During an address to crowds gathered at the Vatican this week, Pope Francis explained why creation care and environmental stewardship are issues that Christians must take seriously. Though he spoke about the practical reasons why environmentalism was an important cause (“If we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us!”), the pope also explained why ultimately, it is a spiritual issue.
Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude … But when we exploit Creation we destroy the sign of God’s love for us, in destroying Creation we are saying to God: ‘I don’t like it! This is not good!’ ‘So what do you like?’ ‘I like myself!’ – Here, this is sin! Do you see
The statements come just weeks after the Vatican hosted a five-day meeting of scholars, scientists, economists, astronomers and other thinkers at a summit called “Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature, Our Responsibility.” According to Think Progress, the mission of the gathering was to “discuss ways for the Catholic church to address a range issues caused by climate change” … Discuss