Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Pope on Climate Change

The Catholic Coalition on Climate Change sends us the following:
God's creation is one and it is good!
His Holiness Benedict XVI, Sydney, Australia, July 17, 2008

As we celebrate the full sunshine of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, Pope Benedict is exhorting young people in Australia to have courage and faith in the face of so many global challenges including "the concerns for non-violence, sustainable development, justice and peace, and care for our environment."

Reflecting on his long airplane journey from Rome to Australia, Pope Benedict told the audience that he marveled at the beauty of the Mediterranean, the deserts of Africa, the lushness of Asia. He also saw

"…scars which mark the surface of our earth: erosion, deforestation, the squandering of the world's mineral and ocean resources in order to fuel an insatiable consumption. Some of [the gathered youth] come from island nations whose very existence is threatened by rising water levels; others from nations suffering the effects of devastating drought. God's wondrous creation is sometimes experienced as almost hostile to its stewards, even something dangerous. How can what is "good" appear so threatening?"

But he reminds us that in baptism we have become a new creation. We who have been made in God's image and likeness embrace "God [who] has a human face - Jesus Christ" and are called to bear witness to our Savior. "Our hearts and minds are yearning for a vision of life where love endures, where gifts are shared, where unity is built, where freedom finds meaning in truth, and where identity is found in respectful communion. This is the work of the Holy Spirit! This is the hope held out by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is to bear witness to this reality that you were created anew at Baptism and strengthened through the gifts of the Spirit at Confirmation."

We are indeed blessed that our Holy Father continues to bear witness to the need to listen to the "voice of the earth" as he said to a group of priests last year.

For the full texts of Pope Benedict's speeches and homilies at World Youth Day, go here.