Aug 15, 2018 | Updated: 01:42 PM EDT

A Pontiff For the Health of the Planet

Sep 19, 2014 11:34 PM EDT

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With the annual ministerial meeting of the United Nations General Assembly merely days away, eyes and ears around the world are looking for answers about issues related to the global climate crisis and the sustainability of our existence. And while we typically find a separation between the ministerial powers of faith and those of government, it appears the environmental movement may have allies in high places; perhaps as high as the heavens.

As one of the largest unified groups worldwide, the Catholic Church has invested centuries spreading their moral and faith-based beliefs across the vast landscapes of the Earth. And with such a vested interest in the people of all continents and the future we will one day leave behind, the newest pontiff, Pope Francis is speaking out about our roles in keeping the Earth's beauty alive.

After a joint workshop of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences on the cause of sustainability this past May 2014, the Vatican has established a strong stance on several environmental issues. Calling for all individuals to be entrusted with the task of being "Custodians of Creation", Pope Francis firmly believes that only with a unified effort will we be able to redirect our relationship with nature and ensure sustainability efforts for future global health.

While the origins of science and the Catholic faith may have had a bumpy past, the Vatican and Pope Francis are hopeful that they have a fruitful future for the well-being of generations to come. Motivated by similar concerns that the scientific community is bringing to the forefront of the global discourse, the Vatican suggests that we as individuals must share the moral responsibility to sustain a habitable planet for everyone.

 "Creation is not a property, which we can rule over at will; or, even less, is the property of only a few: Creation is a gift, it is a wonderful gift that God has given us, so that we care for it and we use it for the benefit of all, always with great respect and gratitude" Pope Francis says. "Safeguard creation, because if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us! Never forget this!"

The warning from the pontiff comes with great respect for the pope, who claimed his name from Saint Francis of Assisi, famous for his love of all creatures on Earth. As 120 world leaders will emerge in support of the UN's annual summit next Tuesday Sept. 23, Pope Francis' support may just be the words that tip the balance and change the discourse towards taking action in protecting our Earth.

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