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A reforestationn project in the Peruvian rainforest safeguards endangered species and provides employment A reforestationn project in the Peruvian rainforest safeguards endangered species and provides employment  (AFP or licensors)

Pope: foster dignity and combat poverty to care for creation

In a message to members of the Focolare Movement at a conference on Integral Ecology, Pope Francis says the common good of the human family and the created world demands urgent action against poverty and injustice.

By Vatican News staff writer

Pope Francis on Friday told participants in an online conference that we live in a time in which there is the urgent need for a new and more inclusive socio-economic paradigm that reflects the truth that we are “a single human family.”

His words came in a  message to an international on-line Meeting, an event that is part of the year-long observance of the 5th anniversary of the Encyclical Letter Laudato si’.  

“New ways towards Integral Ecology”

The Meeting, entitled “New ways towards Integral Ecology” was organized by “EcoOne”, the ecological initiative of the Focolare Movement in collaboration with the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the Global Catholic Climate Movement.

He noted that the meeting addresses “a relational vision of humanity and care for our world from a variety of perspectives: ethical, scientific, social and theological,” and said he trusts that the Focolare Movement will be able to do much to promote awareness for the issue.

Charism of unity

The Pope recalled the conviction of Chiara Lubich, the foundress of the Movement, according to whom “the created world bears within itself a charism of unity.”

May her perspective, he said, “guide your work in the recognition that “everything is connected” and that “concern for the environment needs to be joined to sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society” (Laudato si’, 91).

One human family

The Pope highlighted the need, today, to raise awareness that we are a “single human family, fellow travellers sharing the same flesh, children of the same earth which is our common home” (Fratelli tutti, 8).  

He said that this solidarity demands “a firm willingness to develop and implement practical measures that foster the dignity of all persons in their human, family and work relationships, while at the same time combating the structural causes of poverty and working to protect the natural environment.”

The need for conversion

The Pope concluded calling for a profound interior conversion, both on a personal and communal level.

As we examine the great challenges of our time he said, including the contribution religion can make to the environmental crisis, “it is essential to break with the logic of exploitation and selfishness and to promote the practice of a sober, simple and humble lifestyle (see Laudato si’, 222-224).  

23 October 2020, 15:28