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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Compassion for Creation

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, June 3, 2018/Categories: wildlife conservation, birds, marine life, sustainability, environment

The patron saint of plants, animals, and the poor was the 12th Century's monk Francis of Assisi, who founded the Franciscan order. Francis wandered the Italian countryside lecturing anyone who would listen to his concerns about having compassion for all living things. The medieval monk has many followers today. Two contemporary spiritual leaders have taken up his concerns amd them them part of their pastoral missions.

The former Argentinian priest, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, took the name of Francis I when he became Pope and the first to do so in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis has made environmental concerns central to his duties. While speaking to an audience of students at a French university, Francis commented: "When I look at ... so many forests, all cut, that have become land … that can no longer give life, I'm concerned.” Francis believes development should respect what Christians see as creation. The Pope is the subject of a docmentary, Pope Francis, by the German film director Wim Wenders that recently premiered.

Likewise, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, has spoken about environmental concerns in almost every speech or lecture he gives. He has pointed out that many rivers in Asia originate from Tibet, the Third Pole, and that the melting of Himalayan glaciers could negatively affect the multiple  through which they flow. The dalai lama has campaigned for wildlife conservation, reforestation, andhas  called upon national leaders to put aside domestic concerns and take collective action against climate change. The Dalai Lama has otfen said: "ecology should be part of our daily life."

                           HH the 14th Dalai Lama and Pope Francis I (credit: Wiki-commons)

A conference on sustainable development was once convened at the Vatican by Pope Francis to hear from environmental scientists but received limited attention. The Pope says: "we are custodians of creation and if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us" and the Dalai Lama warns about deforestation, diminishing glaciers, and climate change.

St. Francis of Assisi  (credit: Italian church)

Other religious denominations should pick up on the environmental concerns of these spiritual leaders and join their compassion for creation. That would please Francis of Assisi and hopefully everyone else.



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