• Pope Francis Says Environmental Sinners Will Be Judged by God

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Pope Francis Says Environmental Sinners Will Be Judged by God

May 20 2015

Last week Pope Francis gave the latest in a series of indications that he believes climate change is both a real threat and manmade – and that those who shrug off the responsibility of addressing it will be punished by God in the afterlife.

The pope was speaking before the general assembly of Caritas, a conglomerate of 165 different Catholic aid groups in more than 200 countries worldwide. The assembly happens every four years and this one was the first under the papacy of Pope Francis.

“The Powerful of the Earth” Will Answer to God

In perhaps his strongest speech to date, the pontiff called upon the world’s rich and elite to treat the environment in a conscientious and prudent manner, as well as looking out for their fellow man.

“We must do what we can so that everyone has something to eat, but we must also remind the powerful of the Earth that God will call them to judgment one day and there it will be revealed if they really tried to provide food for Him in every person and if they did what they could to preserve the environment so that it could produce this food,” said Francis.

The speech came just weeks before the pope is due to release an encyclical on all manner of topics, with climate change as one of its cornerstones. An encyclical is a document listing fundamental Catholic principles on a range of subjects. It will be sent to bishops all over the globe and is intended to shape the way they teach the Catholic religion.

Concern for Environment Gets Backing of Religion

Environmentalists around the globe will have welcomed the pope’s words warmly. There has been mounting concern of the state of the planet for the last few years. Back in 2011, a study showed that Europeans found environmental issues to be their second biggest concern, behind hunger, poverty and potable water supplies. The study also showed that 75% of Europeans questioned would buy environmentally-friendly products, regardless of the higher price tag.

Meanwhile, organised events addressing the subject are nothing new, either. In 2013 the world of science gathered at the Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO) International Review to discuss how different industries can come together to combat the effect of climate change on our planet and its residents.

However, the Church’s interjection on the topic is more of a novelty, which has become more common since Francis took to the Vatican. This Caritas speech is just the latest in a string of attempts from Francis to raise awareness on the topic. While fossil fuel interest groups have shown dismay at his attitude, calling it “misinformed”, he seems set to continue preaching for environmental change at a UN summit in September. With more than a billion Catholics in the world, the pope’s direction is sure to have an effect on the way religious believers think and conduct their daily business accordingly. His support can only be a good thing for the future of our planet.

Image Source: Pope Francis

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