ROME — Pope Francis issued a dire report on the state of the planet Tuesday, insisting the earth is suffering the worst environmental crisis of its history.
For a long time, the earth “has suffered from the wounds that we cause due to a predatory attitude, which makes us feel like owners of the planet and its resources and authorizes us to irresponsibly use the goods that God has given us,” the pope declared in a video message for the launch of the Laudato Si platform, a seven-year ecological project.
“Today, these wounds are dramatically manifested in an unprecedented ecological crisis that affects the soil, air, water and, in general, the ecosystem in which human beings live,” he warned in his Spanish-language address.
“The current pandemic has also brought to light even more acutely the cry of nature and that of the poor, who are the ones who suffer the most,” he added.
The pontiff went on to call for “a new ecological approach” to transform “the way humans inhabit the world, our lifestyles, our relationship with the earth’s resources and, in general, our way of seeing human beings and living life.”
As he has done on other occasions, the pope urged the adoption of an “integral human ecology,” which entails “environmental issues but also man in his totality and becomes capable of listening to the cry of the poor and of being a leaven for a new society.”
Francis also warned that “our selfishness, our indifference, and our irresponsibility” threaten the future of the generations to come.
“I therefore renew my appeal,” he said, “let us take care of our Mother Earth, let us overcome the temptation of selfishness that makes us predators of resources, let us cultivate respect for the gifts of the Earth and creation, let us finally inaugurate an eco-sustainable lifestyle and society.”
“From the hands of God we have received a garden; we cannot leave our children a desert,” he declared.
The pope went on to praise the work of the Laudato Si project, adding that the pursuit of integral ecology entails “responding to the cry of the Earth, responding to the cry of the poor, green economics, adopting a simple lifestyle, green education, green spirituality, and community engagement.”
“There is hope,” he concluded. “We can all collaborate, each with their own culture and experience, each with their own initiatives and capacities, so that our mother Earth recovers her original beauty and creation can shine again according to God’s plan.”