By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis on Saturday encouraged public authorities in their commitment to the common good working for a truly sustainable development and caring for our common home, the Earth.
Roads and schools
“You are well aware of the importance of safe schools and roads for regular civil life and as an indispensable background for any orderly development,” the Pope told some 100 representatives of the Union of the Provinces of Italy (UPI) on Saturday.
The Pope noted that the union that brings together all the provinces of Italy are committed to the common good, largely through safeguarding the soil, especially in risk-prone areas, maintaining road networks that link small towns with large cities, and managing secondary schools and their safety and operation.
Investing money and human resources wisely in order to prevent disruption, dysfunction and degradation, he pointed out, can lead to substantial saving and economic advantage.
These tasks carried out through various sectors should ensure that environmental conditions, such as of roads and schools, don’t deteriorate through neglect or, lack of necessary maintenance or measures.
Science and technology, not enough
The Pope noted that we could be made to believe that rapid progress in technology and science, together with the free initiative of individuals, can help meet the various needs of individuals and of society, leading to a harmonious society where there is no marginalization, poverty and exclusion.
Rather, he pointed out, alongside benefits and positive developments, there could also be imbalances and marginalization, which at times even increase, and which need to be addressed with the intelligent commitment and solidarity of all.
This calls for action from civil society groups and associations and the conscious and constant action of public authorities at various levels.
Environment and our common home
The Pope underscored the need for the promotion and dissemination of a more urgent and conscious awareness for the environment. “The importance of caring for the common home in all its aspects,” he said, “needs to be increasingly felt by both individuals and their representatives in institutions.”
While thanking the provinces for their donation to his charity, Pope Francis encouraged them in their task of a truly sustainable development.