Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the church official heading the Vatican’s five-member delegation to the U.N. climate change conference, said “discernment and new thinking” are necessary to address the moral crises facing the world.
In addressing the delegates during a Dec. 17 plenary session, the archbishop said people must take personal responsibility to care for the environment and reduce the impact of climate change on the God’s creation.
Here’s an excerpt:
With realism, trust and hope we must assume the new responsibilities which call us to the scene of a world in need of a deep cultural renewal and rediscovery of fundamental values on which to build a better future. The moral crises that humanity is currently experiencing, be they economic, nutritional, environmental or social — all deeply interlinked — oblige us to redesign our way, to establish new guidelines and to find new forms of engagement. These crises become thus the occasion for discernment and new thinking.
The archbishop also called people to change their living habits. Such steps, he said, would help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases — a leading cause of climate change, scientists say — pumped into the atmosphere.
These efforts are about working on lifestyles, as the current dominant models of consumption and production are often unsustainable from the point of view of social, environmental, economic and even moral analysis. We must safeguard creation — soil, water and air — as a gift entrusted to everyone, but we must also and above all prevent mankind from destroying itself.
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