» 06/05/2013, 00.00
Pope: counter the culture of waste, man not money must "cultivate and care” for Creation
Today’s General Audience is dedicated to World Environment Day. "Men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption", now a child who dies of hunger "is normal," whereas if the stock market falls it is "a tragedy." "The person is no longer perceived as a primary value to be respected and protected, especially if poor or disabled, if not yet useful - such as the unborn child - or no longer needed - such as the elderly." "Throwing food away is like stealing from the tables of the hungry”.
(AsiaNews) - Cultivating and caring for creation, countering "the culture
of waste and disposable" - goods, food, but also people - to promote a
"culture of solidarity and of encounter" that places the human person
- which "today is in danger" -
at the center, because God has given the task of cultivating and caring for creation to man and
woman, and not "money", whereas today a child who dies of hunger
normal, "whereas if the stock market falls it is" a tragedy. " And
remember that " throwing food away is like stealing from the tables of the
poor, the hungry."
ecology and environmental ecology walk together" is the message that Pope
Francis sends out into the world,
reflecting on today's World Environment Day at his general audience. 70
thousand people were present and as has become tradition, Pope Francis took a
long tour among them in his open topped, white jeep: he kissed children, caught
a rosary thrown to him by one of the faithful and, in addition to almost normal
of white skullcap, he also put on a red cap offered him by one of those
"When we talk about the environment, about creation, my
thoughts turn to the first pages of the Bible, the Book of Genesis, which
states that God placed man and woman on earth to cultivate and care for it (cf.
2:15). And the question comes to my mind: What does cultivating and caring for
the earth mean? Are we truly cultivating and caring for creation? Or are we
exploiting and neglecting it? The verb "to cultivate" reminds me of
the care that the farmer has for his land so that it bear fruit, and it is shared:
how much attention, passion and dedication! Cultivating and caring for creation
is God's indication given to each one of us not only at the beginning of history;
it is part of His project; it means nurturing the world with responsibility and
transforming it into a garden, a habitable place for everyone. Benedict XVI
recalled several times that 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. We are losing the attitude of wonder,
contemplation, listening to creation; thus we are no longer able to read what
Benedict XVI calls "the rhythm of
the love story of God and man." Why does this happen? Why do we think and
live in a horizontal manner, we have moved away from God, we no longer read His
"But to "cultivate and care" encompasses not
only the relationship between us and the environment, between man and creation,
it also regards human relationships. The Popes have spoken of human ecology,
closely linked to environmental ecology. We are living in a time of crisis:
we see this in the environment, but above all we see this in mankind. The human
person is in danger: this is certain, the human person is in danger today, here
is the urgency of human ecology! And it is a serious danger because the cause
of the problem is not superficial but profound: it is not just a matter of
economics, but of ethics and anthropology. The Church has stressed this several
times, and many say, yes, that's right, it's true ... but the system continues as
before, because it is dominated by the dynamics of an economy and finance that
"Man is not in charge today, money is in charge, money rules.
God our Father did not give the task of caring for the earth to money, but to
us, to men and women: we have this task! Instead, men and women are sacrificed
to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the "culture of waste."
If you break a computer it is a tragedy, but poverty, the needs, the dramas of
so many people end up becoming the norm. If on a winter's night, here nearby in
Via Ottaviano, for example, a person dies, that is not news. If in so many
parts of the world there are children who have nothing to eat, that's not news,
it seems normal. It cannot be this way! Yet these things become the norm: that
some homeless people die of cold on the streets is not news. In contrast, a ten
point drop on the stock markets of some cities, is a tragedy. A person dying is
not news, but if the stock markets drop ten points it is a tragedy! Thus people
are disposed of, as if they were trash".
This "culture of waste"
tends to become the common mentality that infects everyone. Human life, the person
is no longer perceived as a primary value to be respected and protected,
especially if poor or disabled, if not yet useful - such as the unborn child - or no longer needed
- such as the elderly. This culture of waste has made us insensitive even to
the waste and disposal of food, which is even more despicable when all over the
world, unfortunately, many individuals and families are suffering from hunger
and malnutrition. Once our grandparents were very careful not to throw away any
leftover food. Consumerism has led us to become used to an excess and daily waste
of food, to which, at times, we are no longer able to give a just value, which
goes well beyond mere economic parameters. We should all remember, however,
that the food we throw away is as if stolen from the table of the poor, the
hungry! I encourage everyone to reflect on the problem of thrown away and
wasted food to identify ways and means that, by seriously addressing this
issue, are a vehicle of solidarity and sharing with the needy".
- he concluded - food is shared in a fair way, with solidarity, when no
one is deprived, every community can meet the needs of the poorest. Human
ecology and environmental ecology walk together. So I would like us all to make
a serious commitment to respect and protect creation, to be attentive to every
person, to counter the culture of waste and disposable, to promote a culture of
solidarity and of encounter
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