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Pope Francis

People must care for creation or face self-destruction, pope says

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Pope Francis speaks from the Vatican in a recorded video message for “Earth Day Live: Restore Our Earth,” a global livestreamed event April 22, sponsored by EarthDay.org. CNS photo/Vatican Media

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When it comes to safeguarding creation, there is no time to waste – humanity either must live up to its responsibility or continue on a path of self-destruction, Pope Francis said, commemorating Earth Day with a video message. The pope appealed to world leaders to “act with courage, work with justice and always tell people the truth, so that people know how to protect themselves from the destruction of the planet, how to protect the planet from the destruction that many times we trigger.”

The pope’s recorded message was aired as part of “Earth Day Live: Restore Our Earth,” a global livestreamed event April 22 sponsored by EarthDay.org. Bringing together dozens of experts, activists, educators, researchers, musicians, artists and influencers, the event sought to “explore the natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking that can restore the world’s ecosystems,” according to its website. More than 8.5 million viewers watched last year’s livestream, it said.

Addressing viewers in Spanish, the pope thanked them for what they were doing, for their “good intentions” and for gathering together for the virtual event. While there has been growing awareness for a long time about the need to protect and care for nature, especially God’s gift of biodiversity, humanity must do so with “the utmost attention and respect,” he said.

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