Catholic World News

Pontiff decries ecological indifference

July 17, 2017

In a Spanish-language message to an ecological conference that took place in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis emphasized the right to clean drinking water and called upon governments to enact policies that encourage responsible environmental behavior.

The conference, entitled “Laudato Si’ and Big Cities,” was sponsored by the Antoni Gaudí Foundation for Big Cities.

“Respect is the fundamental attitude that man must have toward creation,” the Pope said in his message, which was dated July 12 and released two days later. Thus, we “cannot just remain on the sidelines when we notice a serious degeneration in the quality of the air or an increase in the production of waste that is not adequately disposed of.”

Lamenting “indifference towards the safekeeping of our common home,” the Pope stated that “this passivity proves that man has lost his sense of responsibility.”

Pope Francis also reflected on the growing fragmentation between groups in increasingly multicultural cities and called for efforts to break down “the walls that isolate and marginalize.”

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