Vatican Says Deterioration of Coral Reefs Turning Oceans into an ‘Underwater Cemetery’


The Vatican has once more waded into the uncharted waters of environmental protection, urging nations to practice “multilateral governance” in order to combat the evils of rising sea levels and the loss of coral reefs.

Writing on behalf of Pope Francis, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin addressed the Fourth International Conference on Our Ocean, an Ocean for Life, encouraging participants to abandon “cynical or indifferent ways of acting” and to become fully engaged in care for the oceans “as part of an integrated vision of human development.”

We cannot “remain indifferent before the loss of coral reefs, essential places for the survival of marine biodiversity and the health of the oceans,” he wrote, “as we witness a marvellous marine world being transformed into an underwater cemetery, bereft of colour and life.”

Care for creation is a concrete way of honoring the “covenant between humanity and the environment,” Parolin wrote, which requires ongoing education, training and the contemplation of the grandeur of the created world.

The health of the oceans is an imperative for Christian action, the Cardinal suggested, requiring awareness as well as commitment.

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