Some inspiration from Pope Francis – messages about caring for creation



December 7, 2015: Prayer at St. Peters Square

“For the sake of our common home we share and for future generations, every effort should be made in Paris to mitigate the impact of climate change and, at the same time, to tackle poverty and let human dignity flourish.”

November 30, 2015: Media interview on Papal flight from Africa

“Every year the problems are getting worse. We are at the limits. If I may use a strong word I would say that we are at the limits of suicide.”

June 18, 2015: Laudato si’: on care for our common home

The Problem

“The earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor”. (2)

“But we need only take a frank look at the facts to see that our common home is falling into serious disrepair … If we scan the regions of our planet, we immediately see that humanity has disappointed God’s expectations.” (61)

“Climate change is a global problem with serious implications, environmental, social, economic, political, and for the distribution of goods; it represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.” (25)

We are all interconnected

“All of us are linked by unseen bonds and together form a kind of universal family, a sublime communion which fills us with a sacred, affectionate and humble respect.” (89)

“Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth.” (92)

Integral ecology 

“We are not faced with two separate crises, one environmental and the other social, but rather one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the underprivileged, and at the same time protecting nature.” (139)

The need for education

“Education in environmental responsibility can encourage ways of acting which directly and significantly affect the world around us, such as avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices.” (211)

The need for dialogue and action

“I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.” (14)

Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social conditioning.” (205)

June 14, 2015: Angelus Address in St Peter’s Square

“Let us pray so that everyone may receive (the encyclical’s) message and grow in responsibility toward the common home God has entrusted to us.”

April 22, 2015: General Audience in St Peter’s Square (Earth Day)

“Today we celebrate Earth Day. I exhort everyone to see the world through the eyes of God the Creator: the earth is an environment to be safeguarded, a garden to be cultivated. The relationship of mankind with nature must not be conducted with greed, manipulation and exploitation, but it must conserve the divine harmony that exists between creatures and Creation within the logic of respect and care, so it can be put to the service of our brothers, also of future generations.”

February 9, 2015: Homily at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta

“When we hear that people have meetings about how to preserve creation, we can say: ‘No, they are the greens!’ No, they are not the greens! This is the Christian! This is our response to the first creation of God. And our responsibility. A Christian who does not protect Creation, who does not let it grow, is a Christian who does not care about the work of God, that work that was born from the love of God for us. And this is the first response to the first creation: protect creation, make it grow.”

January 18, 2015: Meeting with Young People at Santo Tomas University, Manila

“A second key area where you are called to make a contribution is in showing concern for the environment. This is not only because this country, more than many others, is likely to be seriously affected by climate change. You are called to care for Creation not only as responsible citizens, but also as followers of Christ!”

January 15, 2015: Papal Press Conference En Route to Manila

” I don’t know if it is all (man’s fault) but the majority is, for the most part, it is man who continuously slaps down nature … We have, in a sense, lorded it over nature, over Sister Earth, over Mother Earth … I think man has gone too far … Thank God that today there are voices that are speaking out about this.”

December 11, 2014: Pope’s Message to UN Convention on Climate Change

“The effective struggle against global warming will only be possible with a responsible collective answer, that goes beyond particular interests and behaviour and is developed free of political and economic pressures … there is a clear, definitive and ineluctable ethical imperative to act.”

May 21, 2014: Pope Francis’ Audience

“Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.”

April 22, 2013: Pope Francis meets with the President of Ecuador 

“Take good care of Creation. St. Francis wanted that. People occasionally forgive, but nature never does. If we don’t take care of the environment, there’s no way of getting around it.”

March 19 2013: Installation Mass Homily 

“Let us be ‘protectors’ of Creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world!”