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Environment: Simplicity And Solidarity to Overcome “€œMoral Decay”€

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Environment: Simplicity And Solidarity to Overcome “€œMoral Decay”€

The joint appeal of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, on the occasion of the Day of Prayer for the Protection of Creation observed in September 1, 2017, is to have the courage to embrace “€œgreater simplicity and solidarity in our lives”€ to overcome the generalized “€œmoral decay”€ of humanity, which deteriorates Creation by manipulation, domination, greed and control.

Yesterday the Pope and the Patriarch co-signed, for the first time, a message for this Day instituted in 2015 by Pope Francis in connection with the Orthodox, who have observed this Day for a number of years.

In the text published simultaneously by the Vatican and the Phanar at 8:00 am Roman time, they lament the “€œmoral decay”€ in the attitude of humanity, which “€œdeteriorates”€ Creation. They denounce the “€œpropensity to break the fragile and delicate ecosystems of the world,”€ an “€œinsatiable desire to manipulate and control the planet”€™s limited resources,”€ and “€œgreed for unlimited market profits.”€

“€œAll this has distanced us from the original end of Creation,”€ they deplore.

“€œWe no longer respect nature as a gift to be shared; rather, we look at it as a great private possession. We no longer associate ourselves to nature in order to maintain it, rather, we dominate it so that it supports our own constructions.”€ In face of the “€œtragic and durable”€ consequences of this “€œdeterioration of the planet,”€ which weighs on the most vulnerable of its inhabitants,”€ the Pope and the Patriarch exhort to “€œbe courageous to embrace greater simplicity and solidarity in our lives.”€

They stress the “€œobligation to use the goods of the earth with responsibility,”€ and they invite “€œall persons of good will to observe a time of prayer for the environment on September 1.”€

Finally, they launch “€œan urgent appeal to those that have social and economic, as well as political and cultural responsibilities, to hear the cry of the earth and to provide for the needs of the marginalized but, above all, to respond to the demand of millions of people and support the consensus of the whole world to heal our wounded Creation.”€ They emphasize that “€œa concerted and collective response”€ is necessary and the need to “€œgive priority to solidarity and to service.”€


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