Because taking care of the Earth isn't just for hippies!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Orthodox, Catholics Unite in Conserving Creation

Orthodox, Catholics Unite in Conserving Creation
Pope Sends Message to Symposium in Brazil

MANAUS, Brazil, JULY 18, 2006 ( Benedict XVI sent a message encouraging Christians to collaborate in the protection of the environment.

The message went to the 6th symposium on "Religion, Science and the Environment," organized by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I.

The conference is being held in the northern Amazon region of Manaus, Brazil, on "The Amazon: Source of Life."

Benedict XVI's message expresses his appreciation for the values which inspire the symposium, maintaining that religion has a decisive role to play in the protection of the environment.

Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president emeritus of the Pontifical Councils of Justice and Peace and "Cor Unum," participating in the event, transmitted the Pope's words.

There are "practical objectives and (the objective) of man's survival that can and must bring together all people of good will," said the Pope in his message, which was quoted on Vatican Radio.

Ecumenical collaboration

In the task of protecting creation, the Holy Father makes reference to the common commitment of Catholics and Orthodox, seen as "an example of that collaboration" that they must both "seek with constancy to respond to the call to a common testimony."

"This implies that all Christians must cultivate at the very least openness of spirit that is dictated by charity and sinks its roots in faith. In this way they will be able to offer together to the world a credible testimony of their sense of responsibility for the protection of Creation."

According to Vatican Radio, Bartholomew I very much appreciated these words and wished to announce the Pope's visit to Turkey at the end of November.

The present symposium, which began in Manaus, gives participants the opportunity to visit traditional communities, get to know the local reality and meet with specialists who work in the region.

On boat trips on the Amazon river, local representatives have the time to debate on topics relating to environmental ethics and issues of importance to Amazonia, such as the loss of biodiversity, deforestation, the challenges facing indigenous peoples, etc.

It is the sixth of a series of symposiums, held also in ships that navigated the waters of the Aegean (1995), the Black Sea (1997), the Adriatic (2002), the Baltic (2003) and the Danube River (1999).

It is organized by the NGO "Religion, Science and the Environment," linked to the Orthodox Church, and cosponsored by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan.


Comments on this later, I'm currently visiting grandparents have limited internet access..


At 9:26 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

It's so great how conservation is bringing groups of people together. We all depend on the Earth, so it's an issue we can relate to and rally around.


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