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Wasted food is food stolen from the poor

· On World Environment Day, the Pope denounces the mentality that sacrifices man to profit and the culture of waste ·

An appeal to the international community to support humanitarian aid and a negotiation solution to the crisis in Syria

Men and women sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: this is the “culture of waste”. Woe to those infected. On World Environment Day, Pope Francis launched a powerful reminder of the need to eliminate waste and safeguard creation during the General Audience on Wednesday, 5 June. The Pope also denounced the tyranny of money: “That which is in control”, he said speaking off the cuff, “is money; money controls and God our Father gave the task of of protecting the earth, not to money but to us, men and women. We have this task”. He went on to say that “It is not news if someone dies, it is not news if many children do not have food, does this seem normal? It cannot be this way”.

Pope Francis quoted Benedict XVI emphasizing the need to preserve creation without getting caught “in the logic of control and manipulation”,  because by doing so, he stressed, we do not respect creation, “we do not respect it, we do not consider it as a freely-given gift to look after. We are losing our attitude of wonder, of contemplation, of listening to creation and so no longer manage to interpret in it what Benedict XVI calls 'God’s love story with man'”.

The Pope then asked why this happens. He noted: “we have drifted away from God, we no longer read his signs. However 'cultivating and caring for' do not only entail the relationship between us and the environment, between man and creation. They also concern human relations. The popes have spoken of a human ecology, closely connected with environmental ecology.

We are living, he said, “in a time of crisis; we see it in the environment, but above all we see it in men and women. The human person is in danger: hence the urgent need for human ecology!”.

Before the General Audience, Pope Francis spoke of the danger that humanity is in, when he received  representatives from Catholic charitable organizations in Syria. After entrusting  renewed commitment in assisting “the beloved faithful who live in Syria and to all Syrians”, the Pontiff renewed his strong appeal to the international community to reach a negotiation solution and facilitate the restoration of peace. “Put down your arms”, he repeated, which was also the anguished cry of Benedict XVI.

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St. Peter’s Square

Aug. 23, 2019

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