The Pope: moving young people towards environmentally-friendly lifestyles

In the video message, Francisco speaks again of the environmental crisis that humanity is going through, with an emphasis on young people, as he considers that they are at the forefront of ecological issues, young people “have the greatness to undertake projects for environmental and social improvement”.

Vatican News

A sober and eco-sustainable lifestyle is what Pope Francis is asking for in the video message with the intention of prayer for September, the month of the Time of Creation, published by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.

The September edition of the Pope’s Video is part of the annual, global and ecumenical celebration of the Time of Creation that begins this Wednesday, September 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and continues through October 4, feast of St. Francis of Assisi, patron of ecology.

In the video message, released this Wednesday (09/01), Pope Francis once again talks about the environmental crisis that humanity is going through, with emphasis on young people, as he believes they are at the forefront of ecological issues.

I am very happy to see that young people have the greatness to undertake projects for environmental and social improvement, as the two things go hand in hand. We adults can learn a lot from young people, because in everything about caring for the planet, young people are at the forefront. Let us take advantage of his example, let us reflect, especially in these moments of crisis, health crisis, social crisis, environmental crisis, let us reflect on our lifestyle.

“It will not serve us to describe the symptoms if we do not recognize the human roots of the ecological crisis”, recalls the Pope in the Encyclical Laudato si’. The Pontiff invites us to question the way we live and use material goods, “about how we eat, consume, move, or the use we make of water, energy and plastic, and so many material goods that are often harmful to the Earth. Let’s choose to change! Let’s move forward with the young people for simpler and more environmentally friendly lifestyles”, says Francisco in the video message.

And let us pray that we all make the courageous decisions, the decisions necessary for a more sober and eco-sustainable life, being inspired by the young people who are committed to this change. And they are not fools, because they are committed to their future. That’s why they want to change what they’re going to inherit at a time when we’re no longer there.

The human root of the ecological crisis

The need for urgent action to combat the environmental and social crisis is not new. There are more and more global alerts to try to make humanity aware that something needs to change. Last June, the UN warned that “the Earth is rapidly reaching ‘irreversible extremes’ and that we face a triple threat: the loss of biodiversity, climate change and increased pollution.” This impacts everyone’s life: “The degradation of the natural world is already harming the well-being of 3.2 billion people, that is, 40% of humanity”. The UN Secretary General, Antônio Guterres, added that “humanity has been destroying the planet’s forests for a long time, polluting its rivers and oceans and disorderly plowing the land. We are devastating the ecosystems that sustain our societies.”