Bartholomew: humanity has no future if it does not respect its 'home'
The Ecumenical Patriarchate released a message for this year’s Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. “It is impossible to truly care for human beings while at the same time destroying the natural environment as the very foundation of life, essentially undermining the future of humanity.”
Istanbul (AsiaNews) – The Ecumenical Patriarchate released a message on the occasion of this year’s Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
In it, the Patriarchate notes that “Every form of abuse and destruction of creation, along with its transformation into an object of exploitation, constitutes a distortion of the spirit of the Christian Gospel”. To counter this, what is needed is the “organisation of Christ-centred educational programmes for our youth”.
For Patriarch Bartholomew notes that 29 years have gone by "since the Mother Church established the Feast of the Indiction as the ‘Day of Protection of the Environment’.”
Over this period, the Patriarchate showed that "no vision for humanity’s journey through history has any value if it does not also include the expectation of a world that functions as a real ‘home’ (oikos) for humanity, particularly at a time when the ongoing and increasing threat against the natural environment is fraught with the possibility of worldwide ecological destruction.”
"This evolution is a consequence of a specific choice of economic, technological and social development that respects neither the value of the human being nor the sanctity of nature. It is impossible to truly care for human beings while at the same time destroying the natural environment as the very foundation of life, essentially undermining the future of humanity.”
"The future,” the message goes on to say, “does not belong to humanity, when it persistently pursues artificial pleasure and novel satisfaction—living in selfish and provocative wastefulness while ignoring others, or unjustly exploiting the vulnerable. The future belongs to righteous justice and compassionate love, to a culture of solidarity and respect for the integrity of creation.”
"It is clear, then, that in order to contribute and respond effectively to the ecological challenge that we face, the Church must recognise and research the relevant issues. We all know that the greatest threat to our world today is climate change and its destructive consequences even for our survival on the planet."
“The ecological culture of the Orthodox faith is the realisation of its Eucharistic vision of creation, summarised and expressed in its Church life and practice. This is the Orthodox Church’s eternal message on the issue of ecology.”
The message ends with an invitation to Church bodies "to develop initiatives, coordinate projects, organise conferences and activities that foster environmental awareness and sensitivity, so that our faithful can realise that the protection of the natural environment is the spiritual responsibility of each and every one of us."