Pope Francis, Orthodox patriarch will issue joint plea for care of creation

Pope Francis embraces Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople during an ecumenical prayer service with religious leaders in 2016 at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy. Together with the head of the Orthodox Church, Pope Francis urged people to be respectful and responsible toward creation while being aware of how disrupted ecosystems impact the poor. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Together with the head of the Orthodox Church, Pope Francis urged people to be respectful and responsible toward creation while being aware of how disrupted ecosystems impact the poor.

To mark the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation Sept. 1, the pope said he and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople "prepared a message together."

Advertisement

Although the text was not published immediately, Pope Francis told people at his general audience Aug. 30 that the message would be an invitation to all people "to adopt a respectful and responsible approach toward creation."

"Furthermore," he said, "we appeal to those who hold an influential role to listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer more because of ecological imbalances."

"We appeal to those who hold an influential role to listen to the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer more because of ecological imbalances."

Pope Francis instituted the world day of prayer for the Catholic Church in 2015, joining with the ecumenical patriarchate, who has observed the Sept. 1 day of prayer since 1989.

The annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, Pope Francis said when he instituted it, is to be a time for individuals and communities to "reaffirm their personal vocation to be stewards of creation, to thank God for the wonderful handiwork which he has entrusted to our care, and to implore his help for the protection of creation as well as his pardon for the sins committed against the world in which we live."

If Christians are to make their special contribution to safeguarding creation, they must rediscover the spiritual foundations of their approach to what exists on earth, beginning with an acknowledgment that "the life of the spirit is not dissociated from the body or from nature," but lived in communion with all worldly realities, he had said.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

 Ethiopian Cardinal Berhaneyesus Souraphiel of Addis Ababa checks out the name badge of Nathanael Lamataki, a youth delegate from the French territory of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, as they leave a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 5. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Cardinal Souraphiel highlighted the role globalization plays in connecting young people in unjust ways.
Michael J. O’LoughlinOctober 18, 2018
The pope said he would visit North Korea “if an official invitation arrives.”
Gerard O’ConnellOctober 18, 2018
Father John I. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, comforts a woman while distributing Communion during Mass on Oct. 15 with the Colectivo Solecito near Veracruz, Mexico. (CNS photo/Matt Cashore, University of Notre Dame)
The women seeking justice for vanished loved ones in Veracruz, Mexico, won the Notre Dame award for human rights. University President John I. Jenkins co-celebrated a Mass near the unmarked graves of drug war victims.
Jan-Albert HootsenOctober 18, 2018
Salvadorans widely celebrated St. Romero as the Central American country's first saint. St. Romero was assassinated while celebrating Mass in March 1980 and remains a reviled figure for some on the political right.