During his General Audience on the 50th global celebration of Earth Day, Pope Francis spoke of the importance of caring for the environment.
“Because of our selfishness, we have failed in our responsibility to be guardians and stewards of the Earth. We have polluted and despoiled it, endangering our very lives.”
He pointed out that today’s environmental challenges are the result of human actions.
“It’s how the Earth reacts. There’s a Spanish saying that is very clear on this. It says, ‘God forgives always. We human beings forgive, sometimes yes, sometimes no. The Earth never forgives.'”
The pope also expressed his appreciation for the numerous global initiatives dedicated to protecting the environment, referring indirectly to the Fridays for Future movement launched in Sweden by Greta Thunberg in 2018.
“I deeply appreciate these initiatives. Still it will be necessary for our children to take to the streets to teach us the obvious: we have no future if we destroy the very environment that sustains us.”
He specifically mentioned two important upcoming events: the 2020 UN Biodiversity Conference to take place in China in October, and the UN Climate Change Conference set to take place in Glasgow in November.