Pope Francis: The poor suffer the most from heat waves, drought

Courtney Mares   By Courtney Mares for CNA


Pope Francis speaking in St. Peter’s Basilica on June 5, 2022. / Vatican Media

Rome Newsroom, Jul 21, 2022 / 07:13 am (CNA).

As Europe faces record high temperatures and summer wildfires, Pope Francis has pointed out that the poor suffer the most from heat waves, drought, and other environmental extremes.

In a message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, the pope said that it is “the poorest among us who are crying out.”

“Exposed to the climate crisis, the poor feel even more gravely the impact of the drought, flooding, hurricanes, and heat waves that are becoming ever more intense and frequent,” Pope Francis said in the message published on July 21.

“Listening to these anguished cries, we must repent and modify our lifestyles and destructive systems. … The present state of decay of our common home merits the same attention as other global challenges such as grave health crises and wars,” he said.

Pope Francis signed the message urging care for creation on July 16, one day after new temperature records were set in Spain and Portugal. There were 1,063 heat-related deaths in Portugal between July 7 and July 18, according to the country’s director-general of health.

Since then, the heat wave has spread to France and the U.K., which broke its national record for the highest temperature ever recorded on July 19.

In his message, Pope Francis explained that he authorized the Holy See on behalf of the Vatican City State to accede to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement “in the hope that the humanity of the 21st century will be remembered for having generously shouldered its grave responsibilities.”

He said that achieving the demanding goals of the Paris agreement of limiting temperature increase to 1.5°C and reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to zero requires cooperation between all nations.

“This means ‘converting’ models of consumption and production, as well as lifestyles, in a way more respectful of creation and the integral human development of all peoples, present and future, a  development grounded in responsibility, prudence/precaution, solidarity, concern for the poor and for future generations,” the pope added.

The pope called for economically richer countries, “who have polluted most in the last two centuries,” to provide financial and technical support for economically poorer nations that are “already experiencing the most of the burden of climate change.”

Pope Francis established Sept. 1 as the annual World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation following the publication of the encyclical Laudato si’ in 2015. The pope has also recommended that the period from Sept. 1 to Oct. 4 — the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi —  be celebrated as a “Season of Creation.”

The theme of this year’s Season of Creation will be “listen to the voice of creation.” The pope expressed hope that the season will be “a special time for all Christians to pray and work together to care for our common home.”

Pope Francis said: “Originally inspired by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, this Season is an opportunity to cultivate our ‘ecological conversion,’ a conversion encouraged by Saint John Paul II as a response to the ‘ecological catastrophe’ predicted by Saint Paul VI back in 1970.”

“If we learn how to listen, we can hear in the voice of creation a kind of dissonance. On the one hand, we can hear a sweet song in praise of our beloved Creator; on the other, an anguished  plea, lamenting our mistreatment of this our common home.”

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  1. Papa is air conditioned though. Ice packs are available for his knee. Various little comforts are at hand for sciatica or sleep apnea! It is not easy for Papa, yet he is empathetic!

    One wonders if these maladies were exacerbated during past days as a bouncer?

    Prayers for Papa, his health and for spiritual discernment.

    • I imagine Pope Francis is old enough to have lived without air conditioning in a warm climate. I know I am.
      Having air conditioning today makes us grateful, not non empathetic. At least that’s the way it should work.

        • Thank you & God bless you too, Brian.
          You know, comment boxes are not the easiest way to communicate our thoughts. I fail at that frequently.
          I really do remember not having AC & that wasn’t so many years ago. The summers could be pretty rough. My poor mother didn’t live long enough to enjoy air conditioning but what you’ve never had you don’t miss.
          I think I probably thank God for AC at least once a week now. Especially in July.

  2. Why he wants to believe it is the richer economically freer countries rather than poorer more Marxist countries that pollute the most when the exact opposite is true, speaks to his insincerity about the plight of the poor beyond scoring political points with other global elitists dedicated to a life of make-believe concern.

    • This is just more strident rhetoric on a subject, regarding which, he has no particular competence to speak. If he thinks his Communist allies in China are going to pay the slightest heed to his pseudo-scientific nonsense, he is even more delusional than I thought. It is more likely that he does not include them among those whom he demands sacrifice. If he is so concerned about the poor, he ought to be sounding the alarm rather than endorsing the crackpot green agenda his pals at the WEF are currently trying to impose on humanity. Mass starvation, disease, and death from exposure to the elements are the sure outcomes of this lunacy.

  3. If Pope Francis want to put some gravitas behind his climate change mantra, he can cancel his trip to Canada. With him and his entourage taking flights across the Atlantic and motorcade galore all consuming thousands of gallons of fossil fuels that deplete the ozone layer, he could do much to reduce his carbon footprint by staying home. If he wants to apologize for whatever, make a video, buy Canadian airtime and have his message broadcast.

  4. Francis: “…we can hear in the voice of creation a kind of dissonance. On the one hand, we can hear a sweet song in praise of our beloved Creator; on the other, an anguished plea, lamenting our mistreatment of this our common home.”

    Why does Francis concern himself with sod rather than with God? Has he never listened to God at Matthew 24:35: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

3 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Pope Francis: The poor suffer the most from heat waves, drought | Passionists Missionaries Kenya, Vice Province of St. Charles Lwanga, Fathers & Brothers
  2. Pope Francis: The poor suffer the most from heat waves, drought | Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph (FSJ) , Asumbi Sisters Kenya
  3. Pope Francis: The poor suffer the most from heat waves, drought – Via Nova Media

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