Pope Francis is more than a figurehead for the Catholic Church, he is also an environmental activist. In 2016, for instance, the pontiff declared environmental destruction a sin. And in May of this year, he gifted President Trump a copy of the climate encyclical. Reportedly, he hoped the US President would give reason to science and cultivate respect for the environment. One month later, President Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Now, Pope Francis is calling on world leaders to “listen to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer most because of the unbalanced ecology.” The religious leader strongly believes in climate change and is doing his part to encourage a shift to sustainability before it is too late.
AP Press reports that the appeal was made Wednesday, in an announcement that he and the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, Patriarch Bartholomew I, would be releasing a joint statement on “care for God’s creation” Friday. September 1st was designated as the church’s day for prayer for the environment in 2015 by Pope Francis.
Bartholomew, who backed Laudato Si, Francis’ 2015 encyclical on the environment — has similar views. He once said,
“There has never been so much turmoil on our planet, but there has never been greater opportunity for communication, cooperation and dialogue. Basic human rights such as access to water, clean air and sufficient food should be available to everyone without distinction or discrimination. We are convinced that we cannot separate our concern for human dignity, human rights or social justice from the concern for ecological preservation and sustainability.”
Pope Francis is one of the few religious leaders willing to embrace modern findings and apply them to age-old wisdom. Hopefully, his plea will inspire more world leaders to commit to sustainable change to benefit future generations and prevent climate change from worsening.
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