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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Compassion for Creation

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, October 1, 2014/Categories: sustainability, environment

The patron protector of wildlife was the 12th Century's monk Francis of Assisi, who founded the Franciscan order. He wandered the medieval Italian countryside lecturing anyone who would listen to his concerns about having compassion for all living things. St Francis has many followers today and two contemporary spiritual leaders have taken up his concerns into their pastoral missions.

The former priest, Jorge Mario Bergoglio , took the name of Francis I when he became Pope of the Catholic Church in 2013. Pope Francis has made environmental concerns central to his many 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.

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 in Tibet and that the melting of Himalayan glaciers could negatively affect the countries in which they flow. He has
campaigned for wildlife conservation and called upon various national leaders to put aside domestic concerns and take collective action against climate change. The Dalai Lama has 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 convened at the Vatican by Pope Francis several months ago but received limited attention. The Pope says "we are custodians of creation and if we destroy Creation, Creation will destroy us" while the Dalai Lama warns about deforestation, diminishing glaciers, and climate change. It would be nice if other religious denominations would 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.


St. Francis of Assisi  (credit: Italian church )

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