Pope Francis Decries ‘Climate Injustice’ and ‘War on Creation’

Pope Francis speaks to engaged couples during a Valentine's Day celebration in St Peter's
GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

ROME — Pope Francis has condemned “the senseless war against creation” while calling for an end to fracking and fossil fuel use.

“Consumerist greed, fueled by selfish hearts, is disrupting the planet’s water cycle,” the pontiff laments in his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. “The unrestrained burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests are pushing temperatures higher and leading to massive droughts.”

In his message, the pope denounces “predatory industries” that are “depleting and polluting our freshwater sources through extreme practices such as fracking for oil and gas extraction, unchecked mega-mining projects, and intensive animal farming.”

The “heartbeat of creation and the heartbeat of God,” he insists, today “do not beat in harmony; they are not harmonized in justice and peace.”

“Let us heed our call to stand with the victims of environmental and climate injustice, and to put an end to the senseless war against creation,” he urges in the message released Thursday.

Activists display banners calling for action against world poverty, climate chanege and other environmental issues as they arrive on St. Peter's square prior to Pope Francis's Sunday Angelus prayer on June 28, 2015 at the Vatican. The activists included Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and those of other denominations calling for the adoption of an ambitious legally binding global agreement on climate change at the forthcoming UN conference in Paris, December 2015, along with calls for action against world poverty and other environmental causes. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

File/Activists display banners calling for action against world poverty, climate change and other environmental issues as they arrive on St. Peter’s Square prior to Pope Francis’s Sunday Angelus prayer on June 28, 2015 at the Vatican. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

To address the climate emergency, humanity must “transform our hearts, our lifestyles, and the public policies ruling our societies,” the pope declares.

Transformation of the heart entails an “ecological conversion,” Francis states, reiterating a favorite theme of his.

The pope calls on humanity to “repent of our ‘ecological sins,’” which “harm the world of nature and our fellow men and women.”

This involves adopting “lifestyles marked by less waste and unnecessary consumption, especially where the processes of production are toxic and unsustainable,” he adds.

It also means “using resources with moderation and a joyful sobriety, disposing and recycling waste, and making greater use of available products and services that are environmentally and socially responsible.”

“It is clear that the richer nations have contracted an ‘ecological debt’ that must be paid,” Francis contends, and world leaders “must listen to science and institute a rapid and equitable transition to end the era of fossil fuel.”

It is “absurd to permit the continued exploration and expansion of fossil fuel infrastructures,” he argues. “Let us raise our voices to halt this injustice towards the poor and towards our children, who will bear the worst effects of climate change.”


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