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All believers should show care for earth's resources, Pope tells inter-religious symposium

September 08, 2016

"The believer is a defender of creation and life, and cannot remain silent or passive in the face of so many rights disregarded with impunity," Pope Francis said in a September 8 address to participants in a inter-religious symposium on the environment.

The symposium, held at the Augustinianum Institute in Rome, drew participants from the countries of North and South America to discuss the Pope's encyclical, Laudato Si'. It was co-sponsored by the Organization of American States and the Buenos Aires Institute for Interreligious Dialogue.

Pope Francis told the participants that "the world is watching" to see how religious believers respond to threats to the environment. "I think we are at the kindergarten level in this," he said. He called for a massive educational effort to inform people about the need to protect nature, and action to preserve the earth's resources. That effort would be a form of evangelization, he said.

The Pope also observed that religion is often used as a pretext to justify "atrocities such as terrorism." All believers, he said, should unite "to condemn jointly and roundly these abominable actions, and to distance ourselves from anything that seeks to poison minds."

 
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