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Strong papal endorsement for environmentalism

CWN - June 09, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI delivered a strong message of support for environmentalism on June 9, in a meeting with six new ambassadors to the Holy See: from Belize, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Moldova, New Zealand, and Syria.

Nations must "completely reassess our approach to nature," the Pope said, adding that “a change in mentality" is required if we hope to avoid environmental catastrophe. "Every government must commit themselves to protecting nature,” the Pope said, in order to protect "the covenant between humanity and nature, without which the human family risks disappearing."

The Pope said that technological advances have produced great benefits, but that trend “goes hand in hand with social and ecological disasters.” Mankind should not be "dominated by technology," he continued, nor should technological advances be allowed to endanger the earth. The Pope encouraged national leaders to "reflect on the short-term future of the planet," and the need to ensure that technology serves the long-term interests of humanity.

"The United Nations seems to be the natural place for such reflection," the Pope added.

After speaking to the six ambassadors as a group, addressing them in French, the Pope delivered a letter to each ambassador regarding the Vatican’s concerns for their individual nations. In his message to the Syrian envoy (see today’s separate CWN headline story), the Pontiff called for comprehensive negotiations with anti-government protesters, saying that “real reforms” are needed in that country.

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