Vatican City, Sep 1, 2020 / 03:40 am
Pope Francis released a message Tuesday for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation in which he called for repentance for humanity’s broken bonds with God’s creation and with others.
“Today we hear the voice of creation admonishing us to return to our rightful place in the natural created order -- to remember that we are part of this interconnected web of life, not its masters. The disintegration of biodiversity, spiralling climate disasters, and unjust impact of the current pandemic on the poor and vulnerable: all these are a wake-up call in the face of our rampant greed and consumption,” Pope Francis wrote in the message published Sept. 1.
“For the world was made to communicate the glory of God, to help us to discover in its beauty the Lord of all, and to return to him,” the pope said.
Pope Francis suggested that the coronavirus pandemic presented a “decisive moment” for people to examine their habits of energy usage, consumption, transportation, and diet, to eliminate the superfluous and destruction aspects of our economies in favor of “life-giving ways” to trade, produce, and transport goods.
“In some ways, the current pandemic has led us to rediscover simpler and sustainable lifestyles. The crisis, in a sense, has given us a chance to develop new ways of living. Already we can see how the earth can recover if we allow it to rest: the air becomes cleaner, the waters clearer, and animals have returned to many places from where they had previously disappeared,” he said.
“Today we need to find just and sustainable ways of living that can give the Earth the rest it requires, ways that satisfy everyone with a sufficiency, without destroying the ecosystems that sustain us.”
The World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation was established following the publication of the encyclical Laudato si’ in 2015. Pope Francis said in his 2020 message that the period from Sept. 1 to Oct. 4 -- the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi -- is being celebrated as a “Season of Creation.”
As part of the “Season of Creation,” online webinar discussions will be held throughout September focused on sustainable development in different regions of the world. Live translation will be provided.