In his catechesis, the Pope said Earth Day was “an occasion for renewing our commitment to love and care for our common home and for the weaker members of our human family.”

A report by ‘America, The Jesuit Review‘** refers to a live-streamed weekly general audience from the Vatican by Pope Francis’ to celebrate the 50th Earth Day. Celebrating Earth Day during the “Easter season of renewal, let us pledge to love and esteem the beautiful gift of the Earth, our common home, and to care for all members of our human family,”

As the Book of Genesis relates, he said, “we live in this common home as one human family in biodiversity with God’s other creatures,” and God has called on humanity to care for and respect his creation and “to offer love and compassion to our brothers and sisters, especially the most vulnerable among us, in imitation of God’s love for us, manifested in his son Jesus.”

According to this America report Pope Francis then said that God is good and always forgives, but then he added:
“The Earth never forgives: if we have despoiled the Earth, the response will be very bad.”

There can be no doubt about the consequences of our despoiling the earth. They will be very bad but to say that the Earth never forgives is not a good way to express this. If we are to see our common home is both Sister and Mother, as is central to Laudato Si’ how can we associate this relationship with an Earth which never forgives. The consequences of our actions will be a matter of self-destruction and not revenge or punishment by Mother-Sister Earth.

**To access this review search ‘Pope Francis, 50th. Earth Day.’

by Edmond Grace SJ
Secretary for Ecology