All Saints Day Mass: Pope Francis laments destruction of environment, people
November 03, 2014
On the afternoon of All Saints Day, Pope Francis offered Mass at a Roman cemetery and decried environmental destruction and the culture of waste.
Reflecting on the first reading from the Book of Revelation, the Pontiff said in his extemporaneous homily that “we are capable of devastating the earth far better than the angels. And this is exactly what we are doing, this is what we do: we destroy creation, we devastate lives, we devastate cultures, we devastate values, we ravage hope.”
“Man takes possession of everything, believes he is god, believes he is the king,” the Pope continued. “And wars, the wars that continue raging, not exactly helping to sow the seed of life but to destroy. It is an industry of destruction. It is also a system of life, that when things can’t be fixed they are discarded: we discard children, we discard the old, the young are discarded without a job. This devastation that is the result of the culture of waste.”
Referring to migrants and refugees, Pope Francis said that “it seems that these people, these children who are hungry, sick, do not seem to count, it’s as if they were of a different species, as if they were not even human … Among these are also those who are persecuted for their faith, those ‘robed in white’ in the passage from Revelation.”
The Pontiff concluded by preaching about hope and the beatitudes. “And this is the blessing of the Lord that we still have: hope. Hope He will have pity on His people, mercy on those who are in the great distress and compassion for the destroyers that they will convert … [The beatitudes] alone will save us from destruction, from destroying the earth, creation, morality, history, family, everything.”
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