Safeguarding creation expected to be major theme at WYD in Rio

Safeguarding creation expected to be major theme at WYD in Rio
By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – When hundreds of thousands of young Catholics gather with Pope Francis in Rio de Janeiro in the summer, reflections on safeguarding the environment will be part of the program…

“From the beginning of planning – under Pope Benedict XVI – we thought that a major theme in Brazil, known as ‘the lungs of the world,’ would have to be the environment,”…

“We did not know that there would be a new pope and that in his first three major addresses, he would speak about safeguarding creation, not in political or ideological terms, but as a Christian obligation,” Bedeschi said…

As the United Nations attempts to draft and build consensus around a set of “Sustainable Development Goals” as a follow-up to the conference, “grass-roots support and participation is essential,” Clini said.

“World Youth Day is the best context for expanding this vision of global solidarity,” which includes a commitment by industrialized nations to moderate their consumption habits, promote development in poor countries and share with them the knowledge and technology they need to build their economies without threatening the environment.

At the end of the gathering, the youths are expected to issue a “manifesto for safeguarding creation,” which will be drafted with assistance from Conventual Franciscan friars from Assisi, Italy.

Thanks, lynnvinc.

This is great news to see the Church continuing to promote care for the environment as a Catholic concern.

I see that they will be dedicating one day of WYD to reflection on this topic…

WYD 2013 is scheduled for July 23-28. **The special reflection on the environment is scheduled for the second day of the gathering. **Clini, his Brazilian counterpart, scientists, theologians, U.N. officials and members of Catholic groups devoted to safeguarding creation will lead the reflection with young people.

At the end of the gathering, the youths are expected to issue a “manifesto for safeguarding creation,” which will be drafted with assistance from Conventual Franciscan friars from Assisi, Italy.

I hope that we will receive from this report some new understandings of the science and some plans of action for Catholics. Our youth seem to have a special part to play in this so it is good to see them dedicating a part of WYD to the topic. In some ways we may be following their lead.

Another fruit of this work is that our youth will be able to work with those non-Christian youth who experience some spirituality in a passion for creation.

Pope Benedict sometimes talked about the environment, how things need to change. It is good to see Pope Francis continuing this work.

Should not the Church talk chiefly about the saving of souls?

We have politicians and journalists to talk about the environment.


A false dichotomy. One can criticise any movements within the Church which one doesn’t like by saying that the Church has more important things to do.

Both conservatives and progressives can play the same game…

Don’t like liturgical reform (ie. the reform of the reform)? Say that the Church should be addressing the problem of clerical abuse. Don’t like censure of the LCWR? Say that the Church should be promoting women vocations. Don’t like peace messages? Say that the Church should be telling the hard truths… etc… etc…

The church is a body of different parts. The passions and works of some do not have to be the passions and works of all, but we all contribute.

Actually this is a very good tact, I think, bec there are so many unchurched people who are into environmental concerns. That is, they may lack strong religion or faith in God, but they still have a sense of morality and that it is wrong to harm people thru environmental harms, esp the poor and future generations. I’m thinking this is a great way of drawing such people in … or at the least decreasing their hatred for Catholicism or for religion in general. (I think after 9/11 some, perhaps many came to think religion is the source of all evil.)

I think many people, esp the young, want to be challenged to do something above and beyond their self interests, not just be given an easy path to make money and stuff their faces.

In order to save souls, you first have to reach them, inspire them. And mitigating environmental harms is something for the good and a turning away from the bad of harming people thru environmental harms.

I know it’s from BXVI’s and now Pope Francis’s hearts – this theme of creation protection – but I’m also thinking there couldn’t be a better strategy or plot for drawing people in and saving souls.

And BTW politicians will never be able to solve the serious environmental problems; that requires ALL of us to do our part, as JPII realized and pointed out 1/1/1990 in “Peace with All Creation.”

I wish the politicians could vote the problems away. I wish there were a silver bullet for these problems, but it involves 1000s of things, mostly small, that we all need to do. Happy botheration!

I’d be a lot more comfortable with more of that, and speaking out against the abortion holocaust.

I hope you are not implying that the Church has been silent on this issue. Liberal Catholics are constantly getting mad that the church “spends too much time talking about Pro life issues and not enough time on social justice.”

Care for creation is a obligation of Christians as long as it does not become an ideology of its own.

Without addressing any previous posters personally (assuming positive intent on their part), I’d just like to add that saying “I’ve got more important things to do” is an excuse often used to avoid one’s serious obligations. It can very irresponsible and damaging.

Bosses do it. “I can’t listen to your problem now because I’ve got more important things to do”.

Fathers do it. “I can’t spend more time with the family because I’ve got parish work to do”.

