Pope Francis has marked the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation by releasing a message warning that there needed to be a “renewed and sound relationship” between humanity and creation for the good of the planet.
“Only an authentic and integral vision of humanity will permit us to take better care of our planet for the benefit of present and future generations,” he said.
Pope Francis focused his message on water – a simple and precious element – and described access to it as a “basic and universal human right”.
Calling for action to address the emergency of ‘plastic pollution’ in our seas and oceans, the Pope asserted that men and women of good will must work with the Creator:
“All too many efforts fail due to the lack of effective regulation and means of control, particularly with regard to the protection of marine areas beyond national confines (cf. Laudato Si’, 174). We cannot allow our seas and oceans to be littered by endless fields of floating plastic. Here too, our active commitment is needed to confront this emergency. We need to pray as if everything depended on God’s providence, and work as if everything depended on us.”
He also looked at how, for Christians, water represents an essential element of life:
“We think immediately of baptism, the sacrament of our rebirth. Water made holy by the Spirit is the matter by which God has given us life and renewed us; it is the blessed source of undying life…
“To give to drink, in the global village, does not only entail personal gestures of charity, but also concrete choices and a constant commitment to ensure to all the primary good of water.”
Celebrated on 1 September 2018, the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation is marked by the Catholic Church and other Churches and Christian communities.
Read the full text of Pope Francis’s message: