative, with a letter from Francis establishing it.
In that August 2015 letter, the pontiff wrote that an annual commemoration of Creation would offer an opportunity to thank God for the “wonderful handiwork entrusted to our care, and to implore God’s help for the protection of creation,” an idea he reiterated in his latest pro-environment message.
The pope’s message titled “Show Mercy to our Common Home” is divided into five sections, and it’s largely an appeal for “people of faith and goodwill” to come together in “showing mercy to the earth as our common home and cherishing the world in which we live as a place for sharing and communion.”
As he did in his May 2015 environmental manifesto Laudato Si’, Francis once again says that global warming is at least partially man made, underlining that 2015 was the warmest year on record, and that 2016 will be warmer still.
Although some people remain skeptical, the scientific community has largely acknowledged that global warming due to pollution is leading to ever more severe droughts, floods, fires, and extreme weather events.
“Climate change is also contributing to the heart-rending refugee crisis,” Francis writes, adding that the world’s poor, though least responsible for climate change, “are most vulnerable and already suffering its impact.”
Francis also calls for the Jubilee of Mercy to summon in the faithful to a “profound interior conversion,” sustained by the sacrament of Confession, writing that after a “serious examination of conscience” Catholics can confess their sins against God and his creation.
The pope compared the need to make amends with the environment to Saint John Paul II’s 2000 appeal for Catholics to ask for forgiveness for past and present religious intolerance, “as well as for injustice towards Jews, women, indigenous peoples, immigrants, the poor and the unborn.”
francis still shilling..doesnt he love to judge us?
“To commit a crime against the natural world is a sin against ourselves and a sin against God,”
and now he is a scientist?
“Climate change is also contributing to the heart-rending refugee crisis,”