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Pope institutes World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation

August 10, 2015

Pope Francis has instituted the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which will be commemorated annually on September 1, as has become customary in the Orthodox churches.

In a letter dated August 6 and released four days later, the Pontiff said that the idea was suggested by Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon, who represented the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople at the recent release of the encyclical on the care of creation.

“As Christians we wish to contribute to resolving the ecological crisis which humanity is presently experiencing,” Pope Francis said in his letter, which was addressed to the presidents of two pontifical councils. “In doing so, we must first rediscover in our own rich spiritual patrimony the deepest motivations for our concern for the care of creation.”

“The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation will offer individual believers and communities a fitting opportunity to reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live,” the Pope continued.

He added:

The celebration of this Day, on the same date as the Orthodox Church, will be a valuable opportunity to bear witness to our growing communion with our Orthodox brothers and sisters. We live at a time when all Christians are faced with the same decisive challenges, to which we must respond together, in order to be more credible and effective.


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  • Posted by: feedback - Aug. 11, 2015 8:10 PM ET USA

    Great many non-Catholic environmentalists claim that the earth needs radical population control in the forms of contraception, abortion and euthanasia. They usually have more empathy for animals than they do for humans. Hopefully the Day of Prayer for Creation will maintain a Catholic character and, at the same time, bring us closer to unity with the Orthodox Church.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Aug. 11, 2015 1:44 AM ET USA

    Sins committed against the world? "...and hast eaten the fruit I forbade thee to eat; and now, through thy act, the ground is under a curse" (Gen 3:17, Knox Bible). I can understand sins against God and sins against future generations of man, but I don't know why the pope would use a metaphor like "sins committed against the world." Sounds profane to me.