Pope: Care for creation is an ethical and theological issue - Vatican News (2024)

Pope Francis releases his message for the 2024 World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and appeals for humanity's conversion so that we acknowledge the disastrous effects of war and set ethical limits on the development of artificial intelligence.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Humanity's abuse of nature requires a true conversion and invites us to change our lifestyles.

Pope Francis made this appeal in his Message for theWorld Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, to be held on September 1, 2024, which was published Thursday.

'Hope and Act with Creation'

The Day's theme this year is “Hope and Act with Creation," drawn from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans (8:19-25), in which the Apostle explains what it means for us to live according to the Spirit, and focuses on the sure hope of salvation that is born of faith, namely, the newness of life in Christ.

The message signed by Pope Francis on June 27 is broken up into nine sections, which all highlight our responsibility to take care of our Common Home. It stresses that, as Christians called to live in faith and charity, caring for the environment is "a task to be undertaken freely, in obedience to Jesus’ commandment of love."

Pope: Care for creation is an ethical and theological issue - Vatican News (1)

Pope Francis

Enslaved through no fault of its own

"Creation itself, like humanity, was enslaved, albeit through no fault of its own," the Pope laments, observing that it "finds itself unable to fulfil the lasting meaning and purpose for which it was designed."

The environment, the Pope decries, "is subject to dissolution and death, aggravated by the human abuse of nature." Yet, at the same time, he reassures, "the salvation of humanity in Christ is a sure hope also for creation, for, 'the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.'”

“The salvation of humanity in Christ is a sure hope also for creation, for, 'the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

Must be vigilant and willing to change

"In our hopeful and persevering expectation of the glorious return of Jesus," Pope Francis notes, "the Holy Spirit keeps us, the community of believers, vigilant."

The Spirit, he reassures, "continually guides us and calls us to conversion, to a change in lifestyle in order to resist the degradation of our environment and to engagement in that social critique, which is above all a witness to the real possibility of change."

“The Holy Spirit continually guides us and calls us to conversion, to a change in lifestyle in order to resist the degradation of our environment”

Pope: Care for creation is an ethical and theological issue - Vatican News (2)

Bees, who are in rapid decline, are vital to both ecosystems and economies

Urgent to set ethical limits on AI

The Holy Father goes on to explain thathoping and acting with creation means joining forces and walking together with all men and women of good will. In this way, we can help to rethink, “among other things, the question of human power, its meaning and its limits."

In this context, the Pope says, "there is an urgent need to set ethical limits on the development of artificial intelligence, since its capacity for calculation and simulation could be used for domination over humanity and nature, instead of being harnessed for the service of peace and integral development," as he quoted his 2024Message for the World Day of Peace.

“[ There is an urgent need to set ethical limits on the development of artificial intelligence, since its capacity for calculation and simulation could be used for domination over humanity and nature, instead of being harnessed for the service of peace and integral development.]”

Devastating effects of war

The Pope decries how much evil there is in the world.

"Why so much injustice, so many fratricidal wars that kill children, destroy cities, pollute the environment and leave mother earth violated and devastated?" the Pope questions, as he suggested that "the entire universe and every creature therein groans and yearns impatiently for its present condition to be overcome and its original state to be restored."

“Why so much injustice, so many fratricidal wars that kill children, destroy cities, pollute the environment and leave mother earth violated and devastated?”

Pope: Care for creation is an ethical and theological issue - Vatican News (3)

14 years of war in Syria have led to illegal logging and eroded what was once a lush forest near the Mount Abdulaziz nature reserve

No to possessing, manipulating and dominating nature

"To claim the right to possess and dominate nature, manipulating it at will," he underscores, "represents a form of idolatry, a Promethean version of man who, intoxicated by his technocratic power, arrogantly places the earth in a “dis-graced” condition, deprived of God’s grace."

Creation, the Pope recalls, is "not static or closed in on itself," but is "continuously drawn towards its future."

Protecting creation, the Holy Father explains, "is not only an ethical issue, but one that is eminentlytheological, for it is the point where the mystery of man and the mystery of God intersect."

We are free, he notes,"precisely because we were createdin the image of God who is Jesus Christ, and, as a result, are “representatives” of creation in Christ Himself."

“We are “representatives” of creation in Christ Himself.”

Future in eternity is at stake

The Pope says that creation awaits "the revelation of the children of God" as it suffers "as in the pangs of childbirth."

"At stake, Pope Francis warns, is not only our earthly life in history, but also, and above all, our future in eternity."

“At stake is not only our earthly life in history, but also, and above all, our future in eternity.”

Children of God can offer meaningful impact

The Pope encourages the faithful to remember their identity as "children of the Father," suggesting that we are empowered to effectuate concrete change amid living holy lives.

In this way, the message concludes, "our lives can become a song of love for God, for humanity, with and for creation, and find their fullness in holiness."

