Pope calls neglect of the earth a 'moral problem'
Pope John Paul II has warned of the dire consequences for the environment "when man turns his back on the Creator's plan".
He made his observation in a message sent to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, for the 5th Symposium on the Environment organised by the Orthodox Patriarchate.
The Holy Father's text was handed to the patriarch by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
The topic was "The Baltic Sea: A Common Heritage, A Shared Responsibility". 250 scientists, theologians and politicians, attended the itinerant meeting, which took place earlier this month on a ship sailing on the Baltic.
The Pope's message stressed the importance of understanding the ecological crisis as connected to human relationship with God.
"The relationship between individuals or communities and the environment can never be detached from their relationship with God," he said.
"Ecological irresponsibility is at heart a moral problem - founded upon an anthropological error - which arises when man forgets that his ability to transform the world must always respect God's design of creation," he said.
Religion, Science and the Environment | The Baltic Sea: 'A Common Heritage, A Shared Responsibility'
Catholic Earthcare Australia
12 Jun 2003