16 Notes & Comments

posted Sep 7, 2017, 1:40 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Sep 7, 2017, 1:40 AM ]

'Hear the cry of the earth' - Pope and patriarch urge in ecology message


The future of the planet is under threat from humanity's "insatiable desire" to manipulate the world's limited resources, Pope Francis and the leader of Eastern Orthodox Christianity have said.

In a strongly-worded message, the two Christian leaders came together for the first time to condemn what they say is a "morally decaying scenario" where corporate greed is destroying the natural environment.

"Our propensity to interrupt the world's delicate and balanced ecosystems, our insatiable desire to manipulate and control the planet's limited resources, and our greed for limitless profit in markets–all these have alienated us from the original purpose of Creation," the Pope and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew wrote in their statement for the World Day of Prayer for Creation.

Their appeal comes at a timely moment, with the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas and surrounding U.S. states that have left at least 39 people dead, and caused more than 30,000 to leave their homes.

At the same time, flooding in India, Bangladesh and Nepal has killed 1,200, and has left millions homeless. Coping with floods in some of these regions, however, is a regular feature of life for the poor.


Pope sends message of support to victims of US floods


Pope Francis has sent a message of support to victims of the storm which has swept through the American states of Texas and Louisiana, causing mass devastation. In a telegram sent via his top diplomat, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope assured Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, of "his spiritual closeness and pastoral concern to all those affected" by Hurricane Harvey while stressing he is praying for the victims and their families.

So far, at least 33 have died, and 30,000 people have been forced to leave their homes, as a result of violent winds and flooding, in what has been the most powerful storm to hit the United States in more than a decade. But as the storm finds its way into Mississippi, Kentucky and Tennessee, estimates say that up to 13 million people could be affected.


Morality isn't "You Can, You Can't"


Morality isn't "you can, you can't" or "you must, you must not," says Pope Francis in a book-interview with French researcher Dominique Wolton. The Holy Father says that he "fears rigidity" and he hopes that Pastors won't reduce their preaching to morality "under the belt."

On September 1, 2017, Le Figaro Magazine published excerpts of the work 'Pope Francis: Meetings with Dominique Wolton: Politics and Society' (Editions de L'Observatoire), whose publication is scheduled in France for September 6.

In the course of a dozen private meetings at the Vatican, the Holy Father addressed the question of "morality" with the sociologist. One cannot teach morality, he stressed, "with precepts such as 'you can't do that, you must do that, you must, you must not, you can, and you can't.'"

"Morality is a consequence of an encounter with Jesus Christ," he explained. "It's a consequence of the faith for us Catholics. And for others, morality is a consequence of an encounter with an ideal, or with God, or with oneself, but with the best part of oneself. Morality is always a consequence."


Pope Francis and the women in his life


In a book-interview with French researcher Dominique Wolton, Pope Francis recalls the "women in his life": grandmothers, mother... but also a Paraguayan Communist and a Jewish psychoanalyst who "helped" him "a lot."

On September 1, 2017, Le Figaro Magazine published excerpts of the work 'Pope Francis: Meetings with Dominique Wolton: Politics and Society' (Editions de L'Observatoire, 432 pages), whose publication is scheduled for September 6.

"I thank God to have known true women in my life," confided the Pontiff to the sociologist, whom he received a dozen times at the Vatican. "My two grandmothers were very different, but they were both true women. They were mothers; they worked; they were courageous; they spent time with their grandchildren, but always with this dimension of woman," he explains.

He also paid tribute to his mother, who lived in such a way as "not to waste anything" and who "faced problems one after the other ... She was a woman, a mother."

Another woman in the Pope's life was Esther Balestrino De Careaga, a chemist, head of the Department where she worked, who taught him "the political reality." She was a Communist from Paraguay, recalls Pope Francis, who thought that "Christians are the Communists. It's the others who stole our banner!"