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Quotes from Pope Francis on Creation

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June 15, 2015

Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!

Homily at His Inauguration

The vocation of being a "protector", however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live.

Homily at His Inauguration

Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be "protectors" of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.

Homily at His Inauguration

To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope!

Homily at His Inauguration

Let us be renewed by God’s mercy … and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.

Easter Message, 2013

The book of Genesis tells us that God created man and woman entrusting them with the task of filling the earth and subduing it, which does not mean exploiting it, but nurturing and protecting it, caring for it through their work.

Feast of St. Joseph the Work and World Labor Day

... this task entrusted to us by God the Creator requires us to grasp the rhythm and logic of creation. But we are often driven by pride of domination, of possessions, manipulation, of exploitation; we do not “care” for it, we do not respect it, we do not consider it as a free gift that we must care for.

General Audience, World Environmental Day

Nurturing and cherishing creation is a command God gives not only at the beginning of history, but to each of us. It is part of his plan; it means causing the world to grow responsibly, transforming it so that it may be a garden, a habitable place for everyone.

General Audience, World Environmental Day

We are experiencing a moment of crisis; we see it in the environment, but mostly we see it in man. The human being is at stake: here is the urgency of human ecology! And the danger is serious because the cause of the problem is not superficial, but profound: it's not just a matter of economics, but of ethics and anthropology. The Church has stressed this several times; and many say: yes, that is right, it's true but the system continues as before, because what dominates are the dynamics of an economy and a lack of financial ethics. So men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: this is "scrap culture", the culture of the disposable. . . . Conversely, a ten-point drop in the stock market in some cities, is a tragedy. A person who dies is not a news story, but a ten point drop in the stock market is a tragedy! So people are discarded, as if they were trash.

General Audience, World Environmental Day

Once our grandparents were very careful not to throw away any leftover food. Consumerism has led us to become accustomed to the superfluous and the daily waste of food, which we are sometimes no longer able to value correctly, as its value goes far beyond mere economic parameters. Note well, though, that the food we throw away is as if we had stolen it from the table of the poor or the hungry! I invite everyone to reflect on the problem of the loss and waste of food to identify ways and methods that, addressing this issue seriously, may be a vehicle for sharing and solidarity with the neediest.

General Audience, World Environmental Day

And there is this fact of the twelve baskets: why twelve? What does it mean? Twelve is the number of the tribes of Israel, symbolically it represents all the people. And this tells us that when food is shared equally, with solidarity, nobody is devoid of the necessary, each community can meet the needs of the poorest. Human ecology and environmental ecology go hand in hand. (6/5/13, Environment)

General Audience, World Environmental Day

Faith, on the other hand, by revealing the love of God the Creator, enables us to respect nature all the more, and to discern in it a grammar written by the hand of God and a dwelling place entrusted to our protection and care. Faith also helps us to devise models of development which are based not simply on utility and profit, but consider creation as a gift for which we are all indebted; it teaches us to create just forms of government, in the realization that authority comes from God and is meant for the service of the common good. Faith likewise offers the possibility of forgiveness, which so often demands time and effort, patience and commitment.

Lumen Fidei

Saint Francis of Assisi bears witness to the need to respect all that God has created and as he created it, without manipulating and destroying creation; rather to help it grow, to become more beautiful and more like what God created it to be. And above all, Saint Francis witnesses to respect for everyone, he testifies that each of us is called to protect our neighbor that the human person is at the center of creation, at the place where God – our creator – willed that we should be. Not at the mercy of the idols we have created!

Lumen Fidei

We human beings are not only the beneficiaries but also the stewards of other creatures. Thanks to our bodies, God has joined us so closely to the world around us that we can feel the desertification of the soil almost as a physical ailment, and the extinction of a species as a painful disfigurement. Let us not leave in our wake a swath of destruction and death which will affect our own lives and those of future generations. [177]

Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel)

Small yet strong in the love of God, like Saint Francis of Assisi, all of us, as Christians, are called to watch over and protect the fragile world in which we live, and all its peoples

Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel)

The human family has received from the Creator a common gift: nature. The Christian view of creation includes a positive judgment about the legitimacy of interventions on nature if these are meant to be beneficial and are performed responsibly, that is to say, by acknowledging the “grammar” inscribed in nature and by wisely using resources for the benefit of all, with respect for the beauty, finality and usefulness of every living being and its place in the ecosystem. Nature, in a word, is at our disposition and we are called to exercise a responsible stewardship over it. Yet so often we are driven by greed and by the arrogance of dominion, possession, manipulation and exploitation; we do not preserve nature; nor do we respect it or consider it a gracious gift which we must care for and set at the service of our brothers and sisters, including future generations.

Message for World Day of Piece

What is involved in the creation of “a better world”? The expression does not allude naively to abstract notions or unattainable ideals; rather, it aims at an authentic and integral development, at efforts to provide dignified living conditions for everyone, at finding just responses to the needs of individuals and families, and at ensuring that God’s gift of creation is respected, safeguarded and cultivated.

Message for World Day of Migrants and Refugees

Creation is not some possession that we can lord over for our own pleasure; nor, even less, is it the property of only some people, the few: creation is a gift, it is the marvelous gift that God has given us, so that we will take care of it and harness it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.

General Audience

We must protect creation for it is a gift which the Lord has given us, it is God’s present to us; we are the guardians of creation. When we exploit creation, we destroy that sign of God’s love. To destroy creation is to say to God: “I don’t care”. And this is not good: this is sin.

General Audience

It is our profound conviction that the future of the human family depends also on how we safeguard – both prudently and compassionately, with justice and fairness – the gift of creation that our Creator has entrusted to us. Therefore, we acknowledge in repentance the wrongful mistreatment of our planet, which is tantamount sin before the eyes of God. We reaffirm our responsibility and obligation to foster a sense of humility and moderation so that all may feel the need to respect creation and to safeguard it with care. Together, we pledge our commitment to raising awareness about the stewardship of creation; we appeal to all people of goodwill to consider ways of living less wastefully and more frugally, manifesting less greed and more generosity for the protection of God’s world and the benefit of His people.

Common Declaration of Pope Francis and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I

This is one of the greatest challenges of our time: changing to a form of development which seeks to respect creation. I see America — my homeland, too: many forests, stripped, which become land that cannot be cultivated, which cannot give life. This is our sin: exploiting the land and not allowing it to give us what it has within it, with our help through cultivation.

Meeting with the World of Labor and Industry