Not only environmentalists and scientists care about the faith of the natural world, with its polluted environment and endangered species. Pope Francis is also on their side, as he is trying to raise awareness among parishioners on the environment related problems.
Last year, Pope Francis proclaimed a special day for the Catholic Church, called the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. When celebrating it this year, on September 1, he also made a public announcement that no one was waiting for. He asked the Christians to be an active part in the process of saving the planet and caring for the environment.
Pope Francis is concerned about the rich countries exploiting the poor ones. Besides being an unchristian act, it also comes at the cost of destroying the planet and turning it into what he called an
“immense pile of filth.”
On September 1, the Pope was part of a special event, together with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. They both asked the people present, and the world, to think about their sins against the natural creation and think of ways of making amends. They also highlight the fact that reckless actions not only destroy the world we are currently living in but also leave a damaged place for future generations.
The Pope suggests that caring for the environment and God’s entire creation should be regarded as part of the works of mercy. Among them, there is feeding the poor, helping the sick and praying for the living and the dead. There are seven corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
Pope Francis had environmental initiatives before. In 2015 he released an encyclical meant to raise awareness about similar issues. It was, nevertheless, a daring and controversial act in the eyes of the clergy.
This year has been a special period for the Pope, as it is his Holy Year of Mercy. It is a period when the pope is more focused than ever on the seven traditional works of mercy, as well as on additional good deeds. He is not alone in this process, as he asked his parishioners to join him in prayer and merciful acts.
Both Pope Francis and experts in environmental issues think that is up to each and every one of us to do a good deed for our planet. Any small act, such as turning off the light or using less water, is, actually, significant.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia