Pope Francis Unveils New Apostolic Exhortation on Environment, 'Laudate Deum'
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In his address at the Vatican to around 200 participants in a meeting of university rectors from Latin America and the Caribbean, Pope Francis unveiled the title of his next Apostolic Exhortation on the environment. The new document will be named "Laudate Deum" and is set to be published on October 4, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. During this event, the Pope discussed various pressing issues, including climate change, migration, and the culture of waste.
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Photo credit: Grant Ritchie
In his remarks, Pope Francis emphasized the need for creative and holistic approaches to education. He urged universities to foster awareness and organize hope, particularly in the context of integral ecology, where young people should have the right to a balanced cosmos and a hopeful future.
The Pope decried the prevailing "throwaway culture" that not only leads to the misuse of natural resources but also affects nature itself. He called for a return to the proper use of nature and emphasized the importance of dialogue with nature.
Pope Francis also raised concerns about the lack of access to basic necessities and the inequality that often results from a culture of dispossession, where natural resources are hoarded. He denounced the human extractivist model, which extracts the dignity of people and can be likened to slavery.
Additionally, the Pope encouraged university rectors to promote education in humanistic values and fraternal dialogue. He called politics the noblest vocation and stressed the importance of training young people to be politicians in the broadest sense, able to engage in political processes with maturity and responsibility.
Regarding the ongoing migration crisis, Pope Francis described it as a humanistic and Christian issue that requires a human and Christian response. He insisted that migrants should be welcomed, accompanied, promoted, and integrated, and criticized the practice of sending them back as criminal.
Pope Francis reminded everyone of the importance of teaching young people to think with their heads, feel with their hearts, and act with their hands. He called on universities to be creative in the face of reality and challenges, emphasizing that they should be educators, not merely dispensers of information.
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