“Our lives can become a song of love for God, for humanity, with and for creation, and find their fullness in holiness.”

Pope: Care for creation is an ethical and theological issue - Vatican News (4)

A Natural Sciences student in Tirana observes the endangered butterly population

Thank you for reading our article. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to our daily newsletter. Just click here

Pope: Care for creation is an ethical and theological issue - Vatican News (2024)

FAQs

Pope: Care for creation is an ethical and theological issue - Vatican News? ›

Pope Francis releases his message for the 2024 World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and appeals for humanity's conversion so that we acknowledge the disastrous effects of war and set ethical limits on the development of artificial intelligence.

What have recent popes said about caring for creation? ›

For the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, Pope Francis emphasized the need for ecological conversion, urging humanity to shift from exploiting nature to nurturing it.

What does Pope Francis say about creation? ›

The Creator does not abandon us; he never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home. Here I want to recognize, encourage and thank all those striving in countless ways to guarantee the protection of the home which we share.

What are the titles of the Pope? ›

The Annuario Pontificio, the official directory of the Holy See, describes the office of the pope by the following titles: Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Metropolitan Archbishop of the ...

Who is the pope in 2024? ›

Pope Francis Declares 2024 Year of Prayer.

What does the Catholic Church say about the natural environment and caring for creation? ›

The earth and all life on it are part of God's creation. We are called to respect this gift. We are responsible for taking care of the world we live in and for sharing all the wonders and resources the earth gives us.

What did Pope Francis say about caring for the earth? ›

Care for the climate, care for the earth, this is now part of the Church teachings. People around the world are taking up the message and turning it into real action. That is his legacy, and it will endure.”

Does the pope believe in creation? ›

Pope Francis

[God] created beings and allowed them to develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one, so that they were able to develop and to arrive at their fullness of being.

What did Pope John Paul II say about creation? ›

To consider creation and evolution without God is a fallacy close fallacyA mistaken belief, based on unsound arguments or logic.. When contemplating creation, Pope John Paul II makes it clear that individuals should not simply consider one theory, but rather theories which combine both science and faith.

What did St Francis say about creation? ›

Francis praised God for all creation: Brother Sun, Sister Moon and Stars, Brother Wind, Sister Water, Brother Fire, Sister Mother Earth. But he also sang this verse, “Praise be you, my Lord, through those who give pardon for your love, and bear infirmity and tribulation.

What is the salary of the Pope? ›

Does the Pope receive an income? No, the pope does not get paid. However, he is in charge of the Vatican budget, which has revenues around $300 million per year. This money goes to, among many other things, paying all of the Pope's expenses: food, travel, the Papal apartments, etc.

Does Pope Francis have a child? ›

Contrary to popular belief, Pope Francis does not have a wife or a biological child. As a priest, he took a vow of celibacy, which means he committed to abstaining from marriage and having children in order to fully dedicate himself to the service of the Church and its followers.

Why does the Pope wear red shoes? ›

For centuries, the Pope was known to wear red shoes meant to symbolize the passion, faith, and martyrdom of Jesus Christ and other persecuted Catholic figures. This tradition was not taken up by Pope John Paul II, who served as head of the Catholic Church from 1978 until he died in 2005.

Who became pope 3 times? ›

Benedict IX (died 1055/56, Grottaferrata, Papal States [Italy]) was the pope three times, from 1032 to 1044, from April to May 1045, and from 1047 to 1048.

What is the most used pope name? ›

The most frequently used papal name is John, with 21 popes taking this name. There have also been 44 papal names that have only been used once. The number of all popes to the present is 264; Pope Benedict IX was elected pope three times, therefore the number of pontificates is actually 266.

Who is the highest pope in the world? ›

Pope Francis (Latin: Franciscus; Italian: Francesco; Spanish: Francisco; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio; 17 December 1936) is head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State.

What does the Catholic Church teach about care for God's creation? ›

God made the heavens and the earth and it was good. Humans are commanded to care for God's creation. The land itself must be given a rest and not abused. All of heaven and earth belong to the Lord.

What does Laudato Si say about creation? ›

Let's start with the word “creation.” Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si', writes: “The word 'creation' has a broader meaning than 'nature,' for it has to do with God's loving plan in which every creature has its own value and significance” (LS 76).

References

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lilliana Bartoletti

Last Updated:

Views: 5718

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (53 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lilliana Bartoletti

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 58866 Tricia Spurs, North Melvinberg, HI 91346-3774

Phone: +50616620367928

Job: Real-Estate Liaison

Hobby: Graffiti, Astronomy, Handball, Magic, Origami, Fashion, Foreign language learning

Introduction: My name is Lilliana Bartoletti, I am a adventurous, pleasant, shiny, beautiful, handsome, zealous, tasty person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.