Pope Francis is asking for people to ‘pray for the environment’ as he issues a climate change plea.
The Roman Catholic leader made the comment in a joint statement with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
Together, they said followers should consider the effects of climate change and “work towards sustainable and integral development”.
The Argentinian pontiff released a statement in the run-up to World Day of Prayer for Creation that also included a critical assessment of mankind’s effect upon the earth.
He said: “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.
“We no longer respect nature as a shared gift; instead, we regard it as a private possession. We no longer associate with nature in order to sustain it; instead, we lord over it to support our own constructs.”
He went on to state the effect of man-made climate change on those most at risk and the effect that climate change is having on the poorer regions of the world with strong reference made to the human effect and the human cost of climate change.
He said: “The consequences of this alternative worldview are tragic and lasting. The human environment and the natural environment are deteriorating together, and this deterioration of the planet weighs upon the most vulnerable of its people. The impact of climate change affects, first and foremost, those who live in poverty in every corner of the globe.
“Our obligation to use the earth’s goods responsibly implies the recognition of and respect for all people and all living creatures. The urgent call and challenge to care for creation are an invitation for all of humanity to work towards sustainable and integral development.
“Therefore, united by the same concern for God’s creation and acknowledging the earth as a shared good, we fervently invite all people of goodwill to dedicate a time of prayer for the environment on 1 September.”