Pope Denounces Greedy Exploitation of the Environment

This morning, Pope Francis addressed the Diplomatic Corps in his state-of-the-world speech in the Apostolic Palace’s Sala Regia. He highlighted many of the issues he’s passionately spent the last year bringing to our attention – poverty, the Syria conflict, and care for the vulnerable.

Of particular interest to Eden Keeper, the Pope also highlighted his environmental concerns:

I wish to mention another threat to peace, which arises from the greedy exploitation of environmental resources. Even if “nature is at our disposition”, all too often we do not “respect it or consider it a gracious gift which we must care for and set at the service of our brothers and sisters, including future generations”. Here too what is crucial is responsibility on the part of all in pursuing, in a spirit of fraternity, policies respectful of this earth which is our common home. I recall a popular saying: “God always forgives, we sometimes forgive, but when nature – creation – is mistreated, she never forgives!”. We have also witnessed the devastating effects of several recent natural disasters. In particular, I would mention once more the numerous victims and the great devastation caused in the Philippines and other countries of Southeast Asia as a result of typhoon Haiyan.

He spoke about our growing culture of waste:

We cannot be indifferent to those suffering from hunger, especially children, when we think of how much food is wasted every day in many parts of the world immersed in what I have often termed “the throwaway culture”.

And included encouraging words to remember as we continue to fight the good fight:

We must never cease to do good, even when it is difficult and demanding, and when we endure acts of intolerance if not genuine persecution.

Pope Francis has inspired many over the past year with his message love for all people and the planet. In this recent address, he continues to be a strong voice for the environment. Great things are coming from the Catholic Church these days!

Read the full speech here.

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About the Author

I’m an organic-eating, energy-saving naturalist who composts and tree hugs in her spare time. I have a background in environmental law, lobbying, and field work. I believe in God; however, I do not call myself a Christian or a Jew or a member of any religion. I am merely someone who finds a spiritual connection to all humans and the environment. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

  • I love this Pope. Hopefully, his boldness will encourage others, particularly in the protestant church, to take a stronger stance on the environment.

    • I love Pope Francis too, but as the article Eden Keeper posted today shows, he’s not the first pope to advocate for the environment. I think his willingness to be different and anger a few people separates him from other popes though. Hopefully his boldness will spread!