Last week at a general audience in Rome, Pope Francis strongly encouraged all people to nurture and protect Creation, which reveals "the greatness and love of God and His profound relationship with every creature."
"The gift of knowledge helps us to avoid falling prey to excessive or incorrect attitudes." He continued, "Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude.
"We are Custodians of Creation. But when we exploit Creation we destroy the sign of God's love for us, in destroying Creation we are saying to God: "I don't like it! This is not good!" "So what do you like?" "I like myself!" -- Here, this is sin! Do you see? Custody of Creation is custody of God's gift to us and it is also a way of saying thank you to God. I am the master of Creation but to carry it forward I will never destroy your gift. And this should be our attitude towards Creation. Safeguard Creation. Because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!"
The U.S. Bishops echoed these themes in a 2001 statement, Global Climate Change: A Plea For Dialogue, Prudence, and the Common Good.
To read the Holy Father's full address, click here.