Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) - Creation, "matter intelligently structured by God", is gifted to all men so they may benefit from its fruits and govern it, sharing its wealth and concerning themselves so that even generations to come may enjoy it. This principle reaffirmed by the Church inspired Benedict XVI’s call to "international leaders" so they " to act jointly respecting the law and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the planet (cf. Caritas in veritate, 50) . This requires, he told the 4 thousand people in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo for the general audience, "integral human development for the benefit of generations, present and future, a development inspired by the values of love in truth. For this to happen it is essential to convert the current pattern of global development towards greater and shared accountability for creation: this is demanded not only by environmental emergencies, but also the scandal of hunger and misery”
"The end of August is upon us – he highlighted - which for many means the end of the summer holidays. As you return to your daily tasks, thank God for the precious gift of creation, which you can enjoy and not just during the holiday period! The diverse phenomena of environmental degradation and natural disasters, which unfortunately are often in the news, remind us of the urgency of respect due to nature, of the need to recover and celebrate in everyday life, a proper relationship with the environment. "
"The earth - he continued - is a precious gift of the Creator, who has designed its intrinsic order, thus giving us guidelines to be followed as stewards of His creation. It is from this awareness that the Church considers the issues related to environment and its preservation intimately connected with the theme of integral human development”. Recalling that "the natural environment is given by God for all, and its use involves our personal responsibility to all humanity, especially to the poor and future generations," the Pope underlined "our common responsibility for creation”. "The Church - he continued - is not only committed to promoting the defence of land, air and water, gifted by the Creator to all, but mainly works to protect man against the destruction of himself. Indeed, when ' human ecology 'is respected in society, ecology and the environmental also benefit from it". "Is it not true that the careless use of creation begins where God is marginalized or His very existence denied? If the relationship between the human creature and his Creator should fail - explained the Pope – then matter is reduced to selfish possession, man becomes the 'least important’ as the purpose of existence is reduced to a' breathless race to own as much as possible”.
“Creation is therefore under the responsibility of man, who is called upon to exercise a responsible government to in order to protect it, to enjoy its fruits and to cultivate it in new ways, finding in it the necessary resources for a dignified existence for all. With the help of the same nature and with the commitment of their work and their own ingenuity, humanity is truly capable of fulfilling the grave duty to hand the earth on to future generations in such a condition that they too can worthily inhabit it and continue to cultivate it (ref. Caritas in veritate, 50). For this to happen, it is essential to the development of 'the alliance between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God' (Message for World Day of Peace 2008, n. 7), recognizing that we all come from God and we are on a journey to Him. How important then that the international community and individual governments know how to give the right signals to its citizens to counter effectively a use of the environment that is harmful to it!"
"The economic and social costs resulting from the use of shared environmental resources, recognised in a transparent manner, must be met by those who benefit from them, and not by other people or future generations. Environmental protection, protection of resources and the environment require international leaders to act jointly in respect of law and solidarity, especially towards the weaker regions of the earth (cf. Caritas in veritate, 50). Together we can build an integral human development for the benefit of all peoples, present and future, a development inspired by the values of charity in truth. For this to happen it is essential to convert the current pattern of global development towards greater and shared accountability over creation: it is demanded not only by environmental emergencies, but also the scandal of hunger and misery. "
The Pope concluded his discussion by citing the words of St. Francis in the Canticle of the Sun: "Most high, all powerful, all good Lord! All praise is yours, all glory, all honour, and all blessing.... Be praised, my Lord, through all your creatures". So said St. Francis. We too want to pray and live in the spirit of these words. "
Finally at the end of the audience, Benedict XVI said: "It seems to me that a small choir from Japan wanted to sing something, right?" And some Japanese men and women, young and old sang a short song in chorus.