Wives do it. “I can’t have a dinner cooked at night because I’m busy with the children”.

Priests do it. “I can’t address that liturgical problem while we’ve got so many people not coming to Church”.

Of course, sometimes these excuses are valid, but they can also be used as an ongoing tactic to avoid responsibilities, and assert power over others. When someone has a genuine need, or even right, repeatedly ignored by such a tactic they are being crushed.

“Safeguarding creation” includes safeguarding the human unborn – who are also God’s creatures, just as much as born people and nonhuman creatures. “Safeguarding creation” is the larger, more inclusive framework. Pope Francis has made that quite clear in his messages and homilies – that “creation” includes people and the unborn, and “safeguarding” includes safeguarding all needs – physical, psychological, and spiritual. He understands the holistic picture and does not fall into compartmentalized thinking the way we tend to do.

And it’s very important to think holistically, because if we do manage to safeguard fetuses and ensure they are born, then they will need living parents and others to rear them, healthy air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, resources for their products and homes, and a climate hospitable to agriculture (i.e., they will need the social and physical environment), so they can live healthy lives until ripe old age. All these non-human, life-sustaining factors, which we take for granted, are precious God-given gifts that help “safeguard” our lives.

So in effect the theme is “end abortion” plus safeguarding all humans (not just fetuses), and to do that safeguard creation.

Now some have said “saving souls” should be the more important theme than practical life issues, but even Jesus understood that we needed to eat, and he had a thriving medical ministry of curing the ill. He said, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

Some may point out that he also said, “Man does not live by bread alone.” But note he is not rejecting the fact that we need food, only that we need more, otherwise he would have simply said, “Man does not live by bread.”

There is absolutely nothing wrong or inferior in safeguarding our food, and everything right in it. We cannot all be priests ministering to souls; some of us are food producers and processors, and some are janitors and garbage collectors, keeping the environment clean and safe for life. All roles are important and necessary.

We are many parts. We are all one body. And the gifts we have we are given to share…

Regardless of what Pope Francis actually says, a presentation of environmental issues will be hijacked by the left for their agenda. Young people ( at least in USA) have been indoctrinated in the government schools to “worship” “Mother Earth” so they will very likely come away from WYD with a wrong Catholic understanding of this issue.

The Church’s message to the youth needs to be one of soul-saving, not environmentalism.

Perhaps Pope Francis will focus on safe guarding the creation of human beings by stressing life-issues and the unproductive nature of so-called gay marriage.

The Pope chooses what the Church talks about and this would include being good stewards of Gods creation. Pope Benedict spoke about this important aspect of faith several times. The vatical is outfitted with state-of-the-art solar power as an example of the Holy See leading the way.

Depends on who will be attending the YWD and whether they disrupt it to promote their views over those of Pope Francis.

I understand that some right extremists tried to disrupt one of BXVI’s WYD.

Which just goes to show you can’t please everyone…And people have become ruder and ruder. The evolution of rudeness.

I personally don’t see anything wrong with Pope Francis taking a pro-life stance (which includes environmentalism – bec we do need a healthy enviornment to survive).

Jesus was all for life in the worldly sense, as well as life-everlasting in the hereafter. One does not preclude the other. And in fact if people are in the business of harming and killing people thru their environmental harms, then they may risk going to a lot more wretched place than an earthly wasteland and a lot hotter place than a globally warmed world, and for all eternity, no less. :eek:

My concern would be that liberals would see that as a global warming thing and say “see, see, the pope’s a liberal and the Church is moving to the left.” Also I’m not entirely sure why the U.N. is being cited since their proposals are not in the best interest of everyone.

I hope as part of the safeguarding theme that there is focus on people, who are part of creation, and safeguarding them from conception to natural death and against abortion, sex trafficking and all other kinds of moral wrongs which violate human beings

There is nothing in the article about global warming. This is about general safeguarding of creation which is being interested as safeguarding as the environment. Personally I hope it extends past the environment to the human person

I hope as part of the safeguarding theme that there is focus on people, who are part of creation, and safeguarding them from conception to natural death and against abortion, trafficking and all other kinds of moral wrongs which violate human beings

Well-said. Guess we wait and see.

I wouldn’t hold my breath in hoping that Francis is going to speak of abortion and gay marriage to the exclusion of environmental issues as he can certainly walk and chew gum at the same time.

My thoughts are that from a Catholic Christian belief system humans were given dominion over the plants and the animals. This requires that we take care of them, so care for the environment is very much a Catholic Christian issue. I think there are many groups outside of the Church that take this way too far, but that does not mean the Church should not discuss these issues.

The expectation or fact that people will misinterpret or twist what the Church says to try and push their agenda cannot and should not ever stop the Church from speaking out on issues that it feels are important.

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