ROME — Pope Francis announced a “jubilee for the earth” Tuesday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, calling on all to combat the “climate emergency.”
In his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the pontiff has called for repentance, insisting we have “broken the bonds of our relationship with the Creator, with our fellow human beings, and with the rest of creation.”
“Our constant demand for growth and an endless cycle of production and consumption are exhausting the natural world,” the pope laments. “Forests are leached, topsoil erodes, fields fail, deserts advance, seas acidify and storms intensify.”
“Creation is groaning!” he concludes.
The solution to these problems is learning to “listen to the land,” he states, and to occupy our correct place in the “web of life.”
“We also need once more to listen to the land itself,” Francis said. “Today we hear the voice of creation admonishing us to return to our rightful place in the natural created order – to remember that we are part of this interconnected web of life, not its masters.”
“The disintegration of biodiversity, spiralling climate disasters, and unjust impact of the current pandemic on the poor and vulnerable: all these are a wakeup call in the face of our rampant greed and consumption,” he says.
The pope urges all to adopt a simpler, more austere lifestyle.
“We must examine our habits of energy usage, consumption, transportation, and diet,” he states. “We must eliminate the superfluous and destructive aspects of our economies, and nurture life-giving ways to trade, produce, and transport goods.”
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