Pope's Eco Quotes: The fragile world

Editor's Note: Later this summer, Pope Francis will release his encyclical on the environment and human ecology. The highly anticipated teaching document will be the first from a pope to focus specifically on creation and human relationship with it.

In the two years since his papacy began, Francis -- like his predecessors Popes Benedict XVI and John Paul II -- has spoken regularly on environmental issues, such as protecting creation, climate change, environmental degradation and natural disasters, water, food and sustainability. As part of the lead-up to the papal encyclical, Eco Catholic will revisit key speeches, addresses and messages from Francis on environmental topics.

Nov. 23, 2013Evangelii Gaudium (part two of two; read part one here):

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[Graphic: Mick Forgey; CNS photo/Arko Datta, Reuters]

Chap. 4, The Social Dimension of Evangelization: The inclusion of poor in society:

"215. There are other weak and defenceless beings who are frequently at the mercy of economic interests or indiscriminate exploitation. I am speaking of creation as a whole. We human beings are not only the beneficiaries but also the stewards of other creatures. Thanks to our bodies, God has joined us so closely to the world around us that we can feel the desertification of the soil almost as a physical ailment, and the extinction of a species as a painful disfigurement. Let us not leave in our wake a swath of destruction and death which will affect our own lives and those of future generations. 

ecoquote_desert_banner.pngHere I would make my own the touching and prophetic lament voiced some years ago by the bishops of the Philippines: “An incredible variety of insects lived in the forest and were busy with all kinds of tasks… Birds flew through the air, their bright plumes and varying calls adding color and song to the green of the forests… God intended this land for us, his special creatures, but not so that we might destroy it and turn it into a wasteland… After a single night’s rain, look at the chocolate brown rivers in your locality and remember that they are carrying the life blood of the land into the sea… How can fish swim in sewers like the Pasig and so many more rivers which we have polluted? Who has turned the wonderworld of the seas into underwater cemeteries bereft of color and life?”

216. Small yet strong in the love of God, like Saint Francis of Assisi, all of us, as Christians, are called to watch over and protect the fragile world in which we live, and all its peoples." 

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ECO QUOTES ARCHIVE

  • Why the name 'Francis'

    “These days we do not have a very good relationship with creation, do we?”

    Read the full post here.

  • Being a Protector, Part 1

    “The vocation of being a ‘protector’ … means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us.”

    Read the full post here.

  • Being a Protector, Part 2

    “This is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly.”

    Read the full post here.

  • Life's most essential element

    “Water is the most essential element for life, and the future of humanity depends on our capacity to guard it and share it.”

    Read the full post here.

  • The gift of knowledge

    “The knowledge that comes from the Holy Spirit … is a special gift, which leads us to grasp, through creation, the greatness and love of God and his profound relationship with every creature.”

    Read the full post here.

  • To cultivate or neglect

    “Cultivating and caring for creation … means making the world increase with responsibility, transforming it so that it may be a garden, an inhabitable place for us all.”

    Read the full post here.

  • Alternative Energy Sources

    “We need only think, for example, of alternative sources of energy, the development of which will assist in the protection of the environment.”

    Read the full post here.

  • The culture of waste

    “If there are children in so many parts of the world who have nothing to eat, that is not news, it seems normal. It cannot be so!”

    Read the full post here.

  • Alternative Energy Sources

    “We need only think, for example, of alternative sources of energy, the development of which will assist in the protection of the environment.”

    Read the full post here.

  • Time is running out

    “The time to find global solutions is running out. We can find appropriate solutions only if we act together and in agreement. There is therefore a clear, definitive and urgent ethical imperative to act.”

    Read the full post here.

  • An Important Step

    “I think that an important step is to tear down decisively the barriers of individualism, self withdrawal and the slavery of profit at all costs.”

    Read the full post here.

  • Education in Humanity

    “To educate in solidarity therefore means to educate ourselves in humanity: to build a society that is truly human means to put the person and his or her dignity at the centre, always, and never to sell him out to the logic of profit.”

    Read the full post here.

  • A Case of Exclusion

    “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion.”

    Read the full post here.