Catholic World News

Pope strongly condemns 'culture of waste'

June 05, 2013

Pope Francis condemned a “culture of waste” at his weekly public audience on June 5.

Noting that the UN was observing World Environment Day, the Pope spoke on the proper stewardship of the earth. “Are we truly cultivating and caring for creation?” he asked. “Or are we exploiting and neglecting it?”

The Pope recalled that his predecessor Benedict XVI frequently spoke of the need to “understand the rhythm and logic of creation.” That understanding, he said, has too often been trumped by “the arrogance of dominating, possessing, manipulating, and exploiting.” Mankind is no longer recognizing the signs that nature sends as guidance.

Again citing his predecessor, Pope Francis reminded his audience that a proper relationship with the environment “also concerns human relationships.” In that regard, too, he said, modern society has failed, creating an economic system in which “men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption.” The worldwide economic crisis, he said, “isn’t just a question of economics but of ethics and anthropology.”

Repeating a point that he had made earlier, Pope Francis decried the fact that when a child dies of starvation, the world does not notice, but a slight drop in stock-market prices causes worldwide headlines. “Thus people are discarded as if they were garbage!” he said.

Human life should always be “the primary value to respect and care for,” the Pope said. He observed that a culture of consumption has “made us insensitive to a squandering and wastefulness of food,” and added that “the food that is thrown away is as if we had stolen it from the table of the poor, from those who are hungry!”

Pope Francis ended his talk with a call for commitment “to respect and care for creation, to be attentive to every person, to oppose the culture of wastefulness and waste, and to promote a culture of solidarity and encounter.”


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  • Posted by: - Jun. 06, 2013 4:33 PM ET USA

    I have read and re-read Pope Francis's comments. And I've waited, hoping someone else would comment here. I know that on Catholic doctrine the Pope will always be able to lead the Church to Christ. I am thrilled to have Francis as my role model and source of guidance for all matters relating to the Kingdom of God. And I thank the Holy Spirit for once again giving us such a great Bishop to occupy the Chair of Rock.