22 January 2010


"If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation" - these words, which might come as a surprise to many, is the title of the statement issued by Benedict XVI to mark the World Day of Peace on Jan 1st.

In the statement the pope expresses the conviction that the environment is God’s gift to all, that the use we make of it entails a shared responsibility for all of humanity, especially the poor and generations yet to come, and that we cannot remain indifferent to issues such as climate change, 'environmental refugees' and the potential for future conflict over access to natural resources.

Benedict advocates the adoption of a model of development based on the centrality of the human person, on the promotion of the common good, on responsibility, the recognition of the need for lifestyle changes and the virtue of prudence.

He also urges that encouragement be given to direct technological and scientific research to address environmental problems making particular reference to the "immense potential of solar energy."

He links the protection of creation and peacemaking and identifies this as an urgent and major area of challenge facing world leaders and all who are concerned for the future of humanity.

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