‘The earth never forgives’

WelCom May 2020: Common Action need to protect our garden home Humanity has failed to take care of the earth and its inhabitants, sinning against God and his gift of…

WelCom May 2020:

Common Action need to protect our garden home

‘The earth never forgives’ Archdiocese of Wellington

Humanity has failed to take care of the earth and its inhabitants, sinning against God and his gift of creation, Pope Francis said during his livestreamed weekly general audience, 22 April 2020.

Celebrating the 50th Earth Day, the Pope called on us all to ‘love and esteem the beautiful gift of the earth, our common home, and to care for all members of our human family.’ 

Earth Day, marked every year on 22 April, was established globally in 1970 to raise public awareness and concern for the environment and its impact on people’s health and all life. This year also marks the fifth anniversary of the Pope’s encyclical, Laudato si’, on Care for Our Common Home, that he dedicated to the care of the created world.

The Pope noted we are fashioned from the earth and that the fruit of the earth sustains our life. As the book of Genesis reminds us, we are not simply ‘earthly’; we also bear within us the ‘breath of life’ that comes from God. Thus, he said, we live in this common home as one human family in biodiversity with God’s other creatures. 

As the ‘image of God’, the Pope said, we are called to care for and respect all creatures, and to offer love and compassion to our brothers and sisters, especially the most vulnerable among us, in imitation of God’s love for us, manifested in his Son Jesus.

God is good and always forgives, the Pope said. However, ‘the earth never forgives: if we have despoiled the earth, the response will be very bad.

‘Because of our selfishness, we have failed in our responsibility to be guardians and stewards of the earth,’ the Pope said. ‘We have polluted and despoiled it, endangering our very lives.’

‘We have failed to care for the Earth, our garden-home; we have failed to care for our brothers and sisters. We have sinned against the Earth, against our neighbours and ultimately against the Creator, the benevolent father who provides for everyone and desires us to live in communion and flourish together,’ he said.

It is imperative that people restore ‘a harmonious relationship’ with the Earth and with the rest of humanity.’

The Pope expressed his deep appreciation for the many international and local movements and initiatives that have been created in an effort to raise awareness and stir people’s consciences. He said it will still be necessary ‘for our children to take to the streets to teach us the obvious: we have no future if we destroy the very environment that sustains us.’

The Pope said the lesson from the tragic coronavirus pandemic was that we could overcome global challenges ‘only by showing solidarity with one another and embracing the most vulnerable in our midst’. 

Source: National Catholic Reporter

On Earth Day 2016, the Paris Agreement was signed by the United States, China, and some 120 other countries. This signing satisfied a key requirement for the entry into force of the historic draft climate protection treaty adopted by consensus of the 195 nations present at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.