"God will call them to judgment one day, and it will be seen if they truly tried to provide food for him in every person, and if they worked so that the environment would not be destroyed, but could produce this food," Pope Francis told the Caritas Internationalis crowd during his mass homily. His tough love rhetoric is nothing new and may be just what people of faith need to hear.
Citing Jesus' description of God's Judgment in the Book of Matthew, Pope Francis urged his followers and Christians around the world to act for the climate by placing emphasis on personal salvation.
No matter your view on the afterlife, Pope Francis is responding to a spiritual malady, one of redemptive quality. As a person of faith, are you doing everything in your power to carry out God's love?
Pope Francis has warned “the powerful of the Earth” they will answer to God if they fail to protect the environment to ensure the world can feed its population.
“The planet has enough food for all, but it seems that there is a lack of willingness to share it with everyone,” Francis said at a mass to mark the opening of the general assembly of the Catholic charitable organisation Caritas.
“We must do what we can so that everyone has something to eat, but we must also remind the powerful of the Earth that God will call them to judgment one day and there it will be revealed if they really tried to provide food for Him in every person and if they did what they could to preserve the environment so that it could produce this food.”
The striking comments from the Argentinian pontiff came ahead of the upcoming publication of a papal encyclical on the ethical aspects of environmental issuesthat is eagerly awaited by campaigners for action to address global warming.
An encyclical is a statement of fundamental principles designed to guide Catholic teaching on a subject. It is issued in the form of a letter from the pope to bishops around the world.
Campaigners on climate change believe that a signal from Francis that the church considers global warming a grave danger could influence the global discussion on the severity of the problem, what has caused it and what can be done.