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Pope Francis' Ecological Message during World Youth Day 2023 in Portugal.

Read about Pope Francis' message to the youth during World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal.

On his second day in Portugal, Pope Francis met with students at the Portuguese Catholic University in Lisbon, emphasizing the importance of caring for the environment and the underprivileged. The discussions centered around "integral ecology," a concept from his 2015 encyclical, Laudato Si', which focuses on the interconnected nature of global problems. Tomás Virtuoso, a theology student, highlighted vital messages from Laudato Si', including the necessity for ethical and technological progress and prioritizing the common good.

The following is from the CNA - Catholic News Agency article:

Speaking of the responsibility of environmental stewardship, the Holy Father challenged students not to be content with mere “palliative” or “halfway measures” that “simply delay the inevitable disaster,” as he observes in Laudato Si.' “Rather, it is a matter of confronting head-on what sadly continues to be postponed: the need to redefine what we mean by progress and development,” he explained. “In the name of progress, we have often regressed. Yours can be the generation that takes up this great challenge. You have the most advanced scientific and technological tools, but please, avoid falling into the trap of myopic and partial approaches,” he stressed. “Keep in mind that we need an integral ecology, attentive to the sufferings both of the planet and the poor. We need to align the tragedy of desertification with that of refugees, the issue of increased migration with that of a declining birth rate, and to see the material dimension of life within the greater purview of the spiritual,” he said. “Instead of polarized approaches,” the pope underscored, “we need a unified vision, a vision capable of embracing the whole.”

Pope Francis reminded students that their education is both a privilege and a responsibility, urging them to use it to promote justice and inclusivity. He also encouraged students to redefine progress and development, warning against short-sighted solutions to environmental challenges.

Pope Francis said,

“There it is in poetic language, how God makes light one day out of chaos, another day he makes man and goes on creating things and transforming chaos into cosmos.”

“The same thing happens in our lives. There are moments of crisis … that are chaotic … then the job of the people who accompany us, of a group like this, is to transform [that situation into] a cosmos.”

Pope Francis speaks to students at the Portuguese Catholic University in Lisbon, Portugal, on August 3, 2023.

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1 commentaire

Thanks very much for sending Pope Francis' message! What struck me is: "no halfway measures". I hope we take that to heart.

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