Pope ap­plauds ecol­ogy ad­vo­cates in Rome rep­re­sent­ing many re­li­gions


Pope Fran­cis on Sun­day en­cour­aged peo­ple of dif­fer­ent re­li­gions to work to­gether in car­ing for the Earth, which he called our “com­mon house.”

Speak­ing from his win­dow in a Vat­i­can palazzo to tens of thou­sands of pil­grims and tourists, Fran­cis sin­gled out a few hun­dred peo­ple who had marched to St. Peter’s Square un­der the ban­ner “One Earth, one fam­ily.”

The marchers in­cluded Chris­tians, Mus­lims, Jews, Hin­dus and oth­ers who had walked from near the French em­bassy to re­mind peo­ple of a key U.N. cli­mate change con­fer­ence in Paris in De­cem­ber.

“I en­cour­age the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween per­sons and as­so­ci­a­tions of dif­fer­ent re­li­gions on be­half of an in­te­gral ecol­ogy,” Fran­cis said, of­fer­ing good wishes to young peo­ple dis­cussing what he de­scribed as “the care of the com­mon house.”

In a re­cent en­cycli­cal, or church teach­ing doc­u­ment, about the en­vi­ron­ment, Fran­cis wrote pas­sion­ately about the world’s moral duty to save the Earth and move away from busi­ness sys­tems that pol­lute.

For Fran­cis, ef­forts to pre­serve the en­vi­ron­ment are an ex­cel­lent way to bring to­gether sec­u­lar and non-sec­u­lar forces, and es­pe­cially mem­bers of var­i­ous re­li­gions. Love for the en­vi­ron­ment also ex­pands his pa­pal agenda of high­light­ing so­cial jus­tice is­sues like poverty.

In his en­cycli­cal, Fran­cis noted how the poor of­ten suf­fer the most from pol­lu­tion and from other en­vi­ron­men­tal dam­age in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

The Vat­i­can is putting on a panel Wed­nes­day to draw at­ten­tion to a con­fer­ence in Rome later in the week be­ing or­ga­nized by the Pon­tif­i­cal Coun­cil of Jus­tice and Peace and by Catholic groups that work on de­vel­op­ment is­sues.


Peo­ple hold a ban­ner read­ing ‘ Cli­mate ac­tion Now ‘ in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vat­i­can, Sun­day, June 28.

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