Pope Francis was true to his new namesake, St. Francis of Assisi at his audience on World Environment Day. He spoke eloquently about our intimate connection to the environment and each other. His message illustrates the CSJ commitment communion with the earth and our communion with the Dear Neighbor so eloquently. Here is an English translation summary from Vatican Radio:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: Our Audience today coincides with World Environment Day, and so it is fitting to reflect on our responsibility to cultivate and care for the earth in accordance with God’s command (cf. Gen 2:15). We are called not only to respect the natural environment, but also to show respect for, and solidarity with, all the members of our human family. These two dimensions are closely related; today we are suffering from a crisis which is not only about the just management of economic resources, but also about concern for human resources, for the needs of our brothers and sisters living in extreme poverty, and especially for the many children in our world lacking adequate education, health care and nutrition. Consumerism and a “culture of waste” have led some of us to tolerate the waste of precious resources, including food, while others are literally wasting away from hunger. I ask all of you to reflect on this grave ethical problem in a spirit of solidarity grounded in our common responsibility for the earth and for all our brothers and sisters in the human family.
We can take his words to heart today and everyday as we strive to live more deeply in communion with the Dear Neighbor and in communion with the earth.