Pope Francis Calls for Urgent Attention to Our ‘Gravely Ill Planet’

The international community must make the “ecological commitment” a top priority, Pope Francis said in an interview published Sunday.

“We have not awakened in the face of planetary wars and injustices, we have not listened to the cry of the poor, and of our gravely ill planet,” the pontiff told the Italian daily Il Mattino. “We thought we would always remain healthy in a sick world.”

“Today a time of trial, a time of choice,” the pope declared. “The time to choose what matters and what doesn’t, to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is time to change course.”

As he has said on numerous occasions, the pope declared that it is not enough to tweak existing systems, insisting that politics and the economy need to be rethought and completely overhauled.

The drama of land fires in southern Italy “is connected to the many dramas that the earth suffers from,” Francis said. And our mistakes “fall on the little ones, from whom we are stealing not only the future, but also the present.”

Starting from an awareness that the world is interconnected, we must not only acknowledge our errors but also “identify new behaviors” and “seek new solutions,” he said.

“It is indispensable today for every single person and the entire international community to prioritize the ecological commitment to collective, supportive and far-sighted actions,” he said. “And it is essential that the younger generations do not let their future be stolen by those who preceded them.”

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