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Luke Coppen's Catholic Herald Blog

Laws alone will not save the planet, says Pope Benedict

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Benedict XVI has just finished speaking at the UN food security summit hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome.

He said:

The desire to possess and to exploit the resources of the planet in an excessive and disordered manner is the primary cause of all environmental degradation. Protection of the environment challenges the modern world to guarantee a harmonious form of development, respectful of the design of God the Creator and therefore capable of safeguarding the planet.

While the entire human race is called to acknowledge its obligations to future generations, it is also true that States and international organizations have a duty to protect the environment as a shared good. In this context, the links between environmental security and the disturbing phenomenon of climate change need to be explored further, focusing on the central importance of the human person, and especially of the populations most at risk from both phenomena.

Norms, legislation, development plans and investments are not enough, however: what is needed is a change in the lifestyles of individuals and communities, in habits of consumption and in perceptions of what is genuinely needed. Most of all, there is a moral duty to distinguish between good and evil in human action, so as to rediscover the bond of communion that unites the human person and creation.

The Vatican website has the full text.

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Written by Luke Coppen

November 16, 2009 at 1:53 pm

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