Pope: 'Demand' political choices that promote progress and equity

Francis affirms, generic commitments are not enough for an integral ecology and one cannot look only to the immediate consent of one's constituents or financiers. Far reaching vision is needed, otherwise history will not forgive us”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The upheavals in nature that "cause poverty and hunger, affect the most vulnerable and sometimes force them to leave their land" show that for the future of man and the earth, "generic commitments are not enough for an integral ecology and one cannot look only to the immediate consent of one's constituents or financiers. Far reaching vision is needed, otherwise history will not forgive us”.

Pope Francis today renewed the warning to promote an "integral ecology", to "demand" political choices that promote progress and equity in the audience for the participants in the meeting of the Laudato Si 'Communities, held in the Paul VI Hall.

"Neglect of creation and social injustices - Francis said - influence each other". "It can be said that there is no ecology without equity and there is no equity without ecology".

“We need a real will to tackle the root causes of the climate upheavals underway. Generic commitments are not enough - words, words ... - and one cannot only look at the immediate consent of one's constituents or financiers. We need to look far ".

“We need to work today for everyone's tomorrow. The young and the poor will hold us accountable. This is our challenge. I take a sentence from the martyr theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer: our challenge today is not 'how we manage it', how we get out of this; our real challenge is 'what the life of the next generation will be like': we have to think about that! ".

Francis then indicated "two key words of integral ecology: contemplation and compassion. Contemplation. Today, the nature that surrounds us is no longer admired, but 'devoured'. We have become voracious, dependent on profit and results: now and at all costs. The gaze on reality is increasingly rapid, distracted, superficial, while in a short time the news and the forests are burnt. Sick of consumption, we are anxious about the latest 'app', but we no longer know the names of our neighbors, much less know how to distinguish one tree from another. And, what is most serious, with this lifestyle we loose our roots, gratitude for what is there and for those who gave it to us is lost. In order not to forget, we must return to contemplating; in order not to be distracted by a thousand useless things, we need to find silence again; so that our heart does not become sick, we need to stop. It's not easy. For example, we need to free ourselves from the imprisonment of the cell phone, to look in the eyes of those around us and the creation that has been given to us. Contemplating is giving yourself time to be silent, to pray, so that harmony returns to the soul, the healthy balance between head, heart and hands; between thought, feeling and action. Contemplation is the antidote to hasty, superficial and inconclusive choices ".

“Those who contemplate learn to feel the ground that supports them, they understand that they are not alone and meaningless in the world. They discover the tenderness of God's gaze and understands that he is precious. Everyone is important in God's eyes; everyone can transform a bit of a world polluted by human voracity into the good reality desired by the Creator. Those who know how to contemplate, in fact, do not sit idle, but are actively involved”.


As for compassion, it is "the fruit of contemplation". Compassion, in the Pope's words, is "assimilating the gaze of God" who "always sees us as beloved children", not "of individuals, but of children", "brothers and sisters of a single family, who live in the same house".

Compassion is therefore "the best vaccine against the epidemic of indifference". "It is not a good feeling, it is not pietism, it is creating a new bond with the other. It is to take charge of it”. “The world needs this creative and active charity, of people who do not sit in front of a screen to comment, but get their hands dirty to remove degradation and restore dignity. Having compassion is a choice: it is choosing not to have any enemy in order to see my neighbor in every one. This doesn't mean getting soft and giving up fighting. Indeed, those who have compassion enter into a hard daily struggle against waste and decay, the waste of others and the waste of things. It hurts to think about how many people are discarded without compassion: the elderly, children, workers, people with disabilities ... But the waste of things is also scandalous. FAO has documented that, in industrialized countries, more than a billion tons of edible food are thrown away in one year! Let's help each other fight against waste, we demand political choices that combine progress and equity, development and sustainability for all, so that no-one is deprived of the land he inhabits, the good air she breathes, the water he has the right to drink and the food she has the right to eat”.