Pope Francis spoke to a general audience in Rome on Wednesday- which also happened to be World Environment Day- about the “culture of waste.” The pontiff put forward the concept that our world’s “culture of waste” has led to a mentality of materialism and disposability that involves not only things, but people as well and, especially, the unborn child, the disabled, and the elderly.
In an interesting take on “human ecology,” Pope Francis said:
This culture of waste tends to become the common mentality that infects everyone. Human life, the person is no longer perceived as a primary value to be respected and protected, especially if poor or disabled, if not yet useful- such as the unborn child- or no longer needed- such as the elderly.
“The popes have spoken of human ecology, closely linked to environmental ecology,” Francis said. “We are living in a time of crisis. We see this in the environment, but above all we see this in mankind. The human person is in danger: this is certain, the human person is in danger today, here is the urgency of human ecology.”
“And it is a serious danger because the cause of the problem is not superficial, but profound,” the pope added. “It is not just a matter of economics, but of ethics and anthropology.”
According to LifeSiteNews, in keeping with the theme of the environment, the pope discussed the first part of the Book of Genesis, and God’s intention that man and woman were placed on earth to care for and cultivate it.
“And the question comes to my mind: What does cultivating and caring for the earth mean?” Pope Francis asked.
The pontiff responded with the words of Pope Benedict XVI, who said that we must “grasp the rhythm and logic of creation” in order to follow through with the Creator’s plan.
But we are often driven by pride of domination, of possessions, manipulation, of exploitation; we do not ‘care’ for it, we do not respect it, we do not consider it as a free gift that we must care for. We are losing the attitude of wonder, contemplation, listening to creation … we have moved away from God, we no longer read His signs.
The pope went on to say that people are more concerned with material possessions, money, and the stock market, while human beings themselves “are disposed of, as if they were trash.”