On Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary, Pope Francis Goes Radical on The Environment
Pope Francis believes that humanity has failed to protect the earth and its inhabitants.
By not being able to take care of the planet, the pope believes that humanity has committed a sin against God and his gift of creation.
For his catechesis on April 22, the pope spent most of his time reflecting on human and Christian responsibility for protecting the Earth. This same day is the 50th Earth Day, which was first celebrated in 1970 to bring awareness to environmental matters.
In his catechesis, the pope declared that Earth Day was “an occasion for renewing our commitment to love and care for our common home and for the weaker members of our human family.”
“As the tragic coronavirus pandemic has taught us, we can overcome global challenges only by showing solidarity with one another and embracing the most vulnerable in our midst,” he continued.
Alluding to the Book of Genesis relates, he stated, “we live in this common home as one human family in biodiversity with God’s other creatures,” and God has urged humanity to take care of and respect his creation and “to offer love and compassion to our brothers and sisters, especially the most vulnerable among us, in imitation of God’s love for us, manifested in his son Jesus.”
In the pope’s view, God is good and always forgives. On the other hand, “The Earth never forgives: if we have despoiled the Earth, the response will be very bad.”
“Because of our selfishness, we have failed in our responsibility to be guardians and stewards of the Earth,” the pope asserted. “We have polluted and despoiled it, endangering our very lives.”
“We have failed to care for the Earth, our garden-home; we have failed to care for our brothers and sisters. We have sinned against the Earth, against our neighbors and ultimately against the Creator, the benevolent father who provides for everyone and desires us to live in communion and flourish together,” the pope proclaimed.
The pope declared that it is imperative that people restore “a harmonious relationship” between the Earth and the rest of humanity.
“In today’s celebration of Earth Day, we are called to renew our sense of sacred respect for the Earth, for it is not just our home but also God’s home. This should make us all the more aware that we stand on holy ground!” Pope Francis proclaimed.
The pope called for an “ecological conversion” of sorts.
Due to the interconnected nature of world and all of its people, the pope believes that the whole international community must cooperate protect “our common home.”
With the aforementioned fact in mind, the pope called on leaders to “guide the preparations for two important international conferences. He is referring to the COP15 on biological diversity being held in Kunming, China, and the COP26 on climate change in Glasgow, Scotland. Both conferences have been postponed due to the Wuhan virus pandemic.
“It will help if people at all levels of society come together to create a popular movement” from the grassroots, in a manner reminiscent to how Earth Day was founded, the pope concluded.