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Ecumenical Patriarch’s encyclical emphasizes environment, genetic modifications

September 03, 2013

Eastern Orthodoxy’s leading prelate decried damage to the environment in an encyclical letter issued on the occasion of the new Orthodox liturgical year, which began September 1.

“We are today obliged to focus our attention on the unseen human interventions impacting the ecological balance, which is disturbed not only by visible destructive actions – such as deforestation, depletion of water resources, the overall exploitation of natural and energy resources, together with the pollution of immense land or marine regions by means of spilling or depositing toxic and chemical materials – but also by activities invisible to the naked eye,” said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.

“We are speaking of interventions into the genes of living creatures and the creation of mutations with unforeseen developments, such as the discovery of ways for releasing vast powers, atomic and nuclear, whose misuse could obliterate all traces of life and civilization on our planet,” he added as he prayed “that the divine Creator of all may enlighten the scientists, who are particularly involved with these issues, that they may enter the mysteries of nature with humility before God and respect toward the natural laws so as to avoid the unnatural use of their research for commercial or other reasons.”


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